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Message Board > Sewing Techniques and Tips > Snaps instead of buttons and buttonholes? ( Moderated by MissCelie)

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Snaps instead of buttons and buttonholes?
Snaps = poppers in UK
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UNITED KINGDOM
Member since 7/19/13
Posts: 302
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Date: 8/29/13 11:51 AM

I've just read a pattern review for a shirt which I'm intending to make next, and the lady reviewer put snaps instead of buttons and buttonholes.

I like that idea, but: how can you make sure that the snap (hammering / attaching) is sturdy enough, so that when you pull the shirt apart to open it, the snaps stay fastened to the fabric shirt?

I raise this question because I now recall making a little cotton jacket for a toddler, with snaps. Luckily I tested it before handing it over to the parents. All the snaps pulled apart, leaving nasty metal teeth sticking up. As I recall, the finished jacket went in the bin.

You can buy strips of snaps (poppers) but they are really designed for making things like cushions and duvet covers. I think a strip of snaps would look ridiculous on a shirt, even though the strip is white and the shirt is white.

Any help out there would be appreciated. Thanks.

biochemistress

biochemistress  Friend of PR
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VA USA
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Date: 8/30/13 7:39 AM

I made enough things with snaps that I finally broke down and bought the snap pliers. I find you have to make sure the snap will go together properly. You may have to use needlenose pliers to bend the little teeth into the correct spot. After it's all lined up, just squeeze! I have yet to have snaps fall off of anything I've put them on.

GlButterfly

GlButterfly
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CA USA
Member since 8/28/08
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Date: 8/30/13 11:22 AM

I haven't had any snaps come off either. Don't be gentle with them; hammer them into submission! Good advice about possibly having to bend the prongs a bit.

------
I have not yet begun to procrastinate

Update: soon I will decide when I will begin procrastinating.

Elona
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Elona  Friend of PR
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Date: 8/30/13 12:29 PM

Here's a nice little video video that shows the basics of snap-setting with a hammer. After making sure which side of the fabric you want the snaps on, I think the most important things are these:

Make sure those little prongs are all poking completely through the fabric before trying to apply the other half of the snap. That helps to keep things in place before you do the hammering.

Make sure the ring that covers those prongs is centered on them; no pokey bits should be sticking out before you hammer or attach anything. If a prong is sticking out, either bend it back into place or throw the piece away.

After hammering or attaching, look around to see if any prongs are sticking out. If they are, you can often use a knife to pry the snap pieces apart and apply a fresh snap.

The final check is to run your fingernail along the outside edge of the hammered snap piece where the two elements meet. You should not be able to slide your fingernail into the space. In fact there should not be a space. If there is, give it another few whacks with the hammer.

There are a number of different tools, other than a hammer, that can be used. Here are some videos demonstrating other techniques.

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UNITED KINGDOM
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Date: 8/30/13 1:57 PM

Many thanks for your replies.

In the interim I've found that the pearl (cowgirl) snaps can be sourced here but apparently only in bags of 1,000.

But I'm having problems sourcing shirt-weight-denim to make such a shirt in any case. I've ordered the pattern but it looks like it will be made in not-denim.

So, many thanks, but it looks like buttons and buttonholes for the time being.

Vintage Joan
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Vintage Joan
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Date: 8/30/13 2:53 PM

That's a great little video (the first one -- I haven't looked at the others yet). Thanks!

------
my shield and my very great reward ~ Gen. 15:1

Photo: A long time ago

goosegreen
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goosegreen  Friend of PR
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Date: 8/30/13 11:52 PM

I highly recommend Snap Source snaps after experiencing the same problem as you. Link.

They have longer prongs than other snaps & come in fantastic colours & sizes. They also ship internationally.

------
Alison in suburbia - Sydney Australia
My sewing blog: http://nosilasews.blogspot.com/

Keeper of the flock - Janome MC8000, Janome MC4900QC, Elna Elina 40, Husqvarna Rose, Janome DC2101, Singer 201K, Elna Contessa, Janome My Excel 18W, Janome 634D & 534D overlockers, Janome Coverpro 1000CPX.

snuzal
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snuzal
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Date: 8/31/13 1:26 AM

what about plastic snaps instead of metal. they are much better IMO

------
Check my blog :)
http://snuzalsews.blogspot.com/

Juki Exceed F600, Babylock Imagine, Janome 300E.

Datcat23
Datcat23
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Date: 8/31/13 1:48 AM

When I started on my stint of making Modern Cloth Nappies, I invested in a pair of snaps pliers, specifically for Plastic Snaps. My sister now has her nappy making business, and she has a bench mounted one. Either way, the snap has "cap" that looks a bit like a thumbtack. The pointy bit goes through a small hole in the fabric (usually made with an awl). On the other side goes either a socket or a stud (each side) and then these are squeezed together with the pliers/press. The press squashes the shaft/pointy bit, essentially squishing it into the centre of the socket/stud. It holds super firm, there are no sharp, pokey bits to hurt, and they stand up to hot washing and tumble drying without a whimper. Oh, and won't corrode if you have to soak the clothing ...... essential for baby and kids wear.

I bought my snaps from Snaps Australia ..... worth a look.

**I am not affiliated with Snaps Australia in any way, nor do I receive any benefit from my recommendation**

------
the barefoot seamstress ..... smelling vaguely of lavender and mothballs, and desperately craving chocolate.
www.castley.net/datcat

lelliebunny
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lelliebunny  Friend of PR
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WA USA
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Date: 8/31/13 1:57 AM

I haven't done snaps on a shirt yet, but I use them frequently on wallets and other small things without any issues after over a year of daily use and fairly frequent trips through the washing machine.

I have a SnapSetter tool that is my sanity saver. No affiliation, I just think it is fab.

------
i'm a PFAFF girl at heart that has an occasional affair with other brands.

http://thetruthaboutsewing.blogspot.com

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