Nicki LaFoille

The Hong Kong Seam

Nicki LaFoille
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Duration:   7  mins

A Hong Kong seam finish is a great way to finish a seam and add pops of color to your garments or projects at the same time. Nicki LaFoille shows you step by step how to do this finishing technique.

Sewing a Hong Kong Seam

To begin, Nicki shows an example of what a Hong Kong seam finish looks like and explains when and why it is typically used. When adding a Hong Kong seam finish to a project, the two seam allowances are finished separately, as opposed to together like some other traditional seam finishing methods. Because of this, it is a great technique to use on bulky or hard-to-work-with fabrics. While this step-by-step tutorial shows how to do this seam finishing technique on basic cotton fabric, you can also use a Hong Kong seam to finish seams when sewing silk.

Nicki begins by showing how to press the seam allowances open and flat. She then explains how the seam allowances are finished with a binding that goes over the raw edges. When sewing the binding onto the seam allowance, you simply place the binding strip and the seam allowance edge with right sides together and sew. Nicki shows how to do this to ensure that you are only stitching one seam allowance at a time and not catching the other, or the rest of the project, in the stitching line. She also talks about the seam allowance that should be used when stitching the binding strip in place.

Once it has been stitched, Nicki shows how to fold under and press the binding strip so that it finishes the edge of the initial seam allowance. The binding will then need to be stitched an additional time to secure it, and Nicki demonstrates how to do that as well. Once all of the steps have been completed on the first seam allowance side, they can be repeated on the other. While doing a Hong Kong seam finish on a garment or project adds a few additional steps to the finishing process, the professional look is worth the work.

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6 Responses to “The Hong Kong Seam”

  1. Cheryl A Wright

    Great tutorial. One thing you should mention is that the fabric applied to the seam allowance should have the same fabric care requirements as the garment that it is applied to.

  2. Kathleen

    The binding had raw edges. Wouldn’t they frey after a few washes? Thus, would it be better to sew the binding on with a zig zag stitch to address this?

  3. Rebecca Lott

    Finally got it

  4. Rebecca Lott

    Couldn’t get the video to play!

  5. ANNA

    Hi Nikki. Could I sew binding to raw seems first, then sew seems together? Or must it be done as you showed? If so, why? The why would help me understand and remember. I have trouble with my grip, so it would be easier for me to sew the seems last. Thanks Anna and thanks so much for your very informative video

  6. Nancy Konopka

    But there is a raw edge on the inside of the binding... I have seen garments with seams bound using bias tape such that there are no raw edges to the binding. Which is more common?

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