Any advice for preventing fraying seams when sewing silk shantung? I recently made a gown and the seam allowances frayed so badly that parts of the skirt seams came undone by the end of the night – should I have interfaced my seams before sewing?
Serge all seams right after cutting. Then once your garment is constructed, do a Hong Kong seam finish.
Thank you - what exactly is a hong kong seam? Is that like a French seam? I don't have a serger so I suppose I should have french seamed the gown...
A Hong Kong seam finish is when you stitch on a bias strip of fabric to the edge and fold the strip over the cut edge of the seam to enclose the fraying edges. This prevents the cut edge of the fabric from fraying all over the place (and can add a decorative feature to your garment, even if it is on the inside of the garment). You would select a thinner, lining sort of fabric for the bias strip, so there's less bulk added to the garment.
You can also zig zag stitch the edges right after cutting. The Hong Kong is the best though. If its fraying at such a fast rate, you might want to zig zag and Hong Kong. Better to be safe than sorry. Right?
I had that problem with a different piece of material when I made a bridesmaid dress. I "treated" the edges with a lot of spray starch and carefully pressed them. I used a strip of cardboard to protect the rest of the material and to make sure I only got the spray starch within the seam allowance. Granted, the garment I made was going to be handwashed and I don't know how it would do for a dryclean only garment. This is what a friend who does a lot of aplique told me that she did to keep her shapes from fraying while she worked with them.
This post is archived.