Hong Kong Finish Tutorial

Since some of you have asked I thought I’d put up a quickie how-to. The HK finish is one of the easiest “couture” finishes you will ever learn. It looks like a million bucks but even a beginning sewist can master it.

First, cut true bias strips using a rotary cutter. I generally cut my strips 1.25″ to 1.5″ wide, depending on the fabric. Unless you have long seams or a full hem to finish (or are short on fabric), it’s not usually necessary to piece your strips.

Place your bias strip RS together with your seam allowance or hem edge and stitch. You can use a 1/4″ foot for this but you can also use the edge of a straight stitch foot as I’m doing here. Press the strip away from the seam. Confession: A lot of times I simply finger-press because I’m too lazy to get up and go to the iron.



Wrap the strip around the raw edge of the seam allowance and stitch in the well of the seam (i.e. “stitch in the ditch”). If you can’t quite stay in the well of the seam, it’s perfectly okay to stitch on the binding itself or on the seam allowance.


Trim away any excess fabric from the underside using trimmers or applique shears.


Voila, you are done! It’s so simple yet gives the inside of your garments a beautiful high-end look.


As an aside, I’d love to hear from anyone who has made Silhouettes Barbara’s Trench, which I am considering. Likes? Dislikes? Comparisons to other patterns?



Filed under Tutorials, Year of the Jacket

25 responses to “Hong Kong Finish Tutorial

  1. Auntie Allyn

    Such a terrific finish for ugly seams! I’ve been doing Hong Kong finishes for quite a while, but never thought about making my OWN bias strips (I usually purchase the ready-made double-fold bias tape). Duh!!!! You’re a genius!!!

  2. I like your tip on this, I have used it before but with Wrights or double folded my own fabric, I never caught on to just trimming it with a single layer sewn down (your last photos). So much easier, less bulk. Thanks!

  3. Thanks for this tutorial — it’s so clear! I’ve never been able to make sense of other directions for HK finishes, but now I’m going to use them all the time. I love having a nice, clean inside to a garment!

  4. It’s so fun how the simplest of things can make something look so difficult and polished.

  5. Very interesting! I’ll definitely file this away for later. Thanks for the tutorial.

  6. Is it because the strip is bias-cut that you can just trim the final edge of the bias strip, instead of turning it under to finish it before sewing?

  7. Betsy


    this is a really stupid question, but I have to ask. Do you apply your bias strips before or after you stitch the seam? Before would sure be easier …

    I usually line garments so haven’t used a HK finish.

  8. Elizabeth

    Thank you for a wonderful and clear tutorial.

  9. I love a Hong Kong finish; it’s so elegant. I love the red jacket. How about seeing some of these terrific garments on you?

  10. Thanks Gigi for the tutorial, when you bind both seams together like this , I used to see it done separate, is it your choice of SA or is there a standard . Looking at your red jacket in Part 3, the close up of hood ,you must bind close to your SA I don’t see a trace of it and are your SA about 3/8″ they are just beautiful. If your closet is to crowded with all these beautiful jackets , I know I would be one of many to stand in line for it. Thanks again for all the info.

  11. Oh I love this technique and you did such a great job presenting this is an easy uncluttered way. Great tutorial.

  12. Love HK finish!

    What a great Trench; my favorite piece of clothing!

  13. sewiknittoo

    Wow this is one of the best tutorials on hk ever, I’m so glad you included all the steps…no longer confused!

  14. Pingback: DIY Design: Cool Indie Sewing Bloggers | Brazilian Blowout

  15. Pingback: DIY Design: Cool Indie Sewing Bloggers

  16. Pingback: Life After Anna | Everything is not as glamorous as it seems

  17. Pingback: Women We Love » Blog Archive » DIY Design: Cool Indie Sewing Bloggers

  18. Pingback: DIY Design: Cool Indie Sewing Bloggers | stylelist

  19. Pingback: Progress « Tanit-Isis Sews

  20. Lillie Bender

    Excellent! Very clear… Makes sense now. Thanks

  21. Pingback: Couture Sewing Samples: French Seam and Underlined Hong Kong Finish « Grandma's Sewing Cabinet

  22. Pingback: The Last Gasp of Summer Dress (part IV!) | Tanit-Isis Sews