How to Sew Sequin Material

Written by vivienne lydamore
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How to Sew Sequin Material
Handle sequinned fabric carefully when sewing. (Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

In dramatic evening lighting, sequins shimmer and add a touch of glamour with every movement. When you sew with sequin material, you quickly find that it comes with challenges. Sequins break when sewn by machine, and sequins inside a garment irritate the wearer's skin and snag hosiery. When you invest the time it takes to construct a sequinned garment, try some pointers on how to handle and sew sequin material.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

Things you need

  • Pattern
  • Tissue paper
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Cutting mat
  • Rotary cutter
  • Lining fabric
  • Hand-sewing needle
  • Thread
  • Sewing machine
  • Zipper

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  1. 1

    Identify pattern pieces, such as a dress front, marked for placement on the fold. Make full pattern pieces by tracing each "on the fold" pattern piece onto tissue paper. Cut out the pieces with scissors and carefully tape each piece to its mirror image along the fold line.

  2. 2

    Lay the sequin fabric face down on the cutting mat. Check the overlap direction of the sequins so you use a "with nap" layout, placing each pattern piece so the sequins overlap downward. Cut out the sequinned fabric with a rotary cutter using 1-inch seam allowances. Cut out the lining using 5/8-inch seam allowances.

    How to Sew Sequin Material
    Sequins overlap from top to bottom on a finished garment. (Jupiterimages/ Images)
  3. 3

    Clip sequins in half to remove them from narrow sections of darts. Use a needle and thread to stitch the darts by hand from the right side. Stitch spare sequins over any bare spots.

  4. 4

    Assemble the lining with a sewing machine. Assemble the sequin fabric with a needle and thread, using 3/4-inch seam allowances to make the sequin layer slightly larger than the lining. Hand-stitch the sequinned garment sections together using a ladder stitch.

  5. 5

    Make the ladder stitch by sewing from the right side with the seam allowances folded to the inside. Push the needle into the fold on one side of the seam, run it under the fold for 1/4 inch, bring the needle out and straight across to the other side. Insert the needle in the fold and run it under the fold for 1/4 inch, out and across. Continue stitching loosely, and periodically draw the thread tight to pull the seam together. Adjust sequins as you tighten the seam.

  6. 6

    Remove sequins from seam allowances after you stitch the seams by loosening the threads that hold the sequins. Pull off whole sequins and tie off the threads. Save the sequins.

  7. 7

    Remove the sequins from the seam allowance for the zipper. Hand stitch the zipper into the garment. Sew sequins over any bare spots.

  8. 8

    Insert the lining and hand-stitch the lining to the neckline and armhole openings. Stitch a 3-inch wide piece of bias-cut lining to the hem, fold it up, and stitch the top of the bias to the wrong side of the sequin fabric. Hem the lining.

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