Why not just use metal grommets? After all, they are easier
historical accuracty and durability, hand bound eyelet holes
win hands down. When you do eyelet holes by hand, with a tailors
awl, you are basically moving the fibers of the fabric aside
with very little fiber breakage. The hand binding with thread
can be supplemented with a metal jump ring and once this is
all done, the eyelet hole becomes an integral part of the
garment and virtually indestructible.
Contrast this with metal grommets in which you have to first
punch a hole in the fabric, which means cutting many fibers.
Then you insert the two sides of the grommet and hammer them
down. You can hand bind the grommets at this point but you
have created a hole in your garment that will pull out eventually.
order to make eyelet holes, you will need a tailors awl. These
can be found at most Jo-Ann's Fabric stores. The difference
between a tailors awl and an embroidery eyelet awl is that
the tailors awl is tapered evenly from a fairly large circumference
to the point. The embroidery eyelet awls do not taper so that
all embroidered eyelets can be the same size.
Insert the tip of the awl in the fabric and force it through
until the hole is fairly large. Be gentle here as you can
damage the fabric a little if you are too aggressive. In general,
try to make a hole in all the layers of fabric, breaking as
few threads as possible. The overall integrity of your finished
eyelet depends on the fabric being left fairly intact.
you have made the hole, remove the awl and sew a line of running
stitches around the hole, fairly close to the edge of the
whole. This further strengthens your eyelet and gives your
binding stitches something to follow. You may have to reinsert
the awl to keep the whole from closing after you've placed
your running stitches.
After the running stitches are in place, you can then bind
the hole by inserting the threaded needle through the hole
and then inserting it through the layers of fabric, following
the line of running stitches, until, eventually, you have
completely bound the edge of the hole.
spacing of eyelet holes should be no more than an inch or
so apart.. If you want to be extremely period, offset the
eyelet holes from one side to the other and "spiral"
lace your corset. After all the binding stitches have been
sewn on it may again be necessary to reinsert the tailors
awl to make the hole larger as the binding stitches have a
tendency to fill the hole and to allow the fabric to close
a bit. If you are planning on using metal jump rings to reinforce
your eyelet holes, you would use the binding stitch to bind
the ring to the hole, which in turn would completely cover