How to Arrange Sequins on Dresses

Updated February 21, 2017

Whether you are sewing your own dress with sequins or adding a bit of personality to a store-bought dress, arranging sequins can be a challenge. Think about colour, shape and style to create a flattering and fun garment. Sequins can add a stylish, fresh and modern look, but when arranged carelessly they can look dated, awkward and tacky.

Choose your dress or pattern. If you plan to add sequins to a dress, the style should be relatively simple and flattering to your body shape. While you can arrange sequins on any dress and sew them into place, you will find it easier to arrange sequins on a fabric with some body, as opposed to a very thin, stretchy or sheer fabric.

Consider how heavily sequinned you would like your dress. Heavily sequinned dresses will stand out more and require fewer accessories, while a few delicately scattered sequins can simply add a bit of shimmer. Develop a vision for your dress so you can decide how to arrange sequins on the dress.

Pick out the type and colour of sequins for your dress. Small sequins in the colour of your dress will provide a more subtle shine. A bolder colour contrast or larger sequins will make more of a statement. If you plan on sewing sequins into place by machine, opt for presewn sequinned trim for convenience, rather than single sequins. Single sequins lend themselves well to hand sewing.

Try on your dress. If you are sewing a dress, adding sequins at the very end will help you to place them appropriately. You can also add sequins to a purchased dress to take it up a notch in both style and formality. Decide which areas of the dress and your body you would prefer to emphasise. Drape and pin sequinned trim into place to test possible arrangements. If you will be using individual sequins, use a ribbon or another trim to try out possibilities before sewing sequins into place.

Hand or machine sew your sequins into place using matching thread. Sequins are thin and flexible, so you can simply sew right through them; however, you will need to replace your needle frequently when sewing sequins. If you need to restitch your sequins, discard them and start with new sequins for your dress.

Things You'll Need

  • Sewing machine
  • Thread
  • Extra sewing machine needles
  • Hand sewing needle
  • Individual sequins or sequin trims
  • Dress
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About the Author

With a master's degree in art history from the University of Missouri-Columbia, Michelle Powell-Smith has been writing professionally for more than a decade. An avid knitter and mother of four, she has written extensively on a wide variety of subjects, including education, test preparation, parenting, crafts and fashion.