Getting Started with Sequined fabric

Once upon a fabric shopping trip to downtown Los Angeles to meet up with other Cashmerette loving sewists I picked up this amazing olive green gold sequin fabric. It was slinky and an earthy iridescence I couldn’t resist. Have you ever picked up a fabric and loved it so much only to second guess yourself when you got it home. Most fabric purchases are non refundable. This should give me pause in what I purchase, but not this time. I immediately thought bolero or cocoon cardigan.

Cutting sequins

Truth time, I had never sewn with sequined fabric before. It was so beautiful I couldn’t resist, I’m fearless at the register, once it’s on the cutting table the flop sweat starts.

I always forget how much fabric it takes to really cover my body, and since I wanted this to go to my natural waist I did not have enough for my bolero/kimono/cocoon cardi thing. I would be lying if I said the thought of going down to The Fabric Store LA for more didn’t cross my mind. Instead I took the preschooler to the local JoAnns. I had hopes that trying to wrangle her would keep me on point. If I go by myself I am likely to pick up something I don’t need. Lucky the sewing muses were in my court and I found a knit in a color way that looked great and had a nice weight and drape. I remember this fabric being used a lot in “travel wardrobe” from some of the RTW boutiques in the late nineties.

The fabric the sequins are stitched on (in perfect rows that run like nylon stockings if you cut just the right thread) was a very fluid poly chiffon. While this gave the fabric the movement I loved it made it a nightmare to sew. I chose my Easy T sloper as a starting point since I knew the dolman sleeve would work with this fluid fabric. I sketched a v neck style front and instead of cutting right into the fabric I traced the pattern into the sequins with lime green basting stitched. This was useful because the fabric was so slinky and because I removed the sequins from the seam allowance. At first I tried to cut each sequin in half without sniping the threads that attached the golden disks to the olive chiffon. This lasted for about a half an hour, where I could I sniped the thread and released a long line of sequins. Where I couldn’t make a run like that I tried to take my time and snip the disks in half. Make sure and wear goggles or glasses for this, trust me. I kept a hand vacuum handy but this is for sure one of the messiest projects to date. I mean sequins are just glitter’s bigger shinny sister and we know glitter gets EVERYWHERE! Once the sequins are removed from the seam allowance and this does help but is tedious it was time to construct the garment.

Since the back knit was so stretchy and a bit thick I chose a lightening stitch or super stretch stitch. It held the two fabrics together well but the chiffon needed a seam finish, so back to JoAnns for hem lace. I felt the lace would stay light and not add too much bulk. It worked but the inside is not something I am proud of. This is definitely in the category of “garment I wear around those that do not sew” But hey we all have to start somewhere. Now my closet is a bit more glitzy and my so is my sewing room.

Sequin jacket and icedyed jeans

This fabric would have made an amazing flowy shift dress or even a dolman sleeved loose fitting tee. I am so happy it’s done and I think it’s only the start of sewing with sequins for me. So give it a go everyone deserves a little glittering gold in their wardrobe.