Updated: 2019-09-23 Views: 157
We've made it to the finish of our seam finishes! In this final installment of the series， we venture into the world of the Hong Kong Finish and the Bound Seam finish. If you're not a 'finishing aficionado' (don't feel bad... few people claim that title)， you may have been under the impression these techniques are one in the same. Both involve wrapping the raw edges of a seam allowance with a bias cut strip of lightweight fabric. When finished， they can look almost the same. However， the two options differ slightly， and today's tutorial will show you how.？
As with a number of the other seam finishes in our series； the Hong Kong and Bound Seam are considered couture finishes. This does not mean they're for experienced sewers only. A novice can easily master either one.personalized housewarming gifts
The reasons for using these new techniques are also similar to previous finishes： you have a fabric， heavyweight or lightweight， prone to fraying and where any type of stitch will pull away from the fabric’s edge； sheer fabricspersonalized wedding gifts， where you can see the seam finish from the right side； or， simply because it’s a great way to finish a seam， add strength， and make your project look as good on the inside as it does on the outside.
Both techniques use bias cut strips of fabric for wrapping the raw edges， and both require a two-step sewing process to complete. You also need a fair amount of accuracy in your stitching and an equal amount of patience.
The reason for using a bias cut is that a bias edge does not fray (which is the issue we’re trying to solve in using these techniques， right？). Plus， the bias cut has stretch， making the strips pliable enough to go around various curves and shapes.？
The Hong Kong Finish is used when you do not want a lot of bulk along the seam. Therefore， you use a single fold bias strip of fabric (or bias tape). This means the strip of fabric is pressed in half along the length of the strip. A Bound Seam uses a double fold bias strip (or double fold bias tape).
In addition， when using a Hong Kong Finish， the seam allowance will be pressed open. When using a Bound Seam， the seam allowance can be pressed open or sewn together in the binding and pressed to one side.
Traditionally， the main reason for using a Hong Kong or Bound Seam finish is so you can see it. It’s no different than seeing the pretty silk lining of someone’s jacket or a bold lining inside a tote bag.？
You can buy pre-made bias tape， but making your own from a contrasting fabric is so much more fun!
When choosing your own fabric for the bias strips， make sure the fabric you pick to make the single fold (for Hong Kong) or double fold (for Bound Seam) bias strips is fairly lightweight. You don’t want the seam finish to weigh down your sewn project at the seam lines or be unattractively big and bulky.
Some recommended fabric types for making the bias tape for these finishing techniques are： cotton lawn， voile， batiste， silk， or a basic lightweight woven cotton. Depending on the type of fabric you’re using， don’t rule out simply making bias strips from your main project fabric.
Another important detail to consider with either technique is the length and width of the bias strips. We discussed this in great detail in our previous tutorial on making your own bias tape. Check out that tutorial here.？To summarize， you need to keep in mind the average seam widths for the various project types. A home décor project uses a ？" seam allowance， whereas garment sewing uses a ？" seam allowance. In either case， you know you'll be applying binding of one form or another to a very narrow area. Depending on the project， you'll use a ？" to ？" wide binding.？
As for length， you'll most likely be able to use short pieces versus the strips sewn together end-to-end you traditionally would use for large home décor projects or quilts. However， if you plan to wrap both sides of the seam allowance， you will need a length of bias twice as long as your seam or two lengths the same for either side.
NOTE： Don’t forget about preshrinking your selected bias strip fabric. Otherwise， you could end up with a badly distorted seam after laundering your finished project.
The Hong Kong finish can be completed using two methods. One is the traditional method used by fine couture houses and the second is a modified version you may find a bit easier to execute. As always， we encourage you to try both using scraps to see which you prefer. The end result is quite similar.
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