How to Make a Cheater's Hong Kong Finish

comments (4) September 2nd, 2008     

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Shannon_Dennis Shannon Dennis, contributor
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Begin by pressing a seam open.
Using decorative fabric, cut a strip on the bias.
With right sides together, pin the bias strip and seam edge.
Begin by pressing a seam open.

Begin by pressing a seam open.

Photo: Shannon Dennis

A classic Hong Kong finish takes a long time to do yet gives your garments the touch of a professional designer. Years ago when I was learning some of these couture finishing techniques, my dear friend Alix Graham-Michel taught me this Hong Kong finishing technique that would make even the professionals look twice.

Start with an unfinished seam, pressed open.


Begin by presssing a seam open.

Cut a strip of bias fabric 1-3/4 inches wide.


Using decorative fabric, cut a strip on the bias.

Pin the bias strip and one side of the seam right sides together and matching raw edges. Make sure you are pinning just the seam and not your project!


With right sides together, pin the bias strip and seam edge.

Sew together using a 3/8-inch seam allowance. Press the seam open with an iron.


Press the seam open.

Wrap the bias around to the wrong side of the seam edge, completely enclosing the raw edge.


Wrap the bias strip around the raw edge of the seam.

Do not fold the bias strip over; you should be able to see the raw edge of the bias strip on the back of the seam.


Be careful not to pin your project into the bias strip seam. Check the back to make sure it looks like this before you move on.

Stitch in the ditch.


Stitch in the ditch of your original seam.

On the wrong side of the seam, use a pair of appliqué scissors to trim away the unused bias strip. Just as a little information tidbit, you do not need to finish the bias strip edge because the strip was cut on the bias and bias does not fray!


Using appliqué scissors, cut away the extra bias strip from the seam.

Let the seam fold open naturally as it was originally pressed open and press again.


Press the seam back in its original open position.

Repeat those steps on the other side of the seam and you'll have a beautifully finished inside for your unlined garments!


Once you finish the other side of the seam, you'll have a beautiful, professional look to your unlined garments.

posted in: fashion, sewing, lining, garments, finishing seams, quick techniques, hong kong finish

Comments (4)

Shannon_Dennis writes: In couture sewing when you do a hong-kong finish you turn under the other raw edge of the bias and hand stitch in place. Exactly like binding a quilt.
Posted: 6:26 pm on September 4th
SusieQP writes: Great instructions! Thanks!!
Posted: 2:48 am on September 3rd
Londajoyce writes: Wonderful step-by-step directions - thanks! This is the way I learned/do it. How is it done in any other way? Handstitching for 'stitching in the ditch'?
Posted: 11:22 pm on September 2nd
LindsayTNY writes: A friend told me about this technique but I love having the visuals you've provided. I will be trying this soon, I have a feeling.
Posted: 5:27 pm on September 2nd
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