Hook & Eyes

Hook & Eyes

First things first... a tiny little confession that I'm not the best at keeping up with a blog!  Ok, so you realized that since I haven't posted in almost a year!  The good news is that I'm challenging myself to fix that and look forward to sharing lots of information with you in the coming months!  So now on to our topic at hand...

Hook and eyes - that fantastic little invention that is critical to our bra-making success.  It's essential to keeping your bra on (and, at least in my world, doubles as a security system since the spouse still can't figure out how to use them!).  

They come in a huge variety of styles, so here's a quick overview...

The pre-made, pre-sealed kind.  These are the kind we are used to seeing on RTW bras.  The width can vary, as can the spacing between the hooks/eyes and the number of hook/eye columns.  These usually have three adjustable positions, although I have seen some with two.

pre-made, pre-sealed hook and eyes

I personally never, ever use these.  Why?  They drive me absolutely crazy!  I can feel the sealed edges and it's seriously way worse than a tag in my shirt.  The sealed edges give a nice finish, but the irritation just isn't worth it for me!

So, what do I use instead?  Pre-made Hook and Eye Tape!  This comes basically in a huge roll of hook/eyes all on a tape that you cut apart to use.  Like the pre-sealed variety, the spacing between the hook/eye columns can vary, as can the number of adjustable positions.

hook and eye tape

There are two big advantages to using Hook and Eye Tape.  The first (for me at least) is comfort.  I finish off the edges with a little zig-zag that is super soft and doesn't cause irritation.  I use a satin stitch length zig-zag and take care when I'm sewing to not hit the metal inside.  

sewing eyes

eyes sewn

For the hooks, I use a foot that allows for a zig-zag and is still narrow enough to get by them.

sewing on hooks


sewn hooks

Since not everyone is as sensitive as I am, there is still another reason to use them - you can have as many or as few hook/eye columns as you need.  I only have to keep one basic style on hand for all of my projects!  The back closure on a bra can vary from 2 hook/eye columns wide for smaller sizes up to 4 or 5 columns wide for larger sizes.  With the Hook and Eye Tape I don't have to keep a bunch of different types in my stash.  I just cut what I need for my project.

hook and eye tape different sizes

How about a long-line bra?  This bra uses 11 columns of hooks/eyes for the back closure!

longline bra back

Front closure?  No problem!  The normal little front closure clasps don't offer enough support for most women.  I use the Hook and Eye Tape for my front closure bras so that they still have the full support in the center front.

My bras always have a center front seam for extra support.  To make a front closure, I just don't sew the center front seam.  I finish off the neckline and lower edges with my elastics.

front closure 1

Then sew the hooks/eyes on.  The hooks go on exactly like the back.  

For they eyes, I cut off the end two adjuster positions since you don't need them in the front.

front closure 2  front closure 3

When I sew these on I finish off the edges with a zig-zag all the way around.  

front closure 4

front closure 5

Then I turn the channeling over them so that the center front is still as narrow as possible.

front closure 6

And that's it!!  A beautiful front closure that still offers support!

front closure 7

I also still put the hook and eyes on the back so that I can adjust it as the bra wears or I eat too much pizza!

front closure 8

So, there you have it!  Hook and eyes are a wonderful little invention that gives life to our beautiful bras!

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