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Choose the right fastener to ensure professional-looking results on any garment, accessory or home-decor project.

When it comes to finishing a garment or decorative project choosing the right fastener can make the difference between a professional or obviously handmade look. With the array of fasteners on the market, choosing the right one and knowing how to apply it is a snap.


These sturdy closures are often used on children's clothing, men's shirts and at cuff openings. There are three basic types of snaps: sew-on, covered and no-sew.

SEW-ON SNAPS have two basic components: a ball insertion piece (male) and a socket, or receiving, piece (female).

COVERED SNAPS are just that, sew-on snaps that have been covered with fabric to coordinate with a project. They come pre-covered in neutral colors, or you can cover them as you would a button.

To cover a snap, cut a fabric circle three to four times larger than the snap's diameter. Using an awl or a thick needle, punch a small hole in the fabric circle's center.

Make small running stitches around the fabric edge. Place the snap on the fabric wrong side, aligning the center hole with the snap's ball or socket. Pull the thread ends to gather the raw edges, encasing the snap.

Make several stitches through the gathered fabric as close to the snap as possible. Secure the thread end, and trim the excess fabric.

Repeat with the opposite snap component (1).

To attach covered and sew-on snaps, carefully measure each snap's placement, marking the placements with an air- or water-soluble marker.

Secure the socket snap pieces to the underlap on any closure and the ball pieces on the underside of the closure's overlap.

Push a pin into the fabric at the mark and then through the snap piece (2). Align the snap piece against the fabric; remove the pin. Using coordinating thread, take a few hand stitches through each opening around the snap edge to secure it.

Repeat the procedure until each snap component is secured. On the overlap, catch only the lower fabric layer to prevent the stitching from showing on the garment right side.

NO-SEW SNAPS have four components; the ball and socket pieces and two additional rings with prongs that hold both the ball and socket pieces in place (3).

To insert a no-sew snap, finish the area where the snap will be inserted. The snap needs to be inserted through at least two fabric layers or one layer of interfaced fabric for stability.

On the fabric overlap wrong side, use a fabric marking pen to measure and mark each snap's placement.

Place a prong piece point side up on a padded surface. Push a pin from the fabric wrong side to the right side at the mark. Align the pin with the prong ring center.

Push the fabric firmly onto the prongs until the fabric touches the ring base, and remove the pin (4).

Place the socket piece raised center side over the prongs. Center a thread spool over the socket and tap it with a hammer or rubber mallet until the prongs are secure (5).

On the fabric underlap right side, precisely measure and mark where the receiving snap portions will be inserted. Push a pin to the wrong side at the mark.

Align the prong piece with the pin and push the prongs through from the wrong side to the right side. Center the receiving piece over the prongs and use the same spool and hammer method to secure the prongs. Repeat until all the snaps are inserted.

If sewing or inserting snaps is too daunting or time-consuming for your taste, try using snap tape instead.

SNAP TAPE is a 3/4-wide cotton band that has pre-inserted snaps, commonly placed 11/2" apart. Stitch along the tape lengthwise edges to secure it to the fabric. For added security, stitch across the tape width on either side of each snap (6). tip Use sew-on nylon snaps or nylon snap tape if adding a closure on an infant or young child's garment. Metal snaps can scratch, and some children are sensitive to metals.


Hooks and eyes can be used to close an entire shirt front, but are most commonly found on a waistband or at the upper edge of a zipper closure (7). The hooks and eyes can be covered or plain metal. The eyes can be either straight or looped, and the hook can be either narrow and small, or wide and flat (also known as skirt hooks),

When attaching hooks and eyes to a waistband, the hook portion will be stitched to the underside of the overlap, with the eye stitched to the right side of the waistband underlap (8). Align the eye where the hook curve falls.

When using hooks and eyes to secure a shirt opening, a centered application is more common so the fabric edges abut when the hooks and eyes are fastened (9).

With a fabric-marking pen, mark where each hook will be applied. Place the hook tip even with the opening edge.

Holding the hook securely against the fabric, take several stitches through each hole. Pass the needle between the fabric layers and out near the hook tip. Take a few stitches directly under the hook tip to secure it to the fabric.

Place the curve of a curved eye along the fabric edge. Make a few stitches through each hole, passing the needle under the fabric layer to the opposite hole to conceal the extra thread. Secure the thread by passing it through the stitching a few times and trimming close to the stitches.

For faster hook-and-eye application, use hook-and-eye tape. It functions the same way as snap tape, only with a centered opening instead of lapped. For stability, stitch around each hook and loop as shown (10).

Stitch the tape to the fold-under-layer or facing to prevent the stitching from showing on the garment right side. Topstitch on the project right side to secure.


Hook-and-loop tape can be used for almost any closure imaginable. It can also be substituted for snaps, buttons and hooks and eyes. This versatile fastener has a soft-looped receiving side and a bristly-hook fastening side. It comes in various colors and widths, and is sold by the inch, shorter strips, squares, or dots.

Although hook-and-loop tape can be either sew-in or self-adhesive, sew-in is recommended as it provides greater stability and won't peel away from fabric with wear.

To attach hook-and-loop tape, finish the seam or edges where the hook-and-loop tape will be used.

On the underlap, measure 1/4' from the upper edge to 1/4" from the lower edge. Cut a length of hook-and-loop tape that measurement.

On the underlap right side, align the looped portion 1/4" from the upper edge and 1/4" in from the long opening edge; pin in place.

Match the bobbin thread to the garment fabric. With the hook-and-loop tape side up, secure by edges-titching all four sides (11).

Repeat this method to apply the hook side to the overlap wrong side. Secure the hook-and-loop tape to close.

To attach hook-and-loop squares or dots, carefully measure and mark the placement of both the hook and loop portions. Center the square or dot on the mark (the loop piece on the underlap right side, the hook piece on the underside of the overlap).

tip Hook-and-loop tape is stiff and won't drape well if used in long pieces on garments. Consider using hook-and-loop squares or dots instead. Also, consider alternative closures on napped fabric as the hook portion can snag the fabric.
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Title Annotation:BASIC SKILLS; sewing tips
Publication:Sew News
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 31, 2019
Previous Article:Adrianna Appl of hey JUNE HANDMADE.

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