|Here is how I do up my eyelets on corsets and bodices:
1 - I put poly boning on either side of the eyelets! My latest project I also sewed buckran in between the boning and the two layers of fabric, using an extra "top" of an eyelet to measure the distance between the pieces of poly boning. The buckram goes to the outer edges of the poly boning. *note: if you only put one piece of poly boning alongside your eyelets, they will pull and wrinkle -- even if you use heavy interfaced upholstery fabric. I have an example ...
2- I really don't have a fancy tool to measure between eyelets ... magic sewing guage and fabric marker, with all the tops laid out along in between the poly boning to make sure the distances and number will fit. I mark a dot in the hole of the eyelet once I am happy with the spacing.
3- LIFE-SAVING TOOL!! It's a Martha Stewart scrapbooking tool I found last year at Wal-Mart called a "screw punch". I looked on the website listed on the back of the package but couldn't find it, so it may be discontinued now, but it may still be in some stores. It looks like an awl, but rotates down and punches/cuts a perfect circular hole, and is absolutely worth hunting down.
4- Hammer and Dritz eyelet "tools" which include a plastic "seating" bottom and a metal spindle-looking thing that goes on top. Note: the top of the spindle piece is small, so hold the hammer up higher on the neck with a finger right below the head to control where you hit! Trust me -- it's no fun smacking your thumb ... Dritz sells the two-part tool with the eyelets.
5- Put the bottom piece of the eyelet on the side that faces outward ... it looks much better! I am not going to admit how many bodices/corsets it took for me to figure that out ...
6- If you're using the Dritz/Prym brand, there will be more "tops" than "bottoms". Don't freak out if you run out of bottoms before the tops (like I did the first 3 times).
7- All of my eyelets are stress-bearing, so I can't comment too much on decorative uses.
Anyone else have experiences to share?