What kind of needle should I use for sequin fabric?
Use a #14 stretch needle for your sequin fabric. They’re strong, and their special eye will slip in between sequins without damaging them. You will likely break fewer to no needles with this kind.
How to sew sequin fabric
For any darts that you might have, bring the pins together and use your thread as a stitch line guide.
You can pin seams or hand baste them. When you’re sewing seams, stitch right through your sequins if you’re using small sequins. If you’re using larger sequins, I’m assuming you’ve already prepped them by taking out the sequins in the seam allowance.
Use either a straight stitch or a narrow zigzag (0.5mm width, 2.5mm length) if the sequins are on a stretch mesh like mine here.
Because I hate bulky seams, I go another step. If I have a seam that’s not being lined or feels bulky, I take out the sequins right at the seam allowance edge. From there, I’ll press the seam to one side and topstitch it down to keep it flat and keep the sequins enclosed.
Just line sequin fabric
Garments made with sequin fabric really need to be lined. Sequins can be abrasive next to your skin, and lined garments are just nicer to begin with.
What should I line sequin fabric with? Polyester interlock. It’s inexpensive, available in a million colors, and it’s lightweight and drapey enough to work as a great lining. Stylish Fabric is my favorite spot for polyester interlock. Check out other online stores here in my Ultimate Jumbo Mega Guide to Online Fabric Stores.
Can I press sequin fabric?
Sort of. Drop your iron heat down to low. If you need to press a seam, press from the wrong side of the fabric, and use a press cloth. Silk organza is your best press cloth bet here.
In a lot of cases, finger pressing will do the job. That being said, I’ve had no problem ironing from the wrong side with silk organza and steam can really set that seam well. Just don’t iron from the right side unless you want to ruin your sequins!
How to hem sequin fabric
Use a hem facing of some sort when you’re working with sequin fabrics. You can use an actual facing cut from a coordinating lightweight fabric, bias tape, or a knit binding.
On this cardigan, I used the lace edge as my hem that was on the selvage of this particular sequin fabric.
How to finish a neckline on sequin fabric
Think of your neckline just like your hem. Use a facing, bias tape, knit binding. You can also finish your neckline with your lining like I did on this dress.
How to clean up after sequin fabric
Whew, you made it to the end of your sequin fabric, and your room looks like a unicorn just glitter cannoned everything.
But you were smart and protected your surfaces! Now, just fold up all your paper from your cut table. Take it to your outside trash and shake it out. For your table, first lift up your chair and dust off any sequins onto your dropcloth.
After that, fold up your dropcloth and again, take it to your outside trash and shake out the sequins.
You’ll still have sequins in your sewing space, but it’ll be a lot less. Wrap painter’s tape around your hand to pick up stray ones on your table. Vacuum or sweep up any leftovers. You might still need to run over your floor with duct tape for the really stubborn sequins.
So those are my tips for how to tackle sequin fabric. If you take the time to prep it, sequin can be a really fun fabric to work with. Just don’t try it without a roll of tape and vacuum handy!
What’s been your experience with sequin fabric?
Elizabeth Farr is the writer behind the Elizabeth Made This blog where she shares helpful sewing tips, step by step sewing tutorials and videos to help you explore your creativity through sewing. She has written sewing Eguides and patterns, been a featured teacher at Rebecca Page’s Sewing Summit and Jennifer Maker’s Holiday Maker Fest and her work has appeared in Seamwork and Altered Couture magazines. She also created a line of refashioned garments for SEWN Denver. When her sewing machine isn’t humming, she’s playing and teaching violin, and hanging around a good strategic board game with her husband and 4 kids.
3 thoughts on “How to sew sequin fabric without going bananas”
TOTALLY APPRECIATE YOUR PREP ADVICE. NEVER THOUGHT ABOUT THE SAFETY FOR EYES OR USING A DUST SHEET FOR RUGS.
GOING TO DIVE IN. WILL BE USING YOUR ADVICE THROUGHT.
Especially with the huge sequins, you never know if that sharp metal could go awry! Have fun!
I appreciate all the advice that you covered, for sewing sequins. I’ve sewn at home for about 55 years. This all sequin prom dress, with a train, May do me in! It’s for my granddaughter,so here goes! Next,engineering the bustle on this heavy fabric, so she can actually dance at the Prom!