Basic Construction--Applying Fasteners

You can choose fasteners to close garments securely. They include hooks and eyes, snaps, special nylon tapes, buttons, and zippers. Some fasteners are decorative as well as functional. A combination of fasteners may be used on the same closing of a garment-such as a hook and eye above a zipper or a snap with a button.

The pattern envelope recommends fasteners for your garment. Usually snaps, hooks and eyes, and buttons are attached by hand. Use a double strand of thread. Always secure the stitches with a knot or tiny backstitches.


Hooks and eyes come in many sizes and types.

Small hooks and eyes are used most often at necklines. Large covered hooks and eyes are avail able for jackets and coats. Special heavy-duty hooks and bars are designed for waistbands on pants and skirts.

The hooks are strong and flat so they won't slide out of the bar.

See Ill. 1.

Hooks are typically sold with two kinds of eyes-a round eye for edges that meet and a straight eye for edges that overlap. A thread eye may be used in place of a metal eye to make it less noticeable. Use either a blanket stitch or a chain stitch.

Edges That Meet

A hook with a round eye is the right choice for edges that meet. To attach the hook, follow these steps. See Ill. 2.

1. Position the hook 1/8” (3 mm) from the edge.

2. Stitch around each loop with a buttonhole or overcast stitch. Sew only to the facing fabric.

Heavy-Duty Hook and Bar 1

No stitches should show on the right side of the garment.

3. Slide the needle between the fabric layers to the end of the hook. Take three or four stitches across the end of the hook to hold it flat against the fabric. Secure the threads.

To attach the round eye, follow these steps:

1. Match the garment edges.

2. Position the eye so the loop extends 1/8” (3 mm) beyond the edge. When the hook and eye are each attached, the garment edges should meet exactly.

3. Stitch around each loop with buttonhole or overcast stitches. Sew only to the facing fabric. Secure the threads.

Edges That Overlap

A hook and a straight eye are used for edges that overlap. The hook is placed on the overlap side, following these steps. See Ill. 3.

1. Place the hook on the under side of the overlap at least 1/8” (3 mm) from the edge.

Edges That Overlap 3 Edges That Meet 2

2. Stitch around each loop with buttonhole or overcast stitches. Be sure no stitches show on the garment's right side.

3. Stitch across the end of the hook to hold it flat against the fabric. Secure the threads.

Use a straight eye on the under lap side according to this procedure:

1. Overlap the edges.

2. Mark the position of the eye by placing a pin in the fabric under the bend of the hook.

3. Stitch the eye in place with buttonhole or overcast stitches around each loop. Secure the threads.

Sewing on Snaps 4

== Wiki Sewing ==


A slipstitch is a popular hemming stitch. It's visible on the inside and barely visible on the outside. Tacking facings and cuffs are other examples of when a slipstitch would be used.

1. Anchor the knot in an inside edge.

2. Take a tiny stitch in the body of the garment, picking up just a few threads of the fabric, opposite from where you anchored the knot.

3. Bring the needle back to the inside area (hem or facing), approximately a quarter inch from the stitch in the fabric, and anchor the thread with a stitch. Repeat until you have sewn the desired area.

TIP -- Keeping It Invisible: Use a single thread and pick up as few threads of the outside fabric as possible to keep your stitches invisible on the right side.

<<== Wiki Sewing cont. ==>>


Snaps hold overlapping edges together where there isn't much strain. Sizes vary. Small snaps are used at necklines or cuffs. Heavy gripper snaps are good for children's clothes and sportswear.

Large covered snaps are available for jackets and coats.

Snaps have two sections-a ball and a socket.

The ball half is sewn to the overlap. The socket half is sewn to the under lap. See Ill. 4.

Use this procedure:

1. Center the ball half of the snap over the marking on the underside of the overlap. Be sure it's at least 1/8” (3 mm) from the edge.

2. Sew three or four stitches through each hole, using either an overcast or buttonhole stitch.

Carry the thread under the snap from one hole to the next. Stitch only through the facing, making sure the stitches don't show on the right side of the garment. Secure the threads.

3. Mark the position for the socket half of the snap. Overlap the edges and push a pin through the ball of the snap and into the under lap.

4. Place the socket half over the marking. Hold it in place by inserting a pin through the center hole of the socket and into the fabric.

5. Stitch in place in the same manner as the ball half, except stitch through all layers of the fabric.

= = SEWING TIP = =

Snap location. When sewing on snaps, first stitch the ball half in place. Then rub tailor's chalk on the ball. Overlap the fabric and press the ball against the fabric to mark the position of the socket half of the snap.

= =


Hook-and-loop tape is a special nylon-tape fastener that comes in strips or precut round or square shapes. One side has tiny hooks; the other has a looped pile.

When pressed together, the two sides interlock until pulled apart. See Ill. 5. Hook-and loop tape can be used on overlapping edges.

It is excellent for sportswear, children's clothes, home furnishings, and craft items.

To stitch hook-and-loop tape, follow these steps:

1. Cut the strips to the desired length.

2. Place the loop half on the underside of the overlapping edge.

3. Position the hook half directly underneath on the under lap.

4. Machine-stitch around both tapes.

Hook-and-Loop Tape 5


Buttons and buttonholes can be used on all types of overlapping edges, including collars, cuffs, center fronts and backs, pockets, and waist bands. These strong fasteners are able to with stand much pulling and strain. Besides being functional, buttons and buttonholes can add a decorative accent to a garment.

Buttonholes should always be completed before buttons are sewn in place. Traditionally, buttonholes are made on the right front side of garments for females. For males, they are placed on the left front side.

