Tutorial For Setting Corset Eyelets / Grommets
Lots of people struggle with setting Eyelets / Grommets into a corset. The best advice I can give is use quality tools and Eyelets suitable for the job. Secondly use my free download template to position them perfectly every time. Quite simply the cheap packets of eyelets with pliers from a hardware store are a big NO! I see people trying to use them and it just makes for stress and bad finish. Working with bad tools and notions is bad for your sewing karma, and bad for the finish of that piece of work you have spent hours of your valuable time working on. Different people will have different methods, but this is my way and I have made and sold over 8000 custom couture corsets without a failure. follow the links throughout the post for resources and other linked tutorials / downloads and the video version of this tutorial.
The best tool for the job without a doubt. If you plan to make your own clothes, corsets, cosplay, accessories buy one! interchangeable dies for setting eyelets, rivets, press studs and many other uses are available
The simple hand tool for setting Eyelets / grommets. It works but not a consistent as the setting machine, requires hammering and can cost half the price of a setting machine – so really go buy a setting machine you will never regret it!
Download the free PDF Corset spacing guide. This picture is showing mine cut in 3mm mdf but the printed guide can be glued with white craft glue (pva glue) to mounting card, allow to dry before cutting! 2mm mdf chipboard can be cut also be cut with craft knife. The back of a corset should always have metal flat boning on BOTH sides of the eyelet row for correct support for both the corset shape and your comfort. The guide can be glued with white craft glue to mounting card, (allow to dry before cutting!) or transfer markings to 2mm mdf chipboard which can be cut with craft knife.
Place guide pushed up to centre back edge, the under ridge on guide will put into correct place every time. Mark level of corset waist with mask tape or pins. You want to space the corset eyelet holes evenly, this line is where the most stress on the garment is, so marking the line just helps you check the holes are best placed. If you are wondering why the end strip of my corset is black, I add a cotton facing on delicate fabrics or fabrics prone to friction burns when laces are tightened such as this velvet.
My Corset patterns all suggest having a reinforcing strip inside the back centre edge to support the eyelets and boning section, without it punching holes will put stress onto the fabric grain and not last. Pic showing hand punch but again buy the eyelet tool and a hole punch die and you will never regret it. Always punch the hole 1mm to 1.5mm less than eyelet diameter.
Seal edges of eyelet holes, front and back CAREFULLY with pvc white craft glue. There are many named makes of fabric edge sealers, I have used fray check but pva is just as good, easy to find and 100 x cheaper, save your pennies for fab fabrics and quality tools! Put some into a small squeezy bottle and keep next to sewing machine. Leave to dry before inserting eyelets.
Push eyelets into each hole. Make sure they are pushed all way and take to eyelets machine – or if setting by hand tool here are some tips. you need the base of setting tool on a solid surface not a modern work table that will bounce! so the floor, corner of a solid table over the leg or anything super solid. the wrong side of corset upwards place an eyelet over it and GENTLY tap down using mallet or hammer until the eyelet back has rolled down and it fits snug.
Using the eyelet tool – after practicing on scraps of fabric, place each eyelet onto base of setting tool, lay washer over and press down lever or pull lever around side depending on type of machine. With cheaper machines you have to gauge how much to press, more expensive machines allow for a fixed point so each eyelet will be exactly the same.