‘SNAP’. There is such a lovely resonance to this word and so many happy memories of childhood games, matching things up and feeling good because you fit in and can say SNAP. The same feel-good connections come with learning how to sew on snaps as they are a simple way to finish a garment and avoid stressful buttonhole issues.
Sew on snaps are ideal for closing a blouse or an opening that is narrow or just needs some extra closure. A blouse that gapes a bit is a very good option for a simple snap.
Types of Sew on Snaps
Sew on snaps (sometimes called press studs) come in different sizes and colors and also metallic, plastic and clear varieties. The bigger snaps are used for heavier materials and the smaller snaps look more discrete on lightweight fabrics such as silk.
Parts of a Snap
All snaps come with two parts that ‘snap’ together. One side of the snap is called the ball and has a little-rounded knob sticking up. The other side is the socket and the ball fits into the socket. Snap! When they fit together they connect and join up to fasten your garment.
The ball side of the snap is sewn on the overlap side (inside of the top flap) of the fabric and then matched up with the socket on the underside of the garment.
How to Sew on Snaps
Step 1: Separate the halves of the snap and grab the ball side first. Mark the position of your ball snap on the underside of the top flap.
Step 2: Start your stitching with a knot or double backstitch that will lie under the snap. If you have a double layer of fabric then just go through the top layer for an invisible finish.
Step 2: Thread your needle through one of the holes at the edge of the snap. Then work through each hole with 2-3 of stitches to secure. Once again make sure you do not have stitches showing on the right side of the garment. You can stitch with a normal overstitch or you can be fancy and use a buttonhole stitch.
Step 3: When you have done your first few stitches, move to the next hole by pushing the needle across through the top layer of fabric. In general, there are four holes around the edge of the snap. Some brands may have more or fewer holes. Knot off with a stitch concealed under the snap.
Now repeat for the socket side of the snap. The socket side will be sewn on the top of the underside of the flap.
How to Line Up A Snap
You can mark and measure with a pin but a sure way of getting the ball of the snap to connect with the socket is to sew the ball side in place first, then rub tailors chalk on the tip of the ball and press it over to the place where it will meet the socket. The chalk that rubs off will mark the exact spot for the sewing of the other half. Then SNAP, you will have a perfect match.
You can also consider snap tape if you want to line up several snaps in a row. Snap tape has the ball snaps on one side of the tape and the socket snaps in a row on the other. The tape can be sewn in with all the snaps ready to connect. Just sew along the edges of the tape with a zipper foot.
Now sit back and review your workmanship without any snips or snags – just perfect snaps!