There are two ways to handsew hooks and eyes to garments — the easy, rather straightforward way, and what is considered “the couture way.” The primary difference is one looks prettier than the other. And, as you may have already guessed, the pretty one requires a bit more care to sew.
This tutorial focuses on applying hooks and eyes using the couture method, and teaches you how to make thread loops that often stand in place of the corresponding metal eyes. Here we go!
Sew a Hook and Eye
What You Need
1. Prep the Thread
Coat your thread in beeswax, then press with a hot iron to fuse the wax to the thread. (This strengthens the thread and will help prevent it from knotting as you sew.) Thread your needle.
2. Anchor the Thread
Knot the end of a double strand of thread. Determine where the hook should sit and run a tiny double stitch to secure the knotted thread — this anchors the hook in place for a strong hold. Make sure the stitch doesn’t penetrate to the public side of the garment.
3. Secure the Hook
Place the hook over the stitch and with your thumb and forefinger hold the hook tightly in place.
Stitch around the inside of the hook three to four times. This will secure it in place so it rests firmly on the garment and will hold it in place while the remainder of the hook is sewn.
Run the thread under the hook and through the underside of the fabric, then up into the center of the top hole. You don’t want the running thread to show, so work carefully.
4. Stitch the Wire Rings
To stitch around the wire rings of both the hook and the eye, stitch around the top wire ring. When the needle comes through the center, direct it through the thread loop that forms.
Continue stitching the wire rings with a blanket stitch. Make as many stitches as necessary to secure the ring. (For a small hook, 3 or 4 times will work well.) Run the needle under the fabric and into the center of the other ring. Repeat the blanket stitch process.
5. Secure Your Stitches
To lock the stitches in place, draw the needle back up to the top of the hook. Make one more stitch, but finish it by directing the thread through the loop.
6. Add the Eye
Place the eye onto the hook to determine its location. Unhook and tape the eye (making sure to leave the two wire rings free of tape) in place to keep it from moving as you sew. Repeat the same blanket stitch process to secure the eye in place.
And you’re done!
You can also nix the metal eyes and sew thread loops instead for a cleaner, more couture look.
1. Begin by securing a knotted, double strand of thread with a double stitch at the location of the intended thread loop.
2. Make four consecutive stitches, all in the same place and less than ¼” long. This forms the base of the thread loop. Adjust the length to meet the size of your metal hook. These stitches should be snug, but not pulling and not too loose.
3. Starting at the top of the loop, direct the needle (blunt end first) under the stitched thread loop. Then thread the needle through the loop the strand of thread creates. This creates a blanket stitch. Repeat this process until the thread loop is covered.
4. To lock the new loop in place, stitch under the thread loop and create one more blanket stitch.–>
I love doing this using thread loops rather than the metal eyes, unless the garment will get heavy use, in which case I’d stick with the ugly metal eyes. My mother taught me this blanket stitch over 50 years ago. It really does give a garment that couture touch.