Thursday, August 12, 2010

Snap Tape Tutorial

Patterns for kids clothes often call for snap tape. This is twill tape with pre-set snaps all ready for you to sew into your garment to make potty training and diaper changes easier. It seems to me that while this tape is handy, it's often hard to find. The tape I've found is also wider than I'd like and the snaps are set too far apart. I decided to make my own to get exactly what I want. Here's what to do if you want to do as little hand sewing as possible.

Materials: 1/2" twill tape. Size 15 or 3/8" snaps*. Garment in progress.
*Note if you want to use larger snaps, you will need wider tape.

As you can see in the image above, the FRONT of the garment will provide the top of the two flaps so that the opening will face toward the back. This is where I placed the open (female) side of the snaps.

1. Hem the bottom of the legs, leaving the crotch seam open (see sides of picture below).

2. Turn the BACK crotch seam under twice to completely finish the edge just like you did with the hem of the legs. Turn the FRONT seam under once about 1/4" to clean up the edge (not pictured). Stitch.

3. Cut 2 pieces of 1/2" twill tape to the width of the crotch seam, adding about 1/4" to allow for turning under at both sides.

4. Turn the ends of one piece of the twill tape under and pin. Stitch to the right side of the BACK.

5. Turn the ends of the second piece of twill tape under and pin. Stitch the twill tape over the unfinished edge of the FRONT crotch hem on the wrong side of the fabric.

6. Mark on the tape where you want to place your snaps so they will match up when closed. Set your snaps following the package directions. The prong (male) side goes on the BACK. The socket (female) side will go on the FRONT.

7. Handstitch the wide opening closed on both pieces of tape.

This is what the open (female) side will look like.

And you're finished!

I hope this will be helpful. It took me a couple of tries to figure out the best way to do this with the least amount of handstitching possible. Please let me know if you have any questions and I'll do my best to answer them.