Tutorial on How to Sew on Snaps… Plus a teaser at Kirsten’s dress…

I had to help my hubby clean up the yard mess from a huge tree he cut down a few days ago. There were SO many limbs and branches and logs. It took longer than I thought it would, so I’m sorry to tell you that I didn’t get Kirsten’s dress all the way finished. Well, actually the dress is done, the apron is done, but there is still more to do before it’s completely done, so I’ll show you a few sneak peeks at it and hopefully I can get it done tomorrow, but again, no promises…These pictures aren’t a lot to go on, but I hope you’ll be watching for the final reveal. I’m very pleased with how it’s turning out and Kirsten, with her big blue eyes, looks gorgeous in it.

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While I was working on it, I realized it wasn’t going to be finished for a final reveal, so I decided to do my blog post from something that I was doing on this set… show you how I sew on snaps! I know, it’s usually the least favorite part for everyone who sews… but it’s a necessity and has to be done, so you might as well get a few pointers from someone who sews on a minimum of usually 5 sets of snaps on each dress I make… that’s really 10 snaps because you have the top and the bottom part. I probably sew on close to 300 snap sets each year, so I know a thing or two about it…

If I could give you one bit of advice about sewing on snaps… it’s ONLY BUY SNAPS WITH CENTER HOLES IN THEM!! Now maybe you’re thinking, “Don’t all snaps have center holes in them?” NO THEY DON’T! Only buy snaps that you can poke a pin through. I never buy straight off the rack at Joann Fabrics or Hobby Lobby without first taking a pin (from those little pin wheels…but I always put it back!) and poking it through the card…If you hold it up to the light, you’ll see if it has big enough holes to do this or not…

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Okay, see the holes in these cards? I do this with every card I buy…if a pin won’t go through it, it stays on the hook. Now look at these… see there are no center holes…

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It’s miserable and very frustrating to sew on snaps without center holes! Okay… main point covered! Now let’s move on to how to do it.

The first thing I do when I have my back all finished is try it on my doll and lap the left side onto the right back side. Place a few pins diagonally where it should overlap to, and then take it off your doll. You’ll want to sew your snaps on somewhere between the row of pins and the back edge of the dress.

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I take a pin and stick it up from the backside and place the larger part of the snap on the pin with the “caved in part” facing up. The pin will hold it in place. I go around the snaps 4 holes and usually stitch up and down 3 times in each hole and then knot it on the back side.

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I space the snaps out evenly on the bodice section and sew the others on the same way as I did the first one.

After the 3 snaps are sewn in place, I take the left side and lap it over the sewn on snaps. I line up the top edge and stick a pin down through the top of the fabric and fish your way through the hole on the sewn on snap…

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I’ve pulled it a little bit apart so you can see what I mean…

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Now take the smaller section of the snap and feed it onto the straight pin sticking up on the left inside back. This pin holds this snap in place.
If it didn’t have those holes, it’s a nightmare holding it in place.

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Just barely catch the knot on the end of your thread under the snap, making sure not to go all the way through to the front side of the fabric and sew this snap on.

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Sew this snap on the same way as the back side… go around to each hole in the snap and stitch up and down 3 times. Do this for the other snaps by lining them up the same way as the first. Make sure you get the top lapped over the back to the pins and poke your pin straight down into the snap on the underneath side.

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When your get your snaps all sewn up the back side you can then sew on any buttons you like. Just be careful not to stitch them on in the exact same place where your snap is. If you do, you may wind up with your stitches coming up the center hole and then your snap won’t hold together properly.

This is what it should look like when you are done…

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Or here’s another shot of some snaps I did on a Molly dress…

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I hope this helps. I’ve read back over my directions and it seems clear to me what to do, but I’ve been doing this a long time and I may take something for granted that a newcomer might not understand… just ask if you have any questions…

See you tomorrow,
Blessings, Jeanne

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Comments

  1. Susette says:

    What a great tutorial ! Thanks again and again.

  2. Hi Jeanne. Your process is slightly different than mine, but that little hole in the snap is a necessity for me too. I remember that before I started using that little hole I would have to redo many snaps, not fun. The trouble spot for me would be at the waistline where the top overlap always wanted to be higher than the bottom, so that they wouldn’t line up; using the straight pin to line up the snaps made sewing on snaps a snap…well, almost. Don’t know if you saw the tutorial on my blog for this. (It’s my only tutorial…should do more…)
    Thanks for taking the time to show us your way to sew on snaps. It’s always fun to see how others work.
    Rainy, rainy day today. Feels like spring, doesn’t it?

