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Hand-Sewn Eyelets for Strength and Beauty

Even if you aren't an historical sewer, hand-sewn eyelets have many applications for modern sewing.

May 01, 2018
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Before the invention of the bone eyelet (early 1800s) and the metal eyelet (around the 1830s), there was the hand-sewn eyelet. Hand-sewn eyelets are ideal because they are sturdy, give a polished finish, and can be created with tools that are likely already in your sewing basket. Such eyelets are traditionally used anywhere one would find lacing, such as on corsets, tie-on sleeves, and breeches. You are not a historical sewer? Hand-sewn eyelets have many applications for modern sewing as well. Use them as a clean finish for drawstring casing openings in purses, pants, and hoodies. Dyed-to-match thread used to make eyelets make them nearly invisible. Alternatively, you can use contrasting color thread to really show off your handwork. Known for her interpretations of 18th-century gowns, Lauren Rossi often models her own creations, as shown.   Unlike eyelets punched in metal, hand-sewn eyelets will never pull out regardless of how tight you lace through them. This is because, rather than cutting a hole in the fabric, you use tools to move the fibers out of the way and the stitching to hold the fibers back. The yarns in the textile are never cut. This makes stitched…

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  1. Lydia S May 25th

    I have done many eyelets for my embroidery work. Yet, I never considered making a hand-made eyelet for clothing or other articles. Thanks for the inspiration.

  2. User avater sam416 May 4th

    GREAT TIP! I have had troubles with metal eyelets and was looking for an alternative. This article made something that sounds very complicated into something so simple! I have been practicing on scrap like you suggested, and the photos make it super easy to follow along! Thank you Lauren! Hope you have more tips to share, sounds like you know what you're doing :)

  3. amandajp May 4th

    Very well written and Super helpful! Thanks for the tip

  4. User avater GmaCma May 4th

    Thanks so much for sharing this! Wish I had known this when I made a costume with a corset last spring. Used metal eyelets as pattern instructed and what a nightmare! They were almost impossible to secure thru several layers. So happy to add this skill.

  5. User avater EmKay96 May 3rd

    This is a fantastic idea for those buttons that cannot be washed! Make the eyelet, insert the shank of the button into the eyelet and hold it in place with the metal or plastic clip!

  6. JanNZ May 3rd

    I h;ave never seen this before! Great article, I'm going to try it on a laced v neck top I plan to make :)

  7. User avater user-5258875 May 3rd

    Thank you for this beautiful, easy embellishment technique. I can hardly wait to try it in my next garment.

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