It’s a snap…sorta

I meant to include photos of the snap installation on my Adelaide Dress. Rather than add to the previous post, I think it is worth devoting a separate conversation to this new (to me!) fastener technology.

The only instructions I used were those on the back of the Snap Setter and the Adelaide Instructions (about marking the placements of snaps). Instead of single “dots” I made 4 marks with a fabric pencil for each snap location to help me place the edges of the snap (since you can’t always see the center dot under a snap).  You can see an example of this circle faintly in the photo below.

I started setting the under placket with the prong side of the snaps (I guess also known as “the male side”). I started here in large part because these snap pieces are easier to hold and position. I used my hammer snap setter (for Size 15 and Size 16 snaps) and I can see the appeal of the pliers. 26 snap halves were installed, which made for a LOT of hammering. This took me at least 30 minutes.

The pattern calls for size 14 snaps. This is the third time I have encountered Seamwork/Colette patterns calling for notions in sizes not carried in the large hobby stores (the other two where 1/4″ single fold bias tape and 1/4″ clear elastic). Not being able to find what I need at Joanns or even my smaller local fabric stores derailed my progress on the garment. I was paralyzed trying to decide if I should just buy the larger size (15 is the smallest snap size I could find in stores, in styles I liked), or if I should go online to seek out Size 14 snaps and wait for them to be delievered.

I appreciate that these sizes were selected for a reason, but it makes me (an intermediate sewist) wonder if the standard sizes are going to have an adverse effect. I know enough that I decided size 15 snaps weren’t going to be an issue, but do all beginning sewists feel that confident? What do they do? At least give me a direct link to a trusted supplier for 14 size snaps! Ok, rant over.

This prong side first was brilliant on my part. I worried how I would line up the snap positions, then I realized I could lay the top placket over the under placket and use the snap that stuck up as the guide to the placement of the top snaps.

After making marks with the sharp points, I could lift the top placket up and hammer the two pieces into place with the setter. For the most part all snaps are lined up! This was my first attempt and therefore I am ok with the occasional puckers around the snaps. A covered front snap would have concealed this.

Before I started this process I was eager to learn whether snaps were going to save me from buttonholes and sewing buttons on individually. Yes, it went faster. However, there is more wiggle room with button placement, once the buttonholes are in place. In that regard, buttons are less stressful. There is a permanence that comes with snaps. It might be possible to pry them apart if you make a mistake, but it will leave holes in the fabric.

What about you, do you like snaps or buttons better? Do you have a favorite method of installing them?

3 thoughts on “It’s a snap…sorta

  1. I have an entire set of all the SnapSetters and snaps and covers (from a promo …fifteen years ago?) and …I don’t use them much, because lining them up is a pain and a panic. And even that brand will fail under stress.
    I’ve toyed with making my own snap tape and then attaching THAT to the thing I’m sewing. Maybe that would work for the shirtdress I’m working on.

    Buttons are easier.

  2. I’ve only installed snaps once or twice, and for the life of me I can’t remember when that was, but I’ve set grommets both with hammer and with pliers. When the pliers work, they’re brilliant; but I’ve had some failures, too. I always go to them first, though, because I’ve done so much of my crafting at times when noise is bad. Also, as you said, it can be a lot of hammering.

  3. Thanks for this post.You have given me some great ideas. I got a whole load of snaps along with my Prym plier kit and have only used to put snaps on the bottom of a duvet cover that didn’t have any. I never thought to use them on a dress and as my machine is refusing to sew button holes then this is perfect. Thank you! Xx

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