Buttons come in a wide variety of sizes, shapes, and designs. The pattern envelope lists the button size to use, stated in fractions of an inch. A button's size is the measurement of its diameter.

Buttons should be sewn with a double strand of thread. Heavy-duty thread can be used for extra strength on heavier garments. Machine-Stitched Buttonhole 6

Buttonhole Types

The three types of buttonholes are described below.

• Machine-stitched buttonholes. A zigzag machine stitch makes these buttonholes when the garment is completed. See Ill. 6.

Machine-stitched buttonholes can be used on almost all fabrics.

• Hand-stitched buttonholes. These are made with a buttonhole stitch. They are used primarily on fabrics that are too lightweight or too loosely woven to machine-stitch.

• Bound buttonholes. With strips of fabric for the opening, these buttonholes are made in the garment before the facing is attached. See Ill. 7. Bound buttonholes used to be very popular on tailored garments. Today even expensive ready-to-wear garments feature machine-stitched buttonholes. Some couture designers, how ever, still use bound buttonholes on their garments.

Buttonhole Placement

The location of each buttonhole is indicated on the pattern pieces. If you have adjusted the length of your pattern, changes may be needed.

Re-space the buttonholes evenly between the top and bottom buttonholes on the pattern.

Sometimes a buttonhole may have to be added or omitted.

Buttonholes should extend a little beyond the button placement marking to allow for the shank of the button.

• Horizontal buttonholes.

Begin these 1/8” (3 mm) beyond the button marking toward the fabric edge. See Ill. 8.

• Vertical buttonholes. Begin these 1/8” (3 mm) above the button marking. Vertical buttonholes are often used on shirt bands or for a row of small buttons. See Ill. 9.

Bound Buttonhole 7; Horizontal Buttonholes 8; Vertical Buttonholes 9

If you choose a larger button size than the pat tern recommends, double-check the buttonhole placement. Be sure the buttonholes are sewn far enough from the edge of the garment to prevent buttons from extending beyond the edge when the garment is buttoned.

Buttonhole Length

Adding the following three measurements determines buttonhole length: the diameter of the button; the thickness of the button; and 1/8 " (3 mm) to allow for fabric thickness. The pattern piece has buttonhole markings that match the recommended button size and fabric type. If you choose a different button size, you'll have to adjust the buttonhole length.

Buttonhole Markings

Machine-stitched buttonholes are placed on the right side of the fabric. Be sure to choose a marking method that won't leave a permanent line on the outside of the garment. Several lines should be marked. See Ill. 10.

• Centerlines. Must meet when the garment is fastened.

• Short lines. Indicate the ends of each buttonhole.

• Long lines. Indicate the length of each buttonhole.

Machine-Stitched Buttonholes

Before making any buttonholes on a garment, always do a sample buttonhole on a piece of scrap fabric. Many sewing machines have a built-in buttonhole attachment. Others are operated manually by changing the zigzag-stitch width. Check to be sure the bobbin has plenty of thread.

Rethreading in the middle of a buttonhole is difficult. Follow these steps to complete a buttonhole:

Lines to Mark for Buttonholes 10

1. Mark the location of the buttonhole on the right side of the garment. See Ill. 11.

2. Stitch the buttonhole, following instructions in the sewing machine manual.

3. Place a pin across each end of the buttonhole to prevent cutting through the end stitching. See Ill. 12.

4. Cut the buttonhole opening, using small, sharp scissors. Insert the scissors blade in the center of the buttonhole and cut carefully from the center in both directions.

Button Placement

After the buttonholes have been created, you can sew on the buttons. Mark their placement through the buttonhole openings rather than using the pattern. This ensures that each button will correspond to the actual buttonhole location.

Follow these steps:

1. Overlap fabric edges with the buttonhole on top. Match centerlines or overlap lines.

2. Place a pin through the buttonhole, 1/8” (3 mm) from the end, along the centerline.

3. Slip the buttonhole over the head of each pin and separate the garment sections.

See Ill. 13.Be careful when doing this step.

Placing Foot over Buttonhole Mark 11; Cutting the Opening 12; Marking Button Location 13

Attaching Sew-Through Buttons

Sew-through buttons have holes, or "eyes," in the face of the button. Buttons used only for decoration can be sewn flat against the fabric.

Buttons used with a buttonhole should be attached with a thread shank. The shank allows the buttonhole to fit smoothly between the button and the under fabric. The length of the thread shank is determined by the thickness of the fabric.

To attach this type of button, follow these steps:

1. Using small backstitches, secure a double thread at the button marking.

2. Place a toothpick, heavy pin, or similar object on top of the button.

3. Bring the needle up through one hole, over the toothpick, and down through the second hole. See Ill. 14. Continue to make sever al stitches through the button and fabric. If the but ton has four holes, repeat the stitching at the other pair of holes. End the stitching with the needle and thread under the button.

4. Remove the toothpick and pull the button to the top of the thread loop.

Attaching Sew-Through Button 14

5. Wind the thread tightly around the stitches under the button to form a thread shank. See Ill. 15. Fasten the thread securely in the fabric under the button.

Shank Buttons

These buttons have a metal or plastic loop on the back of the button. Thread is stitched through the shank to attach the button to the fabric, as described below. See Ill. 16.

1. Using backstitches, secure a double thread at the marking.

2. Stitch through the shank and fabric with four or five small, even stitches.

3. Fasten the thread securely in the fabric under the button.

Making a Shank 15

SEWING TIP: Button reinforcement. Sometimes buttons need reinforcement on heavy fabric or in areas of extra strain. Sew a small, flat button to the wrong side of the garment as you stitch the sew-through or shank button in place.

Attaching Shank Button 16

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Wednesday, 2012-04-11 15:12