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Easy Tricks For Sewing With Eyelet

How to use the pretty border on eyelet to create scalloped hems (and more).

Posted in: Tutorials & Techniques, Fabric & Textiles • May 29, 2024

I’m going to show you how to sew with all those beautiful eyelet fabrics you see that have a scalloped border.

These fabrics can be absolutely gorgeous and they’re an easy way to add pretty design elements to your sewing, but you need to take a few extra steps to use them, and these might not be things you’ve thought about ahead of time.

So watch the video below, and I’ll show you exactly how to use them and what not to do.

Tips for buying eyelet

Eyelet fabrics are usually embroidered cottons, and they often (but not always) have a scalloped border.

You can easily use this border as a design element by changing the cutting layout on a pattern so that the border aligns with a hem or another straight edge.

Here’s a tip: Buy extra fabric! You can lay out the pieces ahead of time to figure it out, or just buy plenty extra so you can jigsaw them later. An extra yard never hurts.

Tips for choosing a pattern

Patterns with straight edges are ideal, but I will show you a trick for straightening hems.

You can use eyelet borders on the hems of dresses, skirts, shorts, and tops. Don’t forget about sleeve hems or cuffs. You can also use them to make trims or ruffles to accent your garments.

For this example, I’m using the Seamwork Fifer top. This pattern actually has a few places where you could use an eyelet border—the ruffle and the hem.

I decided to use the border for both the ruffle and the hem, so I bought an extra half-yard of fabric. I barely had enough, so it’s worth buying an extra yard.

How to cut eyelet borders

When cutting, you want to make sure the border is mirrored at the hem.

You don’t want mismatched curves on the scallops. I think it looks best if the seam is on the convex curve to hide seam allowances.

This is the number-one trick for sewing a scalloped border. So, arrange your piece so that the stitch line on the side seams sits right in the middle of a convex curve rather than a concave curve.

If you don't arrange your seam line on the convex curve, the raw edges will poke out when you press your seam open.

If your hem is not straight or you find that one side seam hits the middle of a concave curve and the other does not, you might need to redraw your side seams. This can change the shape of your garment slightly, but I prefer that to mismatched seams.

How to sew eyelet borders

When I sew the seams, sometimes the seam allowance can poke out due to the curves. So, I press the seam alowance and fold it a little if needed. Then bar tack it in place.

The Fifer uses bias tape at the neckline and armholes. This is a great choice for eyelet, because facings can show through. If your pattern has a facing, think about how you could either use bias tape instead—or line the garment if you prefer.

However, the Fifer top also instructs you to create bias tape, but eyelet doesn’t make great bias tape. So instead of using eyelet to make bias tape, either use a plan fabric or just used purchased bias tape in a coordinating color.

More ideas for eyelet projects

Here are some more ideas for using these eyelet borders.

  • Use them for hems (skirt hems, shift hems, sleeve hems)

  • You can use them for ruffles, like on the Fifer

  • Cut the border off and use it as a cuff

  • Sndwich it into vertical seams

  • Sandwich it between the tiers of a skirt

  • Use it along a neckline

  • You can line it with a fun color

  • You can use it as an applique at the center front

Have you ever sewn with eyelet? What did you make? Tell us below!

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