- New Demos

- Classes & Schedule

Getting Started
- Basic Sewing Tech
- Fun With Bias

Body Measurement
- What & Where to Measure

Pattern Development
- Basic Pattern Drafting
- Basic Pattern Development
- The Toile & Mock-Up
- Basic Rectangular Patterns

Sewing Tech
- Gores, Gussets, and Inserts
- Facings
- Cartridge Pleating
- Basic Handsewing Techniques
- Hand Bound Eyelet Holes
- Machine Seams

Trims & Embellishment
- 5 Cross Cultural Embroidery Stitches
- Appliqué Techniques
- Passemaine (hand made trims)
- Trims requiring very little equipment
- Complicated Trims
- Cardweaving
- Buttons
- Making Felt

Western European
- Underwear
- Shirts
- Farthingales
- Corsets
- Stockings
- Collars and Cuffs
- Partlets
- Gloves
- Hats
- Shoes

Eastern European:

- Shirts
- Pants
- Coats
- Shoes
- Boots
- Hats
- Jewelry

Ancillary Arts
- Fans
- Pouch Hinges, Part 1
- Pouch Hinges, Part 2

Demonstrations>Sewing Tech>Eyelet Holes

Why bother?

Why not just use metal grommets? After all, they are easier and faster...

For historical accuracty and durability, hand bound eyelet holes win hands down. When you do eyelet holes by hand, with a tailors awl, you are basically moving the fibers of the fabric aside with very little fiber breakage. The hand binding with thread can be supplemented with a metal jump ring and once this is all done, the eyelet hole becomes an integral part of the garment and virtually indestructible.

Contrast this with metal grommets in which you have to first punch a hole in the fabric, which means cutting many fibers. Then you insert the two sides of the grommet and hammer them down. You can hand bind the grommets at this point but you have created a hole in your garment that will pull out eventually.

In order to make eyelet holes, you will need a tailors awl. These can be found at most Jo-Ann's Fabric stores. The difference between a tailors awl and an embroidery eyelet awl is that the tailors awl is tapered evenly from a fairly large circumference to the point. The embroidery eyelet awls do not taper so that all embroidered eyelets can be the same size.

Insert the tip of the awl in the fabric and force it through until the hole is fairly large. Be gentle here as you can damage the fabric a little if you are too aggressive. In general, try to make a hole in all the layers of fabric, breaking as few threads as possible. The overall integrity of your finished eyelet depends on the fabric being left fairly intact.

After you have made the hole, remove the awl and sew a line of running stitches around the hole, fairly close to the edge of the whole. This further strengthens your eyelet and gives your binding stitches something to follow. You may have to reinsert the awl to keep the whole from closing after you've placed your running stitches.

After the running stitches are in place, you can then bind the hole by inserting the threaded needle through the hole and then inserting it through the layers of fabric, following the line of running stitches, until, eventually, you have completely bound the edge of the hole.

The spacing of eyelet holes should be no more than an inch or so apart.. If you want to be extremely period, offset the eyelet holes from one side to the other and "spiral" lace your corset. After all the binding stitches have been sewn on it may again be necessary to reinsert the tailors awl to make the hole larger as the binding stitches have a tendency to fill the hole and to allow the fabric to close a bit. If you are planning on using metal jump rings to reinforce your eyelet holes, you would use the binding stitch to bind the ring to the hole, which in turn would completely cover the ring.


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