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Sewing with Silk: Seam Finishes

Video: Threads magazine

In this episode of the Sewing with Silk video series, with instructor Katrina Walker, you’ll learn several seam finishes for silk. These methods eliminate fraying along the edges and protect the investment you’ve made in creating a silk garment.

Pinked finish

This method is simple and adds no bulk: Just trim the seam allowances edges with pinking shears or a pinking rotary blade. Katrina recommends it even for competition garments. If you plan to launder the garment frequently, you may prefer a different finish.

Turn and stitch

Fold the seam allowance edges under by a narrow margin and edgestitch in place. The keeps the allowances from fraying and adds little bulk. Take care when pressing the seams to avoid making an impression of the stitched edge on the garment’s right side.

Hong Kong finish

Cut bias strips of lightweight fabric; silk charmeuse works well. With right sides together, align the strip along one seam allowance edge. Fold all the other layers away and stitch the strip to the allowances, with a 1/4-inch-wide seam allowance.

Wrap the strip around the allowance edge to the wrong side. Extend the allowance away from the seam, and stitch in the ditch to secure the strip’s layers. On the wrong side of the allowance, trim the strip close to the seamline. Press the allowances open and flat.

A Hong Kong seam is easier to sew than a bound seam because there is no need to fold the strip’s second edge under on the wrong side.

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About This Video Series

In this 20-part workshop, textile expert Katrina Walker introduces us to silk fabrics. She covers the gamut from silkworm to crafting beautiful silk garments, so you never need to fear working with this luxury material. Episode topics include sericulture: how silkworms are cultivated, and how the silk filaments are harvested from cocoons. You'll learn about the many categories of woven silk fabrics, including crepes, satins, and jacquards. Katrina also offers advice for matching your fabric…

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