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Hong Kong Lining Technique

The Hong Kong lining technique was applied to this colorful printed jacket, which features a complementary blue cotton broadcloth lining.

The Hong Kong lining technique is not new but, in my opinion, is not used often enough. Also known as flat-lining a garment, the Hong Kong lining technique combines a garment’s lining with the outer fabric, and the two layers are then handled as one. The special feature of this method is that the lining serves as a seam finish for the vertical seams, as well as backing the fashion fabric. The key is to increase the size of the lining so you have adequate width to wrap it around the seam allowances.

This technique is ideal for soft or semi-structured jackets; it’s a speedy way to get a sturdy, good-looking, and durable finish without all the steps of traditional tailoring. But you can also try it on blouses, dresses, skirts, and pants. The result is a beautifully constructed garment that is more easily adjusted when/if needed. It is a successful marriage of fashion and function.

Fabric choice and optimal seam allowances

To make a traditional Hong Kong seam finish, you use bias strips of fabric that is lighter in weight than the garment fabric. This keeps the seam finish from being too heavy and bulky and allows it to be more easily sewn on. Choose the same kinds of fabrics for a Hong Kong lining. To make a Hong Kong-lined garment, add an additional 5/8-inch-wide seam allowance to the lining along all the vertical seams you wish to finish this way.

Suggested lining fabrics

• Silk or polyester crepe de Chine

• Silk or polyester charmeuse

• Washed silk dupioni (dupioni is softer and more supple after washing)

• Silk or polyester organza

• Cotton broadcloth or voile

• Bemberg rayon

• China silk

• Quilting cottons

These can be solid or printed fabrics

Hong Kong lining technique how-to

1. After cutting the garment…

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  1. [email protected] | | #1

    I like this finish but I’m confused about the vertical seam math. If you cut the lining long seams 5/8” wider, and then wrap them with a 1/4” seam, that seems to leave only 3/8” for the actual vertical seams. But these finished seams look like 5/8”. What am I missing?

  2. user-7420670 | | #2

    Ohh , think I now I need more instruction. I’ll watch the cimments

  3. User avater
    beckyf | | #3

    oh this is good! I have to find a project right away to use it! Thanks.

  4. User avater
    pamhoward | | #4

    Hi, I’m sorry for any confusion! When you increase the lining by 5/8 inch, the extra fabric added at the vertical seams allows you to finish the fashion fabric seam edges only. If you notice in the steps for finishing the seams, no amount of the outer fabric has been cut away. You will still have the entire 5/8-inch seam allowance available to sew your garment together. The 3/8 inch of fashion fabric that you see added to the 1/4 inch of lining that you see will equal the entire 5/8-inch seam allowance. I hope this helps :-)
    Thanks so much for your great question!

  5. user_7767444 | | #5

    How do you deal with seams that need clipping in order to ease a curve?

  6. sew523 | | #6

    How do you handle the sleeve lining and the shoulder seams? In the grey jacket example with the lovely rust grid patterned lining, it looks like you added a royal blue sleeve lining--not just a hong kong edge to those shoulder seams. Did you use a different technique to sew the lining into the sleeves?

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