Monday, December 26, 2016

Tutorial: Covering snaps with thick fabric

I'm making a jacket which calls for non-functional buttons over snaps and since the garment will be worn such that the male side of the snaps may show, I really wanted to cover them.  I couldn't use the standard method for applying the self fabric (gathering the fabric behind the snap with a running stitch) because my fabric (heavyweight water-resistant twill) is way too thick.  As a matter of fact, the fabric was so thick that I couldn't cover both halves of the snap pair, so I opted to leave the female side uncovered, since it wasn't going to show anyhow.   Here's a clean and easy way to cover the male part of a snap if you have some heavy-weight fabric.
So first off, trace the snap half on the back of a fabric scrap.
Use a small punch to create a tiny hole right in the center of the circle, as a place to start cutting with tiny scissors.
Carefully cut around the starting circle to expand it to just smaller than the "male" part of the male snap. This might take a trial or two--you don't want it too big, and too small is no good either.
Apply Fray-Check liberally to the back and front side of the hole edge keeps it from fraying to bits. 
Then, cut around the original drawn circle.  The amount to cut beyond the drawn circle will vary a bit, based on the size of the snap.  A good place to start is about half the diameter of the snap.  This snap is a bit less than 1" and I extended the circle by about 3/8".
The male part of the snap can then be pushed through the hole, even before the Fray-Check dries, since Fray-Check stiffens the fabric.
Flip the snap over and begin cutting triangles out of the edge of the circle, stopping 1/8" from your drawn circle.  More triangles means a smoother edge around your snap when you draw the fabric underneath, so don't be quick to finish!

Apply Fray-Check around all the cut edges of your little gear :)
Once the Fray-Check dries, begin sewing the fabric underneath the snap.  Start by inserting your needle into one "gear tooth" from the underside.  Then, insert the needle through a gear tooth on the opposite side of the snap.  

Continue going from one side to the other drawing the teeth together (kind of like a corset), pulling the threads tightly as you go.

This method is more time-consuming for sure, but results in a beautiful finished snap, without a huge amount of bulk underneath.  As I mentioned, I didn't cover the female side of the snap, but a similar method could be used.
Thanks for stopping by!  In the next few days, I'll reveal my lovely green jacket with half-covered snaps!  
P.S.  I wanted to share one of my Christmas gifts--an adorable punch felted pin cushion from Foxtail Creek Studio.  How sweet is that?  Those trees remind of the truffula trees from The Lorax! Thank you to my family for finding such a gorgeous addition to my sewing room!  


  1. I love this tip, thanks for sharing! I really like to use those large sew-on snaps, so I will for sure have to try this.

  2. Super clever technique! Lovely outcome.

  3. Great tip, I would have never thought of doing it this way. It looks so much nicer than seeing a big metal snap.

  4. Oh you clever thing!