We've made it to the finish of our seam finishes! In this final installment of the series, we venture into the world of the Hong Kong Finish and the Bound Seam finish. If you're not a 'finishing aficionado' (don't feel bad... few people claim that title), you may have been under the impression these techniques are one in the same. Both involve wrapping the raw edges of a seam allowance with a bias cut strip of lightweight fabric. When finished, they can look almost the same. However, the two options differ slightly, and today's tutorial will show you how.
We are not yet finished with our series of finishes! If you've been following along, you know we are working through the ways to make the inside of your projects look as great as the outside. Today, we're moving into a couple more unique options: the mock (or false) French seam and the French wrapped seam. The mock French seam uses a standard straight stitch, the French wrapped seam the straight stitch in combination with a zig zag stitch. These are basic stitches you'll find on any sewing machine, which means there’s no reason not to incorporate them into your seam finishes toolbox.
A number of years ago, we had a French intern working with us... the daughter of a friend of a friend - you know how those things go. She was a sweet girl with a lovely accent, and we had fun asking her for the translation of things we tag as "French": a French braid to her was an Indian braid; French cut was Brazilian cut; French fries were American! We didn't get into all the amazing sewing techniques influenced by fine French (or heirloom) sewing. There's the French cuff, French dart, French knot, French curve, French binding and today's topic: the French seam. Ready to give it a try? Wearing a beret is optional.
In sewing, there's a difference between stitches you use for construction and ones you use for finishing. When you’re first learning to sew, your immediate focus is getting all those pieces to fit together correctly. From the moment you cut the fabric, you’re concerned with maintaining the shape of the pattern pieces. You tediously concentrate on perfecting seam allowances, matching cut pieces end to end, lining up seams, and measuring hems exactly. When a project is finally completed, you’re so happy; your sense of accomplishment is overwhelming... but, what about the inside edges beyond where you sewed? One of the signs of a truly well-made project is that it looks nearly as good on the inside as it does on the outside. If you want your projects to look "handmade" but not "homemade," it's well worth it to give your seams a professional finish.