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I bought some hammer on fasteners for a dress I’m making and don’t know whether they are just a dodgy batch or I’m doing something wrong.

They are made by Hemline and basically there is a tool that you are meant to hammer into the fabric to make your hole – all it leaves on my fabric is a slight indent so I used a tool from my shed for that bit instead.

Then I move onto inserting the snap fronts and backs together, at least 3 sets bent out of shape even though i was only lightly hammering them together. The ones that did connect feel like they will come apart as soon as I start joining them/fastening them with the “male” parts.

3 sets of the “male” parts did come apart as soon as I tugged slightly on them and on the ones that stayed together (on the sleeve cuffs), they won’t snap together with the front parts for love nor money so they are a bit of a pointless feature to the dress.

Has anyone got any tips for using them or are they often a nightmare because I’m following the instructions as much as I can from what I can see and I’m starting to want to pull my hair out which may not be a good look. Plus I’m going to be nervous about wearing the dress and trusting them to hold it closed if I don’t get it sorted :-(


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  • Patti_12-28-2011_large

    Oct 20, 2011, 09.26 PMby patti-r

    Hoping someone has an easy solution,

    Many recommend these: http://www.snapsource.com/faqs/introtosnaps.php

    I am snap challenged. Worst sewing tool I ever bought was a Dritz/Prym snap plier tool kit, had same problem your having, tossed it. Only do couture snaps.

    My son has an expensive machine than does snaps, LOL I take it to him put some interfacing between fabric.

    1 Reply
    • 20596winter_20fairy_large

      Oct 21, 2011, 11.00 AMby sewingfan1

      Ooh, thankyou, I’ll have a look at them.
      You lucky thing having access to a good machine.
      Will try with interfacing when I get to the thinner parts (if i stick with them rather than changing my mind and going for buttons instead) but the cuffs and the neckline bit were pretty thick already (at least 2mm) due to the seam allowance and facings so hadn’t bothered there, maybe that’s where i was going wrong.

  • Manneqin_large

    Oct 20, 2011, 11.58 PMby japconst

    Sounds like your snap kit works like setting grommets. I have set a lot of grommets and metal snaps before and did not face the problems you did. Not sure if its the material the snaps are made of. Is your fabric kind of soft? If so, you might need to reinforce before applying the snaps/grommets, otherwise it will just pull out. If setting on elastic fabric, I iron on interfacing to reinforce before applying snaps. Hope this helps.

  • 20596winter_20fairy_large

    Oct 21, 2011, 11.17 AMby sewingfan1

    It’s like a moleskin on one side and shiny on the other, medium weight fabric. It says the thickness should be at least 2mm and it definitely matches that (or exceeds it) on the places where I’ve been fixing them. Do you make a proper hole and push the grommet through that before applying the snap (that’s what I’ve been doing) or should the snap just trap the fabric between it and the grommit and that’s what holds them together? Maybe it’s not a tight enough fit between the 2 parts if there’s no fabric caught inside them? Maybe that’s why the “hole maker” doesn’t make a hole but just makes an indent? Oh, I hope not, else I’m going to have to scrap them and do buttons instead as I’ve made holes now :-(

  • Missing

    Oct 21, 2011, 11.51 AMby crinkle

    I had problems with Prym fasteners but after a lot of trial and error, I found that I wasn’t hitting the tool holding either the hole punch bit or the grommet bit hard enough. Once I had mastered keeping it level and then giving it a single quite hard bang with the hammer, they worked perfectly and have never pulled apart.

    Good luck and hope you are successful as they do give a different finish from buttons.

  • Missing

    Oct 21, 2011, 01.26 PMby mickeygirl

    I do it this way on scrap fabric same thickness with interfacing etc a few times.

    I put the little prong things through the fabric by hand and make sure that they are through. I use a very hard and flat surface underneath metal or cutting board. I use a rubber mallet and the little tool/die that comes with the kit. I cover the pretty side of the snap with something so the mallet does not damage it. The difficult part is deciding which side of the ring part is supposed to be which way. The instructions are never that good but it is different slightly on each side.

  • 20596winter_20fairy_large

    Oct 22, 2011, 11.49 AMby sewingfan1

    Thankyou all. I’ll persevere and maybe try it our on scrap fabric a few times to get the technique off pat :-)

  • Missing

    Oct 22, 2011, 06.34 PMby abby12

    Yes I agree scrap fabric

  • Missing

    Mar 15, 2013, 09.02 PMby robynnlansyn

    Great question! I was wondering this myself. I saw a pattern that used a metal fastener at this fabric shop in Calgary. But I’ve never used them. Thanks for sharing this! http://www.calfast.com/

  • Missing

    May 3, 2015, 06.19 AMby Summerplace

    The Hemline snap fasteners are the most exasperating sewing tool I have used! I have wasted so much time trying to work out the tool from the poor instructions.

    • This is a question
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