For the last few weeks I've been working through a few different seam finishes. I covered Hong Kong seams here at the end of last year, so I thought I'd re-cap Hong Kong seams, but with a twist; Exposed Hong Kong Seams!
A Hong Kong finish is perfect for unlined jackets and coats. It's also a great way to finish seams on fine fabrics. But there's a lot of work involved - so rather than hiding all this work away on the inside of the garment why not turn the Hong Kong seams to the front!?
A fairly straight seam would work best for this - Perhaps the join in a waistband or side seam down skirts or pants.
It's a pretty simple case of reversing the standard method for Hong Kong seams and then stitching the seam allowances down at the end to stop them flapping around.
1. If possible use a 12 mm wide bias strip. This can be store bought or made at home. If your binding is wider than 12 mm you can still use this (the one I used in the photos below was actually 35 mm unfolded) but make sure you follow the seam allowance instructions carefully and you'll need to trim the excess at the end.
2. If you are using store bought bias tape (or bias tape with folds) press open the fold on one side of the bias tape.
3. With raw edges even on the WRONG side of the fabric stitch the bias to the garment with 6 mm seam allowance. If you have purchases bias tape, with a 6 mm fold stitch in the ditch.
4. Again if you have purchased store bought bias tape press open the other side of the bias tape.
5. Then press the bias tape away from the fabric.
6. If you have a clapper use this to help permanently press the binding away from the fabric.
7. Fold the bias around the edge of the fabric to the right side encasing the raw edges. You do not need to double fold the bias underneath - this should be a single layer of bias binding. It is much easier to catch this way. Interestingly fabric cut on the bias does not fray!
8. From the wrong side side of the fabric stitch in the ditch where the bias meets the main fabric. Make sure you catch the bias underneath.
9. If you have extra wide bias tape trim the excess on the right side of the fabric.
10. Place your two pieces of fabric WRONG sides together and stitch as per the seam allowance on the pattern instructions.
11. Press the seam open to expose the Hong Kong seams on the right side of the fabric.
12. Stitch in the ditch where the binding meets the fabric to anchor the seam allowance down.
And there you have an exposed Hong Kong Seam. If you prefer not to see a second row of stitching (and you have lots of time on your hands!) you can hand stitch this down.