Sewing Tips: Sequin Seaming

Different fabrics require different care while sewing. Some fabrics require delicate threads, others require rigid interfacing. Knowing what techniques and notions to use with which particular fabric makes sewing easier and the results much more impressive. Sequined fabrics are gorgeous but they present a unique problem. When side stitching, or taking a seam elsewhere, some sequine can get in the way. As you’re seaming you’ll run right beside some sequin, but through the center of others. Still other sequin will have just a tiny sliver caught in the seam thread. Upon turning the garment right-side-out you’ll notice that these caught sequin cause the seam to look lumpy and unprofessional.

To eliminate the lumpy seam problem remove some of the sequin. Draw a chalk mark of where your seam will go. Any sequin caught near the mark should be removed, even if just the tiniest bit of the sequin will be caught. Since sequin are strung together, clipping the thread on one to remove it will cause the others, eventually, to begin falling off or becoming loose. Instead, pull the thread aside with tweezers or use the tip of the scissors to lift. Use tiny scissors to cut from the outer edge of the sequin, into the center. This will remove the sequin while leaving the thread intact.

Although it’s a tedious process, but removing all the sequin from the seam line over to the edge of the material, will allow the seam to lay perfectly flat. Although removing just the sequin from the seam line helps to prevent lumps, removing all sequin to the side of the seam line will allow a much nicer inside seam.

After stitching the seam, turn the garment and now look for bare spots where sequin have been removed. Holding the garment up, or sliding it on, will visibly show an awkward pattern, going down the seam line, where you’ve removed sequin. To fix the problem, hand stitch some of the sequin back on.

Decide on a spot that needs a sequin and align it in the bare spot. Find the place just opposite the cut in the sequin. Halfway between that mark and the cut, you’ll want to put your thread. Make a couple of stitches up and over the sequin with a thread color that closely matches. Now find the opposite side of the thread and stitch that area as well.

Use this technique for hems, too. When you fold a sleeve or hem under to stitch, some sequin will stick out causing the area to look lumpy. Remove a couple of sequin, sew, and reattach for the perfect look every time. Sequin garments are stunning and well worth the extra time involved in sewing them correctly.

To work with sequin that is glued onto the fabric, use a rolling pin to fold sequin flat, around hems and at seams. Oil the machine needle frequently to help it pass through the glued sequin. If the needle begins to yank the fabric as it emerges from the bobbin area, it’s time to replace the needle. Always replace the needle after, after sewing glued sequin, before moving on to your next project.

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