Continuing in our ‘Sew Successful’ series we bring you some tips on how to sew with sequin and beaded fabric. This is the perfect season to wear sequins and beads, whether it’s on complete garments, sections or accessories. They add glamour and sparkles to any item. Sometimes we can stay away from using them because we’re not sure how to effectively sew and work with the fabric so we have some basic guidelines to help you get started and the biggest advice…practise.practise.practise J
Design/Pattern: Choose a simple design for fabrics that are heavily sequined or beaded. Keep the design minimal, avoiding seams, pleats, pockets or set in sleeves for obvious reasons. Sequined fabric can look nice as a final design feature to be sewn into a finished garment as a feature or panel; it doesn’t necessarily always have to be the base layer to stand out.
Alternatively, sequin fabric is one of the most popular choices for evening bags at this time of year and one of my personal recommendations and fun to make.
Cutting: Whatever you decide to make, remember it’s important you keep the seam allowance free of beads/sequins- you can remove these by cutting loose their thread or crushing them. Cut in a continued smooth motion & direction. We recommend cutting in single layers, but make sure you turn the pattern to create a left and right side if you do. Sometimes cutting fabric with detail can blunt blades so try and avoid this by using old scissors for these occasions.
Sewing: It is important you use new sharp needles when sewing with sequins and beads as they can easily blunt, just like scissors, so you will need to change the needles before your next piece too. A great tip is to pop on the zipper foot to your sewing machine as it makes it a lot easier to sew with this kind of fabric & is more practical than a regular foot.
Finishing: Go around and cut down any beads that may snag or are close to the edging and could create discomfort. With a very small pair of scissors work your way around and neaten up the item; making sure that all threads are secure before you cut them. If any area looks a little bare, use some hand stitching to move around or add some sequins/beads to create a full and finished look.
Special Tips: Always press on the wrong side using a pressing cloth or piece of fabric in-between the iron and the main fabric. Avoid any steam and moisture as they can damage the sequins.