Lesson Learned the Hard Way (as usual)


This day in history has witnessed a few pretty memorable events.

Hannibal won a decisive victory in the Second Punic War (216 B.C.). The US Declaration of Independence was signed (1776). Tower Subway, the world’s first underground tube railway, opened in London (1870).

Peter O’Toole, the Irish actor, came into the world (1932), and Thomas Gainsborough, English painter, left it (1788).

It was also the last day for Enrico Caruso, Italian tenor, (1921); Wild Bill Hickok, American gunfighter and showman, (1876); Alexander Graham Bell, Scottish-born Canadian inventor of the telephone, (1922); and Shari Lewis, American puppeteer – how I miss little Lamb Chop, (1998).

And it is the last day I buy cheap just because it’s convenient.

You may know a company, known for its wide range of sewing tools, with a name that starts with “D”, ends with “z” and appropriately (in my humble opinion) rhymes with “fits.” No? Well, no matter. It’s the thought that counts.

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There I was – done with the morning posts, all primed to pounce on the eyelets and whip them into shape.

I measured and marked for placement, then used my awl and steadily worked it to get a large enough hole. A few threads popped instead of stretched, but nothing fatal. Then I inserted the “Fits Company” grommet that goes on the outside…the one with the prongs. Not only did it slide right in, there wasn’t any fabric distortion. (I have seen a few really wonky grommet jobs.)

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Then I flipped it right side down and made sure the grommet was on the marble block and secure in its little holder.

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At that point it should have been 1) place the other half, 2) position the setting pin, and 3) whack it with the rubber mallet.

But, no.

I put the other half of the grommet over the pronged part and…huh?

The diameter of the “inside ring” is larger than the diameter of the “outside (outer fabric side) ring.” So much larger, in fact, that prongs of the outside ring slide right through the center of the inside ring instead of nestling into the curve. I’d never seen this type of grommet/eyelet before and at first I thought the sizes were mis-matched. But they aren’t. It does have a notable consequence, though.

This means that the prongs on the inside will just barely wrap around the inner edge of the hole. All I can think of is snagging the stay lacing on those little prong tips…not what I want.

The bright side of the coin is I tried a complete set on the first hole and didn’t put in four or five holes before trying the eyelets. (See? I really can learn.)

So it’s back to the ‘net to order real grommets from a real grommet supplier. And I was on such a roll….


7 thoughts on “Lesson Learned the Hard Way (as usual)

  1. Much as grommets look more durable for use in corsets, they are so so so annoying that I have learned the lesson as well and always go the extra mile, hand-binding my eyelets with purl or crochet cotton. It takes ages but really reduces the frustration and swearing. Not to mention how accomplished you feel after binding 12-plus eyelets. 😉

    • I adore the look of hand-sewn eyelets, but for my first attempt at long stays I want to go with metal. I’m hoping to get all the bugs worked out on this one. Then I can spend some serious time on the next one without fretting whether or not it will be a true fit. I won’t know how this one really fits until it’s finished and I can put it on and lace it up. It’s looking good, but still…

    • Thanks. I just learned that my initial assessment was incorrect and updated the post. But I do need different grommets, so it’s more time on the keyboard. Maybe the stays will end up being a Christmas Present to myself. At this rate, anything’s possible. 🙂

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