Getting Your Eyelets Straight
I was sent these photo by a lady who wanted to know how you go about setting your eyelets/grommets straight as she’s found her eyelets are misbehaving and aren’t sitting in a nice straight row when she makes her corsets, but rather wandering off. Here you can see the problem and below I’ll explain the solution.
I’ve recorded a video of the below process, which you can check out in the video article Corset Eyelet Setting Video Tutorial.
Straight Eyelets While Corset Making
So here I’m making a single layer waist corset and I’ve already sewn on a section of bias binding on the reverse, to provide a second layer of fabric for the boning channels that will run either side of the eyelets. The seam allowance is concealed by the bias binding. (I know I could have used two lengths of bone casing but this looks neater on the reverse in my opinion and it’s not meant to be a corset training-strength corset).
So first I measure and mark the mid-point between the two lines of stitching – If you don’t plan to have boning both sides and therefore don’t have the two lines of thread, measure your preferred distance from the straight edge of the corset back. Mark at the top, the middle and the bottom of the corset pattern piece, then draw a line joining them up as in the next pic.
Next, mark off along this line where you want your eyelets. First mark where the waist line is on your corset pattern, then decide how far apart you want your eyelets – I went with 1 inch. Mark the first two either side of the waistline and continue up to the top edge and down to the bottom edge, but leave enough room at top and bottom of your corset to attach your binding.
I then sew my two lines of stitching either side to complete the two bone channels. Using your chalk line as a guide allows you to get everything really straight and equal. Check you can get your sprung or spiral steel bones into the channels easily as the lip of the eyelets will restrict them a little.
Now it’s time for the eyelets
You can use the hole punch tools that come with eyelet setting kits, but here I’m using an awl as these are small eyelets and I don’t want them popping out when worn! I used a small awl to make the hole, then used a pair of closed thread/embroidery scissors and a pen to make the hole big enough for the eyelets. (At the time I didn’t have a decent sized awl).
Placing the eyelet & setting it
So once you have a hole big enough, it should look like this.
Once you have the hole, push the eyelet in…
… turn the fabric over and push the fabric down around the edges of the eyelet. Make sure no strands are caught on the edges or it may not set properly. If you’re using grommets with washers (little metal disks) then now is the time to place your washer over the back of the eyelet.
Use your setting tool to squash and set the eyelet. Apply pressure a second time if needed.
Here are my finished eyelets, lovely and straight. The chalk has more or less disappeared, but if you need to then you can give the marks a quick wipe with a damp cloth to remove any chalk still visible.
Here is a picture of what the eyelets look like with the bones in place. They were quite snug but this should keep the eyelets firmly in place and minimise the chances of them working their way free of the fabric.