At Core Fabrics, we can’t resist a good sequin moment, but with all the tiny threads and sharp edges, sewing sequin fabric can appear intimidating at first. Fear not! With a few tips and tricks, these sparkling beauties are more than manageable. Here is our most helpful advice for sewing sewing sequins with ease!
Choosing the Right Project for Sequinned Fabric
- Since the fabric is the star of the show, keep the pattern simple to let the sequins (literally) shine.
- When possible, choose sewing patterns with minimal pieces and design lines. Removing sequins from seamlines (more on that below) can be arduous, so choosing a simple silhoutte will make your life easier!
- When possible, line any sequined garment. This will provide a layer in between the sometimes scratchy sequins and your skin.
How to Cut and Prepare Sequin Fabric
- Use craft shears or an dedicated rotary blade to cut your fabric. Sequins can dull your nice sewing shears, so save the extra trip to the scissor sharpener and use craft shears or an old rotary cutter to snip through the sparkles.
- Dull tape is your friend! Sequins are typically attached to the fabric underneath in sections, meaning they are sewn on in groups. If one of these threads comes unraveled, your garment will be left looking a little bare. To avoid this, you can tape down the ends of these threads. Just be sure you’ve dulled the tape beforehand so it doesn’t pull the threads upon removal!
Tips for Sewing Sequins
- Depending on the scale of your sequins, you may or may not be able to sew over them. Very small sequins can generally be sewn over, but anything larger than 2mm should be removed from the seam allowance with a seam ripper before stitching your seams.
- Most sequins are sewn onto delicate mesh, so if you are sewing over them, consider using a walking foot or taping your feed dogs to avoid any below-deck tangling.
- Sew with a 16/100 ballpoint needle. You may want to keep a spare on hand as well, just in case your needle experiences fatal attraction with a sequin gone rouge.
- Speaking of needles, keep some hand sewing tools on hand to reattach stray sequins. If your intended project has thin straps or delicate details, you can sew them up with a matching fabric and then handstitch some sequins from your fabric scraps to help them blend in with your finished garment.
- Avoid a hot iron at all costs! Sequins can melt when heat is applied, so feel free to leave the iron behind. Try finger pressing and steaming seams instead. If your garment of fabric is in need of smoothing, use a hand held steamer or hang in the bathroom during a steamy shower.
- If you really need to press a seam, use a press cloth to protect the fabric and keep your iron low.
Seam Finishes for Sequin Fabrics
- Check the base layer of your sequin fabric for fraying. If it doesn't seem like it will be an issue (which is often the case given how densely sequins are attached to fabric), finishing the seam is generally unnecessary.
- Do not serge over sequin seams unless you are okay with dulling your serger blade and having it replaced.
- If your inner seams feel scratchy, you can bind them with a matching bias binding to provide comfort. Who says you have to suffer to look fabulous?
- To finish your hem, try pressing up once and slipstitching in place for an invisible finish.
- If you are worried about the hem fraying or want to soften it, cut a piece of bias 1.5" wide. Sew to the hem using a 1/2" seam allowance and then wrap the bas around the seam for a flat, smooth finish that won't scratch your legs.
And that's it! We hope you have fun sewing sequins for your next special event!