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Hong Kong Armscye Finish

Threads #181, October/November 2015

With this technique, excerpted from Threads #181 (October/November 2015), you can sew seam finishes for armscyes that are as attractive as they are durable. For additional armscye finishes and other great articles, you can get your copy of Threads no. 181 now, or download it to your mobile devices.

A Hong Kong finish binds seam allowances with bias strips. Both armscye seam allowances are enclosed in the same bias strip to reduce bulk. This is an ideal seam finish for heavy or thick fabrics in an unlined garment. Choose lightweight cotton or silk for bindings. The process assumes a 5⁄8-inch-wide seam allowance; if the pattern’s seam allowances are different, adjust measurements accordingly.

1. Prepare the garment front, back, and sleeve cap as the pattern directs. Sew the sleeve into the armscye, right sides together. Trim the seam allowances below the notches to 3⁄8 inch.

2. Cut the binding fabric into 1-3⁄4-inch-wide bias strips. Place a bias strip along the bodice armscye seam allowance, both wrong sides up. Pin through the strip and seam allowances. Sew through all layers using a 1⁄4-inch-wide seam allowance.

hong kong finish

3. Wrap the strip around the seam allowances. Pin the strip along the previous stitching line. Do not turn under the strip’s raw edge. Sew through all layers along the previous stitching line. Trim the strip’s excess fabric to 1⁄8 inch from the stitching line. Press the armscye seam away from the bodice.

hong kong finish

Happy seam finishing!


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  1. Hope9x | | #1

    Why are we not turning under the strip's raw edge? Is that to reduce bulk?

  2. User avater
    rosalamb | | #2

    Hope, because that is what a Hongkong finish is. Otherwise it would just be a bound edge.

  3. SHILOU | | #3

    I like this technique for.my unlined jackets here in Florida because it makes the inside look more finished . Often I use the same trim around the neck facing or down the front facing to tie THE LOOK together .
    I buy men's ties ( usually silk ) at thrift shops , open them up , launder and press the fabric , and roll them up so I have I have a nice assortment of BIAS FABRIC when I need it for trim ; just cut the width needed.
    I love this web-site !

  4. User avater
    Quincyblake | | #4

    I like it

  5. User avater
    ErinGoodwin | | #5

    Oh, so elegant. This will be a great detail finish for a simple cardigan or a jacket. Just a little something to spruce the look.

  6. User avater
    ScotBest | | #6

    Oh wow!!!!!!! Its really prity.

  7. User avater
    JessicaMills | | #7

    I think this is gorgeous. It can add a lot to otherwise boring piece of clothing.

  8. IrmaMullins | | #8


  9. blackpanda665 | | #9

    This is amazing. I don't think I would be able to do it, as I am just starting but the sleeves look so elegant. Just a tiny touch that makes all of a difference!

  10. smallwolf780 | | #10

    It would add so much more to the boring jacket. I have 3 or 4 plain black ones that could use a makeover.

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