WHAT IS IT?
This is a two-part closure consisting of a hook on one side and either an eye or a bar on the other. These are usually made of metal, although thread bars and thread eyes can be used in place of the metal eyes or bars. In ready-to-wear garments, hook and bars are applied by machine before the waistband is constructed, but in home sewing, they are sewn on by hand. I prefer the handsewn type because they are easy to replace if they come apart; the factory-applied hooks and bars leave a hole and can’t be reattached once the waistband is sewn.
WHEN DO YOU USE IT?
Hook-and-eye closures are used as a fastening where edges meet, for example, at the top of a zippered opening or at the top of a neckline. You’ll also see hook-and-eye closures used as extra support, say at the waistline or where the opening is likely to gap, such as in between buttons.
Hook-and-bar closures are used in places where the edges overlap. Hook-and-bar closures are strong and can be used on waistbands of skirts and trousers in place of a button. The advantage of using a hook-and-bar closure, instead of a button, is that the closure is completely hidden for a clean look.
Tips + Notes
- Cover metal hooks and eyes with thread so they blend in. Use blanket stitches (page link) to cover each piece with thread before sewing them to the garment.
- Place a hook and thread eye (page link) at the waistline of your dresses to reduce the stress on the zipper.
- Does your zipper not reach the top of the opening, leaving a gap? Add a hook-and-eye closure to the top of the opening to bring those edges together.
- Hate sewing hooks and eyes? If you extend your zipper to reach the top of the opening, a hook and eye isn’t necessary.
- For wider waistbands, sew two hooks and bars to the opening for a stronger closure.
HOW TO SEW A HOOK-AND-EYE CLOSURE
Thread a handsewing needle with single thread. With the hook-and-eye closure closed, place the closure behind the opening on the inside of the garment. Make sure that the opening edges are meeting in the middle. Sew the hook first so that you can move the eye, if needed, to ensure the edges are fully closed. Place the hook so the tip of the hook is flush with the opening edge. Sew through the hook’s loops with whipstitches (page link) or blanket stitches (page link) and cover the entire loop with stitches. Make sure the hook stays straight and doesn’t tilt to one side.
Hook the eye through the hook and pull it until the opening edges meet. Stick a pin through the center of the loops to mark the placement, and unhook the closure. Sew around the eye’s loops in the same manner as the hook.
HOW TO SEW A HOOK-AND-BAR CLOSURE
Follow step 1 above for sewing the hook. If it’s on a waistband or tab, center the hook in the middle of the band. Start your thread under the hook so the knot is hidden and sew through all of the attachment holes. Sew through the inner layer of fabric only so your stitches are not visible from the right side.
Try on the garment and decide where the overlap needs to be for the best fit. Mark the overlap line with a pin placed parallel to the overlap.
Hook the bar through the hook, and line up the overlap so the top edge of the overlap lines up with the pin. Mark the placement of the bar and unhook the closure. Sew through the bar attachment holes in the same manner as the hook.
Source : The Sewtionary An A to Z Guide to 101 Sewing Techniques + Definitions
About the Author : Tasia ST. Germaine