    • Jeanne W says:

      HI Cindy,
      Yes, I had seen your tutorial last year sometime, but when I was thinking of topics for my blog posts, I decided I wanted to do one as well. I didn’t look back at yours as I wanted mine to be all my own and not copy yours. I looked at it again this morning and they are similar but a little different. I used to do it a little different… I would sew on my button on the left top side, and then while I had the thread on the underneath side, I would go ahead and sew on that snap. Then I would overlap the left over the right side and sort of squish it between my fingers, pressing hard, making an indentation on the right back side. Then I would quickly take a pin and poke it up through the bottom right side and set my snap on it while I could still see the indentation. It worked most of the time, but sometimes not… so this way is more accurate.
      It hasn’t started raining here yet, but it’s coming… windy and damp outside. I have a million things to do today and am really hoping to get Kirsten’s dress finished…
      Thanks so much Cindy,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  3. Jeannie B. in TX says:

    Jeanne, thank you for the snap lesson! I do not know how many years I have been sewing… maybe 52, 53..?? This is the first time I have actually found out why there is a little hole in the snap. I just never thought about it nor was I ever told. Sounds pretty crazy. It is so clear to me now and yes, I have done the “hold the snap with your finger while trying to get it on the garment straight dance”. It is so frustrating and time consuming to take the snap off and re-sew it in the corrected place. So going forward it will be to test the snap before buying them and holding the snap in place with a pin. So much easier!! Heavens….. where have I been???

    • Jeanne W says:

      Hi Jeannie,
      It’s the simple things in life that make it much easier! Even sewing on snaps… who’d of thought it could be something like a pin that saved the day!! I’m glad to have helped you. This is a small lesson you can pass on to Katie Beth!
      Blessings, Jeanne

  4. Thanks, Jeanne, that will help a lot and your instructions are very clear. I stick the pin through the hole in the snap and mark a dot with my purple pen but then sometimes have a problem keeping the center of the pin on the dot. Leaving the snap on the pin would take care of that problem.

    • Jeanne W says:

      Hi Jevne,
      Glad I could help everyone out with this simple lesson on sewing on snaps. Now there’ll be a run on snaps at Joann Fabrics… Let’s all have a snap sewing on party!
      Thanks so much,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  5. WOW…I learned something new! This does make sense! I am going to my stash of snaps ( buy them at Estate Sales) and see how many have holes.The dress is coming together beautifully. You have such a good knack at combining colors!
    Happy Easter!

    • Jeanne W says:

      Thank you Kathie,
      …and to think I almost didn’t do this post because I thought “everybody” knows how to sew on snaps… Glad I could help out…
      Blessings, Jeanne

  6. Wow, thank you Jeanne, I did not know what that little hole was for either. I’ve been doing it the indentation way forever. This is a great lesson, and not having to remove them is such a time saver, and not to mention the grrrrr when it didn’t fit right…lol

    Judi

    • Jeanne W says:

      HI Judi,
      I’m guessing there will be lots of happy snap sewers in the next few days… Glad to help you all out with a simple tutorial…
      Blessings, Jeanne

  7. Linda Doyle says:

    Jeanne, I am late to the party! Had so many things going on, so am just now getting caught up on my emails!

    I have never noticed snaps having holes in the center, which is how you know how many snaps I have sewn!! Absolutely HATE sewing snaps, hooks and eyes, and buttons!! They almost never come out as neat as yours do, and they are so teensy! Well, now I know a thing or two, and thanks to you!

    It’s a rainy day here, off and on, a typical spring day, and warm. Trees are blooming and my daffodils are too! Happy Spring everybody!

    • Jeanne W says:

      HI Linda,
      I laughed out loud when I read your line about not knowing that the snap had a hole in the middle and then when you said, “that tells you how many snaps I have sewn on!”
      Yes, now you can sew on snaps with a smile on your face…

      We got rain off and on today and are supposed to get hit with thunderstorms after midnight… I don’t like the night time storms. My hubby was getting the lawn mowers all in order yesterday, so I know what’s coming…
      Happy Spring to you too!
      Blessings, Jeanne

  8. Charlotte Trayer says:

    I’ve known about the hole in the middle for many years. But somewhere down the line, I switched, and put the ball half on the underlap and the socket half on the overlap–the opposite of the way you show! I just checked a couple of resources, and the way you do it is correct. I don’t suppose the dolls care, though, as long as they have new clothes to wear!! LOL

    • Jeanne W says:

      HI Charlotte,
      I didn’t ever check to see if I had the right side on the right side, so thanks for letting me know… and I’m sure you are right…our dolls don’t care…
      Thanks Charlotte,
      Blessings, Jeanne

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