Athena Magazine

Fashion, lifestyle, passions

The Sweet Hong Kong Finish … By Hand March 30, 2009

hongkong2I just love the way a Hong-Kong finish binds a raw seam edge, and it’s a perfect alternative to a lining. But by machine, it can often end up looking clumsy. Well, I learned a better way in my FIT Haute Couture Sewing Techinques class … by hand. First cut 1″ true bias strips from silk (raw or charmeuse). Then align strip with the raw edge of fashion fabric, right sides together. Chalk line 1/4′ seam line, pin, baste and machine stitch. Next, being careful not to twist bias, wrap the strip around the raw edge and finish with a svelte running stitch variation. Bring needle up from wrong side through the “ditch” formed on right side by the bias strip and fashion fabric seamline. Then bring needle back down through ditch in same spot to wrong side and jump needle forward 1/4″, coming back up to right side. Repeat this modified prick stitch as you work down the raw edge, wrapping the silk strip. Unlike the machine-sewn counterpart, that hand stitch will disappear invisibly into the seam. Doing this by hand gives you the control to make the sweetest of finishes. Note: Machine sewers will often trim off excess bias on back, but in a hand sewn finish on a couture 1″ seam allowance, you don’t. You can press lightly, but couture tries to minimize overworking the fabric, so go gentle with the iron.