The following is an excerpt from Thimbles and Acorns “18th Century Hoodie” pattern and it gives the basic instructions for embedding hook and eye tape in a seam line. This method of applying hook and eye tape works great for closures that meet in the middle, is inconspicuous, and has a neat finish. To convert an existing pattern, extend the seam allowance 5/8-inch from the center line of the garment and lining. Using a pencil, mark the center lines on the wrong side of the fabric on each side of the garment. Then, mark placement lines for each hook and eye along the center lines using the hook and eye tape as a guide. Make sure the placement lines are aligned on both sides. The hooks and eyes should be a minimum of ½-inch from the top or bottom edge so that the metal bases don’t get caught in the seam allowance.
Step 1: With the right sides together, pin the jacket lining to the jacket along the front opening. Sew each side, using a 5/8 inch seam allowance. Back stitch two or three stitches before and after each set of hook and eye placement markings to reinforce. Then, cut through one of the stitches in between each set of hook and eye placement markings to open the space. (see image 1)
Step 2: Open up the front seam allowance on the proper left side. Cut a section of hook and eye tape with the necessary number of hooks and eyes. Working from the wrong side of the jacket, Insert an eye into each opening on the seam line. Secure the eyes in place using the hook side of the tape on the right side of the jacket. (see image 2a and 2b)
Step 3: Enclose the eye side of the tape in the seam allowance and pin in place. Stitch ¼-inch from the raw edge to secure the tape. If necessary, adjust the seam allowance to suit the tape. The idea is to sew the tape to the seam allowance as close to the hooks as possible. (see image 3)
Step 4: Remove the hook tape from eyes. Open up the front seam allowance on the proper right side. Working from the wrong side of the jacket, Insert a hook into each opening on the seam line so that the hooks are turned toward the lining.
Step 5: Enclose the hook side of the tape in the seam allowance and pin in place. Because the hooks may obstruct a standard presser foot, it may be necessary to use a zipper foot for this step. Stitch 1/4-inch from the raw edge to secure the tape. If necessary, adjust the seam allowance to suit the tape. The idea is to sew the tape to the seam allowance as close to the hooks as possible. (see image 5)
Step 6: Finish the top and bottom edges of your garment as your pattern directs, paying special attention to the seam near the hook. Carefully smooth out the seam allowance while sewing to avoid puckering.
Using this method, hook and eye tape is quickly becoming one of my favorite fasteners to use. I am currently working on a method to embed hook and eye tape so that the opening overlaps, and will share that tutorial in a future newsletter and possibly a video as well… now wouldn’t that be cool?