Hooks and Eyes: A better way

I have been super busy as of late and so it’s been a long while since I’ve posted.  I am working on a much longer patterning and construction post, but in the meantime, I thought I could do a quickie post.  Something that I have seen a lot of lately is the application of hooks and eyes on the outside of the lining fabric.  I did it myself that way for a long time, but there is a cleaner way to do it…and it is period.

Here is a picture of the way I used to apply hooks and eyes.  As wp-1461291526697.jpgyou can see, I threw them on after I had already applied the lining.  While this is a perfectly acceptable and functional option, one day I happened across a picture in Patterns of Fashion (Janet Arnold, PoF 1, ill. 368 and 369, pg. 51) that shows a much cleaner way of integrating the closures into the garment.  I had recognized the technique as one that is used in modern couture clothing construction, so I got really excited when I realized that it went back as far as at least the PoF garment.  Since then, I’ve used this method on my own garb.  Following are the steps I use to recreate the look.

Step one:

wp-1461290854911.jpgThe  hooks and eyes are sewn onto the garment after the interfacing and reinforcement have been applied up to the center front.  These closures go in as the last step before the lining is applied, so make sure all the other edges have been finished.  They will be applied to the seam allowance before it is folded over and stitched down.  I am using modern purchased hooks and eyes here.  Place the hooks and eyes facing the Center Front fold (on the picture it is marked with the white stitching) and stitch them down.  The hooks are stitched through the two bottom loops and at the top of the hook.  The eyes are also stitched through the bottom two looks, as well as at top sides of the large loop.

Step Two:

Fold over the seam allowance at the center front and stitch the edge wp-1461290814195.jpgto the interfacing  using a catchstitch, fell stitch or whipstitch.  Since this is outerwear, the front closure isn’t going to be under much strain, so I decided to use a catchstitch.  If this is for a self supporting dress, or will be under pressure, a whipstitch or even a running stitch or prickstitch would be more appropriate.

Step Three:

Nwp-1461290825063.jpgow you will apply your lining.  Fold over the edge and slip it under the hook and stitch it down.  I prefer to use a fell stitch when putting in my linings.  I really like the way it looks and it is documentable as a period imag1014.jpgmethod .  Repeat with the eyes by placing the fold of the lining over the bottom loops of the eyes.  But, don’t go over the loop or you won’t be able to close it.

And that’s it.  It makes for a very clean and lovely finish that you can show off to all your friends.  I hope to see more people using this method.

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