Another seam finish we tried at college this week was the Hong Kong seam. This is slightly different to the bias bound seams over on the Colette Patterns blog recently. I really like this one, but it is a little trickier than other seam finishes I’ve tried. I had to slow my machine right down for this and really concentrate on the sewing part. But well worth it as it’s a truly classy finish. As ever(!), press the stitching line…
then press seams open…
Cut a strip of very lightweight silky fabric on the bias. This is a lining type fabric. Opaque but floaty like silk (not very technical that, ha ha! Sorry. I just nabbed it out of the remnants bin at college so don’t know the exact fabric content)….
Lay one edge of this bias strip along the raw edge of your seam allowance. If your bias strip has a definite RS (mine doesn’t) then lay it RS down…..
Straight stitch along the edge a few mm in from the edge…
“Roll” the bias strip to the back creating a kind of narrow tube around the raw edge. Do not press….
Stitch “in the ditch” gently pulling the bias to one side as you go so you don’t catch it with the needle (this is where I had to slow my machine right down as I still find stitching in the ditch really tricky!)….
This is where the stitching should end up, without catching any of the bias strip….
Trim the excess bias strip close to the stitching on the WS….
So you now have this narrow little silky tube around the raw edge of your seam allowance…
which when you press it flat, totally covers the row of “in the ditch” stitching…
This shows the RS and WS of the seam allowance. The WS would ultimately be tacked down so you wouldn’t see it anyway. But still pretty neat, huh?
Not sure why this is called a Hong Kong seam. (It may in fact have other names) but I’m guessing it either originated there or was very widely used on tailoring in that area. Anyone know?
I’m very much enjoying “playing” with different seam finishes. Do you have a favourite? Is it ease and speed that dictates this or is it the aesthetic? Or maybe durability?
Would love to hear your views!
NB: For anyone not familiar with the term “stitch in the ditch” it’s used alot in quilting. But it basically means stitching in the crease of a seam. In this case the seam crease created by the bias strip and the raw edge of the seam allowance, once the bias had been rolled back on itself.