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! In this hook and eye sewing tutorial, you will learn how to attach these timeless closures.
Hooks and eyes have not gone out of date. They 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.
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.
Hook and Eye Sewing:
Step 1: 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: 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.
Step 3: 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: 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 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: 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: Now you are ready to place the eye in position. Sew it using the same method as the hook.
Self- made loop option:
There is also the option of making your own loop in place of the eye using a thread to match the garment. 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 closures are a timeless substitute for buttonholes and buttons.
One hook, two or many more, the hook and eye is a winner for sure.