Monday, October 17, 2016

Tutorial: Sew a Hook and Eye on a Garment

Over the weekend I refashioned a dress into a skirt for my daughter-in-law, Jenny. She loved everything about the dress except the feel of the bodice. You can read about that alteration here. While sewing on the hook and eye, which keeps the skirt from putting pressure on the zipper, I decided to write down the steps. It's actually quite easy to hand sew this tiny notion onto a garment, so if you find that one of the pieces is loose, get a needle and thread and stitch it back on before it's lost forever. 

Hook and eye parts are easy to find in the sewing section of any major store. They used to come sewn onto cards (like buttons) but now come in these handy little plastic container. You can usually find them in a silver or chrome-like color and black.

Step 1
1. The first step is choosing your pieces. Pick the color that best coordinates with your garment and take out a hook and an eye. Thread two 18" lengths of coordinating thread onto one needle. (see photo Step 1)

Step 2
2. Tie all four ends into one knot and cut off the excess thread below the knot. Now as you sew, you will be sewing four threads in each stitch. This means fewer stitches, which will be heaven-sent later.

Step 3 (right side of garment)

3. Look at the zipper from the right side (or outside) of the garment. The hook goes on the left side and the eye will go on the right. Mark the left side with the needle and turn the garment so that you can work from the inside.

Step 4 (inside of garment)

4. Now you are ready to begin sewing. Slip the needle into the garment about 1/2" from the edge. (In photo 4 the needle is pointing to the spot.) Pull the thread through and pop the knot into the waistband. 

Step 5

5. Using the little circles at the bottom of the hook, slide the hook onto the needle so that the opening is facing the inside of the garment. Take a second stitch close to where the hook will be and run the needle up through the circle again.
Step 6

6. Pull the thread tight. Take two more stitches very close to the first one, always starting in the fabric outside of the circle and sticking the needle through the circle. This will secure half of the hook.

Step 7
7. To move to the opposite circle, take two stitches in the space between the circles. It's easiest to make these stitches if the hook can move and you break the stitch into tiny steps: needle goes through circle, needle goes into and out of fabric, pull taut. Do the same with the second stitch.

Step 8
 8. Sew the second circle down by making three stitches. Knot your thread by running the needle through the loop in the thread before pulling it taut. Finally bury the thread ends by slipping the needle into the fabric and out about 1/2 inch away and cut.

Step 9
 9. Now you're ready to sew the loop part on the opposite side of the waistband. Make a knot at the end of the thread and pop it into the fabric just as in #4. Try to line up the eye directly across from the hook. 

Step 10

10. Sew three stitches in the circle part of the eye, then jump to the other circle making two stitches in the center (see step 7)

Step 11

11. Allow the eye to wiggle some as you sew and break down the stitch into tiny parts (see step 7). Make a knot and bury your thread (see steps 7 and 8).
Step 12

12. All finished. This photo is from the inside of the skirt, showing the hook and eye closed. 

Step 13

13. The finished garment shown from the outside of the skirt. Notice that the hand stitches do not show and the zipper almost reaches to the end. The hook and eye will take stress off the zipper end so that it doesn't slide open or break.

Did you find this tutorial helpful? How can I improve it?

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