Sequin Fabric Anxiety? Learn How to Confidently Sew Sequin Fabric
Want to add some sparkle to your life? Take on a challenge and learn how to sew sequin fabric!
Sequins will add sparkling accents of pizzazz to your wardrobe or your home – and there are so many beautiful sequin fabrics to choose from. Whether you go all-out with a cheerful, reversible mermaid sequin or opt for an elegant tulle embellished with strategically placed sequins, you are sure to find a sequin that fits your style. Many sewists are nervous to take on a sequin sewing project because the fabric seems difficult to work with, but with the right sewing techniques and sewing tricks, you will be sewing sequins like a champ in no time!
Best Sequin Fabric Sewing Tricks and Tips!
What to sew with sequin fabric?
How to add sequins to your wardrobe
If you want to create a formal look, for a holiday party or other special event, sequins are a great choice! A gown, formal dress, or suit made from sequin fabric will instantly pop. Choosing a fabric in a sophisticated neutral color or with a delicate sequin design sewn onto a tulle backing will bring elegance to your handmade wardrobe.
While sequins are a staple in formal wear – they are versatile and can be incorporated into your casual wardrobe as well! A stretch sequin fabric sewn into a t-shirt or pair of joggers will elevate your relaxed, everyday style. There are many sequin fabric options that are stretchy and perfect for casual wear. To really accentuate the relaxed feel of the garment – try to find sequin fabrics with fun or offbeat details, like a reversible mermaid sequin or a fabric that incorporates cartoonishly large sequins.
Another option to incorporate sequins if you do not want to go all out is to add sequins to just a portion of a garment, rather than the whole thing. Try adding sequin pockets to a shirt, making sequin appliques for a sweater, or making a t-shirt with sequin sleeves!
No matter what kind of garment you decide to make from sequins, just keep in mind that choosing a simple pattern that does not have a lot of pieces, seams, or curves will be your best bet. Sequins do not usually translate well into complicated pieces. Plus, you want the sequins to be the star of the show, not the complex seams!
Add some sparkle to your home décor
Is wearing sequins not your thing? You can still add some sparkle to your life! Incorporate sequins into your home décor! Try making throw pillows, table runners, or wall décor from beautiful sequin fabric! The best part about making home décor items is that they are usually quick and simple to make – perfect for sequins!
Pre-Sew: How to prepare your sequin fabric
I must admit – preparing sequin fabric to sew can be time-consuming and a real drag if you just want to get sewing now. However, in my opinion, they are worth the effort because the final garment is so much fun to wear!
Cutting your sequins
First, you need to cut out your pattern pieces. It is important to identify the “nap” of the fabric. The nap of a fabric is the direction that the fibers (or in this case, sequins) lay on the fabric. Sequin fabrics often have a nap and are directional. If this is the case for your fabric, you need to make sure that you cut all your pattern pieces in the same direction! For example, you do not want one sleeve cut with the sequins running in one direction and the other cut in the other direction! As a result, you may need to buy more fabric to account for the direction of the nap and ensure that you have enough to complete your project.
Next, when cutting your sequin fabric, it is much easier to cut in a single layer. Folding the fabric into a double layer for cutting will result in inaccurate cutting and the fabric moving around because those shifty sequins just do not like to lay flat!
Also, cut your fabric with the sequins facing down. This way you will have less sequins flying into your face as you cut. It is also just easier to cut from the fabric side than the sequin side.
And a final cutting tip – please, and I repeat… please, do not cut sequins with your fabric scissors! Cutting sequins with your nice, sharp fabric scissors is one way to quickly dull your sewing tools! I highly recommend that you either cut your sequin fabric with regular craft scissors or use a rotary cutter (because you can change the blade when it gets dull).
Preparing your seams
Once you have all your pieces cut out, you will need to remove the sequins from the seam allowances so that your sewing machine can do its job without irregular stitching and broken needles.
First, mark your seam allowances. You can either do this with a fabric marker/ tailor’s chalk on the fabric side or by hand sewing along the seam line. The hand sewing will be easier to see as you remove sequins, but it will take longer up front than just marking with chalk.
Next, grab your scissors (not your fabric scissors!) and cut the sequins out of the seam allowances. Make sure to cut them by cutting the actual sequin in half, then scraping it away from the fabric, rather than cutting the thread holding the sequin to the fabric. In some fabrics the thread is not individually secured at each sequin; so, if you cut it, you may lose a whole row of sequins!
Tips to sew sequin fabric
Once you have gone to all that work to prepare your fabric – the actual sewing part is not that much different than usual! Just choose a needle that works for the fabric backing (for example, a stretch needle for stretch fabric) and test your needle and stitch settings out on a small scrap of fabric first! Also, make sure you have extra needles – you may break one if you hit a wayward sequin!
Take the sewing slow and try to get as close to the sequins as possible while staying within the seam allowances you cleared. If you have any bare spots on your garment after it is sewn, you can use some of the sequins that may have fallen off while cutting and hand sew them on to cover the blank areas.
Also, while I would normally recommend pressing each seam with your iron as you sew your garment, you want to avoid ironing sequin fabrics! Most sequins are plastic – so you can easily melt them with your iron. So instead, try to just finger-press your seams (meaning press the seam out with your fingers).
If you absolutely must iron your sequin fabric – only iron it from the fabric side (with the sequins facing down), use the lowest heat setting, and use a press cloth between the iron and the fabric!
How to care for your sequins
Now that you have your new sparkly outfit (or home décor), you may be wondering – can I machine wash sequins? And the answer is yes… usually. First, always check the care instructions from the fabric manufacturer – sequin fabrics can be made with a wide range of different backing fabrics, some of which may not be machine washable.
In most cases, you can either hand wash or machine wash on a gentle, low heat cycle with a mild detergent. Also, turn your sequin garment inside out before tossing it in the wash – this will help keep the sequins from getting stuck or hit on the inside of the washing machine and falling off.
When it comes to drying, always air dry your sequin garments! You can either hang it to dry or lay it flat on a towel. The dryer really can melt or damage the sequins!
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