Tie It All Together: 5 Essential Types of Garment Closures

Posted by on May 22, 2014 in Sewing | Comments


When sewing garments with any type of fitted shape, it’s essential to have an opening that you can make bigger to get into and smaller to close around you. This is where the different types of garment closures comes into play. Not only are they an important part of sewing garments, but these notions are also a means of personalizing your sewing for a look that’s all your own.

Let’s take a look at 5 examples of garment closures that help create the perfect fit!

Zippers:

Invisible Zipper along the Side of a Dress

Zippers are probably the most common type of garment closure we use in sewing today. With practice, installing a zipper is easy to do and provides a durable way to secure your clothing. Zippers come in all types of lengths, colors, materials and styles. There are standard zippers, invisible zippers, separating zippers, and zippers made for specific types of garments like jeans and athletic wear. Zippers with patterned tape or scalloped edges are ideal for the exposed zipper look that’s trending lately.

On top of all those options, zippers can also be installed in several different ways for a different look. Lapped zippers happen to be my personal favorite, but invisible zippers and centered zippers look just as nice and function equally as well. 

Need help inserting a zipper into your garment? Then check out the FREE Craftsy class Mastering Zipper Techniques, to learn the tips and tricks you need install a zipper with ease!

Snaps:

Types of Garment Closures: Snaps

If you’re interested in sewing or wearing vintage styles, I bet you’ve seen snaps as a means to close the sides of dresses in lieu of a zipper. With modern sewing, you’re more likely to find snaps on button down shirts, especially in Western wear, as well as on accessories and children’s clothing. 

Buttons:

Big, Happy Yellow Vintage Buttons on a White Blouse

Buttons make a fantastic addition to any garment and add just as much personality as they do functionality. Buttons are meant to be seen and are the easiest way to add a point of interest to your clothing. They come in a massive array of colors, styles, sizes, textures, shapes and materials, which makes it all that much easier to get lost in the button isle of any craft store! I like using buttons for both functional closures and strictly for decoration. 

Ties:

Sewing Pattern Images for a Vintage Wrap Dress

Tie closures can be used alone or with a second type of closure. A wrap skirt might not need a second method to keep the garment secure, but wrap dresses often have a tie at the waist along with a small snap at the bust to help keep the fabric layers together. You’ll find ties on all sorts of garments including dresses, skirts, pullover blouses and poncho style coats, to name a few.

Hooks:

Clinton Sewing Hooks

Photos via Lucky Lucille

Hooks come in various sizes and are accompanied by “eyes” that serve as an anchor for the hook. Small hooks and eyes are found at the tops of dresses and blouses to prevent the fabric gap that can happen at the top of a zipper. They add a little extra security along with the zipper in case the zipper teeth break or the tab gets pulled down. Couture trousers and skirts will often have a larger metal hook and eye system in the waist band tap instead of a button. The hook and eye can be sewn directly to the inside portion of the waist band for a tidy, seamless look from the outside, which is preferred in couture garments.

Often times you’ll find yourself using multiple types of garment closures on any given project, for example: Jeans have both a button and a zipper, so it’s important to familiarize yourself with multiple options.

Once you feel confident with the basic types of closures that we’ve just discussed, try branching out with creative closures for a look that’s even more unique to you! You can check out the Craftsy class Creative Closures: 8 Unique Techniques to discover personalized closures that will set your projects apart.

Well I could talk easily about my button stash all day long. How about you? What’s your favorite type of garment closure?