eyelets and grommets, not wallace and gromit’s

so folks

how to fasten your corset or stays?  you lace them up, pulling as tight as you want or can to get that hourglass figure.  So the eyelets (holes) have to be strong, you can hand sew (or machine sew if you have a fancy machine) but I like the strength of a metal grommet.  The two part ones, as arrived from sewcurvy.com last week are the best, I think, and I like to make a hole instead of cut a hole as this really does give better strength and there is more material for the grommet to hang on to.
 The grommet is the larger part and the other part is called a washer. They fit through the material, clamp together and then let you lace easily, being able to pull the laces tight as they slide over the metal.

 Firstly mark where your holes are going to go, my pattern had a missing mark, see in the centre, but as I know the eyelets need to be all the way along, I just added another mark where it should have been.

How to make a hole

This sounds easy but I can tell you by the end of a full corset my hand are usually aching.  It’s the thumbnails that really get it.

As I said earlier, I don’t like to cut the hole out as this leads to a weak hole, I use an awl, well 2 actually, to move the fabric fibers aside to leave a hole.  The first is a sharp pointed shop bought one, that starts the hole off, pushing through the fabric, the second is a knitting needle that I broke a long time ago and not being able to throw much away became a larger hole maker, the base being a lump of polymer clay, good and wide to help me push through while distributing the weight through more of my palm. When you’re making a hole in 2 thicknesses of canvas, and a front and a back it can take a bit of force.

The next stage is to then get the grommet through the material from front to back. This requires a little giggling about, I usually put the grommet over the end of the awl and push downwards at the same time lifting the material so it slides from the awl onto the grommet, sometimes this can be as easy as that sounds but believe me other times it just won’t seem to fit.  Persistence is needed at this point and just know that it will be over eventually and it will be worth it.  Don’t be tempted to reduce the number of eyelets on the back, to save the effort, it may look a lot, but you do need them if you want to tight lace.  It’s this stage that does your thumbnails in.

Right with your grommet in position, on with the process, the washer has two side, one hill like and one valley like, and it needs to be placed over the grommet, hillside outwards

can’t seem to get this picture the right way up sorry.

Put your washer on with the hump facing outwards, when you hammer the washer down you will bend the grommet into the small groove waiting for it.  If you put it on the wrong way round, with the hump facing inwards the grommet will not smoothly bend into place and you’ll end up with something that has sharp broken metal that will catch on your underclothes and probably fall out.

Grommets come in a variety of sizes, and you need to make sure you have the right tool at this stage for the hammering job, there will be a circle that the grommet will fit in and an ‘anvil’ that will hammer into the other end to bend the metal round. The picture at the top with a red handled tool is the wrong size for the grommets I used on this corset, but I hadn’t checked when I took that photo, the tool I used is the one below.

Firmly hold the tool in placer and hammer.  Check to see if it has worked, if not hammer harder. The floor can be a great place to do this. Once hammered hard enough it should look like this:

and be nice and smooth. Job done.

hints and tips

  • give the hole time to settle, by that I mean leave it on the awl for a moment or two before sliding it on to the grommet, makes it much easier.
  • hammer on the floor if your table or worktop is not so strong
  • always double check the washer is the right way round, you can get into a right mess if it isn’t, hillside up, valley down.
  • put your eyelets in before the bones, it just makes the corset easier to handle

So the only things left to do now are put the remaining bones in and finish off the bottom edge, and less than a week to Candy Box, I think I best get a move on with the rest of the outfit.

By the way before I sign off, apologies to regular readers out there for the lack of posts towards the end of last week, other things were going on, and I have decided to reduce the time I spend on this and just start posting twice a week, giving more time for sewing as the time is getting closer to my having to launch Honey Pot Creations in earnest, and also I am looking at some other writing gigs that might be quite exciting, but I’ll tell you more about that if they come off, well I probably tell you either way to be honest.

so till Thursday,
hugs and kisses

ps, as always I would love to hear from you. Comments are always read. x

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