Tips for Sewing with Sequins
Sequins are the perfect option for evening wear, dance wear, and costumes. Sewing sequin fabric can be intimidating, and it does require a bit of extra leg work to get a final result you’ll be pleased with. Here are some sewing sequins tips:
When working with sequins, you’ll mostly need to put extra effort into cutting out your pattern pieces (but as a bonus, one good thing about working with sequin fabric is that you can skip the prewash).
The first step is to remove the sequins that will fall into the seam allowance. While your machine might tolerate sewing over the sequins, the result will be lumpy seams that won’t look anywhere close to professional.
To begin, lay your fabric right side up, positioning the fabric so that when you run your hand over it the sequins remain flat (rather than your hand catching the edge). If the pattern you are using has a “with nap” pattern layout, you’ll want to use that. Otherwise, make sure you are cutting all of your pattern pieces so that the sequins fall the same way. Turn the fabric wrong side up and use a water-soluble marking pen or tailor’s chalk to trace around the pattern piece.
Next, remove the pattern and use a contrasting color thread to hand baste around the pattern lines. Now for the fun part: removing all of the sequins that will be caught in your seam allowance. Even if just the tiniest part of a sequin will be caught you should remove it. The best way (but certainly not the fastest) to do this is to unstring the sequins one at a time. You might find yourself hand knotting the thread the sequins were strung on to prevent others from coming off. Be sure to save the sequins you removed because you’ll need them to finish off the garment. A quick way to remove sequins is to snip the sequin in half (just don’t use your good fabric shears!). The bonus to this method is that you won’t have to worry about sequins unstringing themselves; however, you’ll want to purchase additional sequins that match those on the fabric because you’ll need them to finalize your project.
Once the sequins have been removed along the seam allowances, you can sew as normal. After all of your seams are sewn, flip your garment right side out. Inspect the seams and find any “bald spots.” Using the sequins you removed from the fabric, hand stitch them back on to fill in the gaps. It’s a good idea to save any leftover sequins for future repairs.
By far the most time-consuming part of sewing with sequins is the fabric prep, but taking your time and doing it right will give you a great result and you’ll thank yourself later.
Sewing sequins tips are a little bit different for working with sequin trim– it’s actually a lot easier. Again, you’ll want to make sure the sequins are going in the correct direction. Pin the trim in place by pinning through the existing sequin holes. If the trim is a single row, you can stitch straight down the middle. Otherwise, stitch about 1/4” away from each edge. Be sure you’re not using a ballpoint needle (the kind usually used for knits); it’s not sharp enough to go through the sequins.
Are you busting out the sequins to add to your child’s dress up box and creating the perfect Halloween costume? Be sure to check out The Costume Box: Dress-up for Holiday and Everyday to create more than 50 different costumes for your child.
Have you worked with sequins before? Do you have any sewing sequins tips?