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Conversational Threads

Hooks & Eyes and Snaps

artistgirl74 | Posted in General Sewing Info on

Can anyone tell me if there is a secret to perfect placement of snaps/hooks & eyes THE FIRST TIME. I struggle with placement/alignment on my little costumes. Frustrating. Especially when you are working on a fabric which is marred by sewing it on, only to have to take it up, move it over and put it back down. I also have trouble sewing on tiny snaps (I use very small snaps for doll scale costumes) I usually resort to a beading needle or millinery needle because any other type of needle gets jammed in the holes. Also, what is the actual “proper” way or the right way to sew on a snap. I’ve looked at ready made garments I own and they all seem a little neater than mine, but the hooks and eyes on my garments seem about the same as when I sew mine on. Any help with “closure” in this situation would be greatly helpful..hahaha.. ;0)





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Cinema-Fantasy is Limited Edition Historical, Film and Fantasy Costumes for Dolls or Display. Current Creation: La Petite Fille Vampire: The Dressing Room available on eBay Sep 22nd 2007


  1. BernaWeaves | | #1

    Why don't you just skip the bulky snaps and sew the dolls into their costumes.

    Rich women of olden times were often sewn into their dresses, so you could claim it was authentic.  And besides, it looks better.

    Since these these dolls are for display and probably won't have their outfits changed every five minutes like I used to do with my Barbie dolls, this might be the best solution.



    1. artistgirl74 | | #2

      That would be a good idea IF I did sell the dolls which I do not. I sell the fully removable costumes and accessories. I sell handcrafted dress form displays, but sewing them onto the dressform displays would not allow my customers to dress their dolls in the costumes, defeating the purpouse. =0)

      1. BernaWeaves | | #3

        Gotcha!  I understand.

        What about placing the snaps while the doll is dressed.

        I realize this will be a bit fiddly, but it's similar to sewing the doll into the dress, as you can place the snaps exactly where they need to go.

        Use some temporary sticky stuff to place the snaps in place, then remove the dress and sew the snaps in place.


        1. artistgirl74 | | #5

          That bodice in the photo has 6 hooks and eyes running down the back! And what I did was mark the one side with my chalk (the only thing I could use safely on silk taffeta) and then sew on the hook portions all the way down that side.


          Then I turned it inside out as much as I could, and hooked the eyes onto the hooks and positioned it on the opposite side as best I could to match it up. Now, when I turned them right side out, a big gap appeared! I said ??? And after fiddling with a couple, adding another in the mix too (I originally had 5 only) I got it to just meet, or slightly overlap. But like I was telling you, silk taffeta..so when I sew them on, I am in essence marring the fabric. Luckily when I moved them over, it covered it up..but it still made me frustrated! And I am STILL not perfectly pleased with the way it closes. I really like the mention of inside lacing..I do and you know I have this constant struggle with what works on thie scale I am working in (slightly smaller than 1/6 scale here), and what is historically accurate/movie accurate. I can tell by studying the bodice my costume was inspired by that the original closed with black hooks and eyes. So that's what I went with. I stayed away from snaps in the entire costume because it would not have been historically accurate. My 18th century costume, I couldn't even use snaps OR hooks..I made hand sewn eyelets and used all ribbon ties. 80(  I was estatic to learn in the 19th century I could at least use metal eyelets on the corset and use hooks and eyes. YEAY.  So sometimes it's a real struggle for me on what to do because I want to recreate something accurately and historically sound. 


          That all being said--Velcro is out !!;0) That and most of my friends have told me they LOATHE Velcro in a garment because it does add too much bulk (and I have been informed many times that it "cheapens" the garment! LOL. I wish I had a source for that super soft thin Velcro that I see in manufactured Barbie clothing.. sigh.


          Thanks for all your ideas!

  2. Teaf5 | | #4

    Gorgeous!  Can you use velcro rather than snaps or hooks/eyes? Have you tried snap tape, on which the snaps are already sewn in precise alignment? (not sure if they make it that small...)

    If not, here are a couple of possibilities:

    1)Use masking tape on the outside to hold the two halves together, carefully turn the costume inside out, and stitch the hooks & eyes or snaps on while it is still closed.

    2)If the taping method is too tight, try doing a line of just the hooks or just the eyes on one half, hold the two halves together and use chalk or pins to mark the placement of the other part of the closures.  On snaps, I sew on all the male parts (with the bump) first, then chalk the top of each, lay the overlap down on top, and rub till it marks on the underside, where I center the female part of the snap (with the well).

    3)In such tiny garments, you might try an inside lacing instead of hooks/eyes. Use loops on the inside, on both sides of the closure, using a thin cord to draw the two halves together.  The tie could be at the bottom, under the skirt.

    Dealing with tiny snaps, I use tweezers to pick them up and place them and then pin  them and the fabric onto corkboard to hold them steady while stitching. Curved needles help, and a table-stand magnifying glass that you can position above them plus bright sunlight help a lot, too.


  3. User avater
    CostumerVal | | #6

    Hook and eye tape will work in this application.  Sew a row of hooks down the center of a 1/4" grossgrain ribbon at the interval you need.  On a second ribbon sew a row of eyes with the loop hanging off the edge.   On the costume back facing place the eye ribbon on the facing with the metal loop against the CB turning edge, so when the facing is turned and sewn the very edge of the loop is at CB.  Not beyond CB.   The other side of the costume back should overlap the CB line, you probably only use about a 1/4".  Anyway, the hook ribbon is sewn onto the other facing so that the top edge of the hook itself is on the CB line and the 1/4" overlap covers it when it's sewn up and closed.  The reason you sew the hook in the middle of the ribbon is that you need some ribbon left to sew down to the facing on both sides.  On the eye ribbon you can turn the handwheel and hop the metal loops.  If this is thoroughly confusing try taking apart the hook and eye closure on an old bra.  Exact same thing.

    1. flossie | | #7

      What a clever idea! I have often wanted to use hook & eye closures but thought they looked too messy - this is the solution I wanted. Will print it offf and save in my ideas book along with a sample.

    2. artistgirl74 | | #8

      great idea! Thanks~

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