Be it on a skirt, an unlined jacket or even a dress made from heavier-weight silk – the beautiful couture finish afforded by a Hong Kong Bound seam takes some beating! Carol Bentley explains how to sew a perfect Hong Kong Bound seam.
What is a Hong Kong Bound Seam?
This seam finish is perfect for unlined garments and encases the seams with a lightweight fabric like silk to hide the raw edges. A Hong Kong finish (also known as a Bias Bound seam) uses a single layer, whilst a bound seam uses a double layer of fabric to encase the edges.
Unlined Jacket patterns perfect for incorporating Hong Long Bound Seams
From left to right: Hove Jacket from In the Folds, Katia Coatigan from Sew to Grow, Swing Jacket from Folkwear at the Grove Arcade (photo by Matt Rose) and Yanaka Jacket from Liesl + Co. To find your local stockist in the UK – click here
So why would you make an unlined garment?
Well, for a few reasons! Let’s focus for the time being on a jacket or coat. When left unlined, it produces the most natural fitting and draping jacket. Made in a natural fibre like linen or wool – it’s ideal for keeping you cool – as these fabrics are breathable. When adding a satin lining – the garment’s breathability is reduced significantly, which may not be so desirable in the summer.
But before we get onto the how, let’s consider the history, and where does the name come from?
Hong Kong has a long and illustrious history of high-quality tailoring. When the fashion for unlined jackets came about – it was a perfect way to give the inside of an unlined jacket a couture finish. It’s a cheaper option for most RTW garments to line. This technique is labour-intensive, to add a bias-bound edge to both sides of every seam! But, of course, as a sewist, we have the choice and ability to make any unlined jacket or coat beautiful and unique.
So, let’s take a look at creating a Hong Kong Bound seam
Using bias binding – any seam or facing can be bound in this way. It’s very easy to do and well worth the extra effort!
- With the bias laid on top of the seam, with raw edges meeting and right sides together. Stitch along the small, folded edge, to attach the binding to the fabric.
- Wrap the binding around the raw edge to the underside and stitch down.
TIP: I love to use my Duck-Billed scissors, they trim the edge nicely and neatly.
Bias binding is cut on the bias so you can use it to edge a curve. Here, I’m giving a princess seam the Hong Kong binding treatment above. See how the raw edge is quite wavy, but by running a line of hand stitching along – I can just tighten up the edge by pulling the end of the thread.
Once the raw edge is nice and flat. You can apply the same technique above to bind the princess seam too! In fact, why not bind the whole jacket?
I hope you found my little tutorial helpful. Hong Kong Bound seams are not difficult to sew, just take your time and you’ll soon have the most fabulous couture garment. You might even want to wear it inside out!
Author: Carol Bentley