How to sew a sequin trim

Written by rachel terry
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How to sew a sequin trim
Sequin trim adds sparkle to costumes. (Getty creative)

Adding sequin trim to an item you're sewing can add sparkle and make it look professional. Sequin trims are common on Halloween costumes, dance costumes, figure skating dresses and beauty pageant dresses. Because the sequins are difficult to work with, many people hand sew the trim, but it's possible, and sometimes preferable, to machine-sew sequin trim. Machine stitching sequin trim attaches it more securely, which is very important for clothing that will be used heavily.

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Things you need

  • Sewing machine
  • Sequin trim
  • Brand new heavy duty sewing machine needles
  • Sewing machine oil
  • Cotton swab
  • Invisible thread (or monofilament quilting thread)
  • All-purpose thread
  • Scissors
  • Pins

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Install a brand new heavy-duty sewing machine needle into your sewing machine. Put a drop or two of sewing machine oil on a cotton swab, and grease the point of the needle with the oil. The sewing machine oil will help the needle to puncture sequins when they get in the way. Keep your extra heavy duty needles close by in case you break your needle while you're sewing.

    How to sew a sequin trim
    Heavy duty needles make the work easier. (Sewing machine image by Kumar RR from Fotolia.com)
  2. 2

    Wind your bobbin with all-purpose thread that matches your main fabric. Thread your machine with invisible thread or monofilament quilting thread. The invisible thread will not detract from the sequins, but it's best to use all-purpose thread underneath for stability.

    How to sew a sequin trim
    Use all-purpose thread for the bobbin, and invisible thread for your top thread. (thread 3 image by askthegeek from Fotolia.com)
  3. 3

    Determine which direction you want your sequins to run. If you run your finger along the trim in both directions you'll find that your finger runs smoothly over the sequins in one direction and bumps up against every sequin in the other direction. You want your presser foot to leave as little damage behind it as possible, so figure out which way you want to sew the sequin trim on, and lay it out accordingly.

  4. 4

    Use straight pins to pin the sequin trim to the garment. Leave a small tail of trim extending beyond the edge where you'll begin sewing.

    How to sew a sequin trim
    Keep your trim in place with straight pins. (pins image by Ekaterina Lozanova from Fotolia.com)
  5. 5

    Adjust your machine for a long zigzag stitch. Also, adjust the machine to run on its slowest speed. Run one zigzag seam down the middle of the trim if the trim is less than 12 mm (1/2 inch) wide. If the trim is wider than 12 mm (1/2 inch), secure the trim to the fabric using two seams, one on each side of the trim. Do not stretch the trim out as you go because the fabric underneath will pucker.

    How to sew a sequin trim
    Refrain from stretching your trim as you sew the seams. (Sewing machine image by Susanne Karlsson from Fotolia.com)
  6. 6

    Stop sewing when you get one inch from the end of the seam. If you are adding trim to a circular piece such as the hem of a skirt, overlap the two ends of the sequins and secure them by sewing back and forth over the two layers. If you are adding trim to a straight piece that will not overlap the beginning of the seam, fold the end of the trim under so you don't leave a raw edge. Continue to the end of the seam and backstitch to secure the trim.

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