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!

  • Wanda Pitts Brown says...

    I am very excited to read about the hook and eye tape. I have made several bras but since I am over 6 feet tall, the three hooks don’t give enough support. I was wondering how I can make lovely bras with 4 or even 5 hooks. This solves the problem. Wanda

    On May 08, 2017

  • Victoria says...

    The closure is one of my pet peeve/soap box platforms. This perfectly addresses my issues. Thank you.

    On May 08, 2017

  • Monica says...

    Lissa,

    The longline was a bra for a client, but she is fairly dexterous and manages to hook it on her own. It is fairly snug – designed to work in conjunction with a back brace – so I think it would be impossible to hook and spin.

    On May 03, 2017

  • LA says...

    Thank you so much for this post! I also find that the pre-finished hooks and eyes drive me insane – there is always a “scratchy spot” that hits my vertebrae and causes a sore on my back. Yes, they look “pretty”, but who sees them but me… and I care more about my bra NOT driving me insane or causing sores on my skin!

    On Apr 27, 2017

  • Theresa Pegoni says...

    I’ve been considering a front closure bra. Now I need to make that my next do. It never occurred to me to keep the back closure as well for adjustment purposes! Thanks for the great tip.

    On Apr 27, 2017

  • Sara Davis says...

    So awesome and timely!! I was just wondering how the tape worked!

    On Apr 26, 2017

  • Lissa Gay says...

    Great idea for front closure – thanks for the inspiration! On that 11-hook longline bra, ummm, how do you hook it up? Hook it in the front then twirl it to the back, or develop the dexterity to reach to the back and do them up? I feel sorta silly asking that…

    On Apr 26, 2017

  • Kim Procknow says...

    So glad to you’re back to the blog. I’m inspired to try a front closure bra.

    On Apr 26, 2017

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