If you have ever spent a long hard afternoon hammering in those purchased brass eyelets into a project, only to have them begin ripping out the second wearing - you will love to hear about an alternative. These eyelets not only happen to be more historical, but they last longer, and they are calming and quiet to make!
Eyelets are the little 'holes' that are used any time that lacing needs to be threaded through something. (the back of a corset or a swiss waist for example) The method below is authentic for 1860s reenacting.
You will need:
-Strong, but not too thick thread. (I used cotton hand-quilting thread)
-A large needle
-A normal sewing needle
-Some objects to stretch the hole. I am using a mechanical pencil (no lead) and an old small paint brush.
This is the back panel of a corset. I have marked in pencil where each eyelet will be placed, and a few have already been sewn.
Step 1: Insert the large needle into the place marked. Work it around and side to side to stretch the hole a bit. (be careful not to break any threads of material)
Step 2: Now with your next smallest stretching object (the tiny end of a mechanical pencil for me), and insert it into the hold you just made with the needle. It helps to twirl it around. Once the end is through, work it around farther up until the hole is stretched a bit bigger.
Step 3: Insert the last stretching object (a small paint brush) A small crochet hook might work for this too.
Insert it into the hole until it is stretched to the size you wish.
Step 4: Thread your regular needle with a long, double strand of thread. (no knot). With a simple running stitch, work your way all around the circumference of the paint brush, staying quite close.
When you have completed the circle, finish with the needle making a stitch that finishes underneath the hole.
Remove the paintbrush.
Step 5: Now with your needle you will be making a whip stitch all around the hole. Basically you are going around and around the edge of the hole. Come up through the large hole and down about 1/8" from the edge of the hole - not pulling too tight or the hole will be stretched out of shape. Repeat. Keep the stitches even and covering the edge of the hole.
When you are finished, tuck the needle under the underside stitches and pull tight. Cut the needle away.
The best part of thread eyelets, is that during construction, not a single strand of material is cut - only stretched. That means there will be zero raveling, and your project with be much tougher and last longer!(not to mention historical!
Please feel free to ask any questions is something wasn't clear. :^)