In this hook and eye sewing tutorial, you will learn how to attach these timeless closures. The humble hook and eye is the ideal method, tried and trusted over the years, to close the gap on a variety of garments. Hooks and eyes have been around for several centuries. Just take a look at Victorian fashion and work out how those corsets and bustles were fixed in place. Hooks and eyes were there to do the job and the fashions of that time used many of them!
Hook and Eye Sewing Tutorial
Hooks and eyes are easily available in sewing shops and supermarkets. They come in different sizes and colors and meet the demands of closures on waistbands with zippers, dresses and undergarments, trousers, and tops.
Here are what they look like. They are usually metal and come in silver, black or white. Colored ones are unusual to find. For most clothing, you will use smaller sizes.
Hook and Eye Sewing Tutorial
Step 1 - Match the Size
Find the right hook and eye sewing set and choose according to the strength and size required. There are two basic styles. You can choose a wire one or a metal one. I have seen clear plastic ones as well but wouldn't think they would be as durable.
Step 2 - Thread the Needle
Prepare your thread. A double thread is needed to sew firmly and in some instances, you could wax the thread to prevent tangles and give it a stronger hold.
Further Reading: How to thread a needle
Step 3 - Marking
Mark the position of the hook and eye. At this point, it is a good idea to decide how the opening is going to finish. Will it need to close the opening at the edges or overlap?
Step 4 - Hook and Eye Sewing
Make a double stitch to secure your thread and hold the hook over the stitch.
TIP: If you are sewing small hook and eyes that are moving around as you sew, temporarily secure it in place with a bit of stitcky tape.
Step 5 - Stitch the Hook
Stitch firmly on the inside of the hook near the curved hook part. Stitch around the hole with either blanket stitch or straight stitch depending on the standard of finish you are aiming for. Blanket stitch does look nicer but takes longer.
Step 6 - Next Hole
When you have secured the top part of the hook run your thread to the back and bring the needle out at the next hole. Knot off at the back when you are finished and remove the sticky tape.
Step 7 - Sew the Eye
Now you are ready to place the eye in position. Sew it using the same method as the hook.
Self- made loop option for Hook and Eye Sewing
If you want to make a statement in the finish of your garment then a bit of extra work and a few blanket stitches will go a long way to making the hand-sewn hook and eye look very chic. If you don’t have time for the couture touch, sewing a few straight stitches in the right place will do the trick and only take you a few minutes.
This is a good option if you want something really soft and neat rather than the eye part which is made of metal.
- Step 1: Secure your knotted thread in the place where the metal eye would have been positioned.
- Step 2: Make about four loops of thread all the same size and in the same place. They should be less than ¼ inch (6mm) long.
- Step 3: Use this bar of thread as the base to then sew blanket stitch along the loop.
Hook and Eye Sewing Alternatives
Which alternatives you have to use depends on whether the closure overlaps or not. For overlapping closures, you can use snaps, buttons and even velcro.
If the fabric does not overlap then the only real alternative to sewing hook and eyes is to use a zipper. You will still need some seam allowances to insert it through.
Hook and Eye Sewing - In Conclusion
Hook and eye closures are a timeless substitute for buttonholes and buttons. They are still used frequently at the top of dresses, blouses, skirts and pants as well as corsets.
One hook, two or many more, the sewing hook and eye is a winner for sure.