Sunday, August 10, 2008

How to insert the best magnetic snaps ever.

One of my PET HATES is a badly inserted magnetic catch (or snap). If you don't do these babies right they'll cut a hole clean through your fabric.

Anyone who has one of my patterns or who has been to one of my workshops would know that I certainly take the LONG WAY round on these, and that I bend the prongs INWARDS when I'm using fabric (outwards only on leather, thanks). There are lots of little tricks like that so you can ensure longevity in your lovely handmade bags, and it's worth the effort to get to know them.

One of the most overlooked areas is the BACK of the magnetic catch. The lumps, bumps and sharp edges of the metal clip can mark the outside of your bag (especially when you give it that final and all-important press!). That amazing cure-all Vilene S520 can protect you from disasters like that.


1. Insert a magnetic clip/catch/snap ... whatever you call them at your house.
2. Cut a piece of Vilene S520 to cover the back of the clip and about 1.5cm to 2cms all around it (or if the clip if it is close to the top of the bag or a seam, just cut a narrower strip that extends either side of the clip by about 2cm). 3. Use a bit of steam and press it (from both sides of fabric) to fuse it to the fabric surrounding the clip. (Yes! It's FUSIBLE!!)
4. Topstitch around the clip from the right side of fabric
Gosh - that was easy, wasn't it?


CurlyPops said...

Thankyou so much for enlightening me on how to do this properly!

A Spoonful Of Sugar said...

Thanks for the tips - I must admit I have ben positioning the prongs outwards... never again , now I have seen the light!

Fiona (AKA SewHum) said...

Thanks for posting this. I really was a bit in the dark about how these I can give them a go! Also I love your purse designs - are they beginners level?
I have bought Zoe a machine for her 10th B'day and would like to give her a little project!

méri said...

You have been so busy!!! And soon The Stitches and Craft Show - it sounds so gooood, but soooooo far!

Like Lisa I also have been positioning the prongs outwards

Mary said...

I would like to know if you must slit the fabric before inserting the prongs or just how do you insert them? Thank you, Mary

Nikki said...

Mary - full instructions on how to insert the magnetic clips are available in all my bag patterns and as a tutorial that you can request when you buy the clips from my shop.

Piccolamia said...

I knew there was something I was missing when I made my bags, thanks for the tip. Could you use heavy fusible interfacing instead of the Vilene s250, or is it the same thing?

Nikki said...

Piccolamia - VIlene S520 may be replaced with a different pelmet interfacing, but not any old interfacing. Pelmet interfacing is crisp and flat and won't bend around the clip.

Magnetic snap said...

Great tutorial.Easy to learn and clear instruction for practice.

david mashburn said...

regarding a backer for magnetic
snaps, placing a piece of Gorilla
tape in the area where the snap will be placed will work very well
and there is no sewing involved. I
work a lot with cotton duck and use
magnetic snaps(3/4") and they work
well. I have never had any pull out and have been using them over
fifteen years in my outdoor equipment business-DMashburn

keeternow said...

I enjoyed your instructions on how to install magnetic buttons...thank you. I was wondering if you could help me with a "water proofing" suggestion? I have installed magnetic buttons before and I have one side, the male side, on a towel.

When I wash the towel over time, the prongs and washer/backing rust through the towel. I can't find washer friendly "prong" style magnetic button.

How would you go about making this towel application "washer friendly"?

Thanks for you time!