Laced Garments and Life Hacks

I’m in the middle of a project which is going to have lacing in it, and also in the middle of one massive, days-long squeal of excitement regarding my new eyelet press and how much easier it’s going to make setting eyelets in all the laced garments I’m going to be making, when into my lap is dropped another massively time-saving, argh-saving device (or rather the idea of that device) by way of a video by the inimitable Cathy Hay.

In that video (about 23:00) she whips out this genius tool, made by Amped Atelier, which is a “lacing guide”, basically a piece of perspex with sets of holes drilled in it at regular intervals for marking where to put eyelets.

Well, says I, I definitely need one of those. But, a) they’re in America, b) they only come in metric OR imperial and I use both, c) they seem to be out of stock at the moment anyway, and most relevantly d) I never buy anything I could make.

I raided my perspex drawer (yes, I have one of those) and pulled out a big sheet, which I put on my chop saw (yes, I also have one of those) and cut it to about 15″ by 6″.

I then took a ruler and a sharpie and marked a bunch of sets of dots at spacings of, on the metric side, 1cm, 1.5cm, 2.5cm and on the imperial side, 1/2″, 5/8″, 3/4″ and 1  1/8″. That’s one and one eighth. Not eleven eighths.

As you can see above, I forgot to add 3/4″ until after I’d marked 1  1/8″, but I did add it.

How did I choose the spacings? Well, there was no point doing a row of 1cm and a row of 2cm spacing, you can just use every other hole of the one row. So I chose intervals that would fill in gaps left by each other.

Happily, half inches are just that little bit different from centimeters, which meant using a variety of measures from both systems left me with a spacing option for pretty much any occasion.

Then commenced a whole lot of drilling. I do not have a drill press. Surprised? Yeah, me too, kind of. Maybe I’ll get one. Meanwhile, my right elbow is not pleased with having had to drill so many holes.

And also my nanometer precision could use a little refinement. My not-super sharp drill bit walked around a bit on the perspex before settling into each cut. More so on the left-most holes below, because I started out with a 5mm drill bit for no reason other than that seemed eyelet-sort-of-size and I didn’t think it through (moi?!) but then I switched to a 3mm drill bit and the rest went rather better.

So, having got quite thoroughly distracted for the morning and blown my schedule for the day completely, I have a handy new tool which should save me maybe 15 minutes at a time, but it’s a faffy, annoying 15 minutes I’ll be pleased to not spend painstakingly marking eyelet hole interfals every time.

And besides, I like making random stuff.  Now I’d better go mark the eyelet holes in that corset.