A few of my recent sewing projects have included a tuck catch closure, and naturally people are curious about to attach them.
Tuck catches are simple to use and are one of those things that once you are looking at the pieces in person it makes sense how they go together. But when looking at them online it might be hard to imagine how they work, so let me show you how it's done:
Tuck Catch - There are 4 parts: 1. tuck lock, 2. catch, 3. backing plate and 4. decorative prong to hold the tuck lock in place.
Fray Check - Optional, but recommended. Other seam sealants are probably ok too--I'm just not familiar with any other ones. If you know of a good Fray Check substitute, please share in the comments!
Scissors & Awl - The awl is also optional, but recommended. When installing the catch you can use scissors to cut the prong holes, but for the piece that holds the lock in place it easier to use an awl. It's a small hole and often the fabric is thick. The fine, sharp point of the awl is perfect! My awl--which I like very much--is a Clover Straight Tailor's Awl.
Batting Scrap - This goes between the fabric and backing plate. Scrap fabric is ok too.
The tuck lock will go into the catch from either direction, but only one way is the correct way. The catch not only catches the lock, it also acts as a resting place for the lock and gives you something to push against when depressing the lock. When the two parts are together, they need to look like the "yes" part in the photo above.
Placing the Catch
For most projects you'll probably need to install the catch before you are finished sewing.
Here I'm making a pouch that is just two main pieces (pouch & back/flap), and I'll need to put on the catch before attaching my pouch to the lining back/flap piece.
To determine where the catch goes I need to figure out where the two pieces will meet when closed. In my example, I'll finish the pouch, and then place the pouch portion on the lining. My lining and exterior pieces are exactly the same, which I'm just ignoring the exterior piece for now.
Then I'll temporarily attach the lock so I can accurately place the catch. So I'm folding down the top flap portion into it's closed position, and I'm also folding up the edge of the fabric to mimic the seam allowance. Finally I slide the lock over the fabric and push it onto the fabric as far as it will go.
Then I snap the lock and catch together and see where the catch goes on the pouch.
Once it's in centered in place I press the catch down gently so the prongs on the back leave impressions in the fabric to show me where to cut the prong holes.
Then I cut the prong holes (with scissors) through the exterior layer of fabric only and apply Fray Check to them:
Then I insert the catch prongs through the fabric, place the batting piece over them, and then add the backing plate and fold the prongs down to hold the plate in place:
Then I'll finish sewing until the entire pouch is done. Once it's complete, it's time to attach the tuck lock.
The lock just slides over the edge of the flap. Once it's in place I mark where the prongs need to go and then use the awl to make the holes:
Once again, I apply Fray Check to the holes and then the final step is to slide the lock on, attach the prong piece, and fold the prongs back.