Introduction: Reinforced Fabric Hole. (Old Style Button Hole or Eyelet.)
This is a handy little sewing technique. I use these holes in my projects as attachment points for cordage, buttons and as pull string holes. For my hiking gear I prefer to use button holes and cordage instead of zippers, snaps or velcro. I find that zippers will tend to get caught, or break. I'm sure we've all experienced that! Snaps and grommets will detach leaving exposed material that rip. Velcro wears out.
This example is showing a towel with faux leather as the reinforcement. The hole is fairly large so I can put paracord through it easily. You can make them much smaller or larger.
A note on the pictures: The inside of the hole appears to be frayed, but this is not the case. You are seeing the 'fluffy' backing of the towel. These holes are specifically made to prevent frayed edges in them.
Step 1: Tools and Materials
Sewing machine or needle and thread if you really want to.
Very sharp and pointy scissors.
exacto knife (optional)
Something to push or pull material through a hole. I used a tweezers.
an iron to flatten out the material (optional)
Step 2: Determine the Location of Your Hole.
Not much to say here. Determine the location where your hole(s) will go and mark your material.
Step 3: Cut Your Reinforcing Material.
Cut a piece of the material you will use to reinforce your hole. You can use any shape you want really. This example uses a square but a circle or star could just as easily be used.
Step 4: Determine How to Attach Your Material.
You can show or hide your reinforcing material. I chose to show the faux leather on the patterned side of the towel. What you need to know is that you will start by seeing the back of your reinforcing material and the side of your larger material that will not be seen. For example: In the associated picture, the back of the towel is seen and the back of the faux leather is seen as well. When the hole is finished, the leather will be seen on the front of the towel. If you were to want it on the back side of the towel, the faux leather would be started face down on the front of the towel.
Step 5: Sew a Small Square or Rectangle That Will Serve As Your Hole.
Attach the reinforcing material to the main material by sewing a small rectangle or square in the center of it. The square must be large enough to pull the reinforcing material through. As you can see in the picture, the square doesn't have to be perfect, but If you sew the square cockeyed your hole will be cockeyed.
Important note: Do not sew past the edges of your square. Doing so may cause problems in later steps.
Step 6: Cut the Hole.
Cut diagonally from opposite corners in your sewn square so you are left with a cut "X".
Important Note: Do not cut past the corners of the sewn square. The stitching could come undone and you would have to redo it. You'll know if you do this because things will come undone when you attempt to pull the material through the hole.
Step 7: Pull the Reinforcing Material Through the Hole.
Depending on how big your hole is, you may need a needle nose pliers or tweezers to pull the material through the hole. The first image I am pushing the material through the hole with the back of a tweezers. If the stitching comes undone you most likely cut the X too big. you will have to back up and re-sew the square.
Step 8: Sew Around the Hole.
Flatten out the material as much as possible around the hole. For some types of materials you may wish to use an iron. The goal is to sew all the layers of material together. This includes the little triangular flaps that were pulled through the hole. You will need to sew fairly close to the holes edge to ensure everything is sewn together.
Step 9: Sew Another Square Around the Hole.
I recommend a minimum of two squares sewn around the hole. You could have stopped at the previous step but the hole will hold up better with at least two squares sewn around it. I am using these holes as tie off points so I chose to make larger reinforcements and have used three sew lines.
Step 10: Cut Off Excess Material
If there is excess material, cut it off. Optionally, if you have a fancy reinforcement, like a star shape, for instance, then sew around the edges of your reinforcement material.
Step 11: Examples.
Pictured are some examples of how to use this hole.
Please share any ideas or uses regarding this technique.
Have fun with your projects!