February 7, 2024

Safeguarding Sparkle: Sewing Settings for Sequin Fabrics

Did you know that most sequin fabric damage happens during the first time it's sewn? This fact shows how crucial it is to know how to sew with this fragile material properly.

Before starting a project with sequin fabric, getting ready the right way is necessary, not just a good idea. You need to pick the right needle and set your sewing machine correctly. Every step must be thought out to keep your fabric's shine safe from common errors.

As you prepare to turn that sparkly fabric into something stunning, understanding the right sewing methods is key. Let's dive into how to protect your sequin fabric's shine, making sure your final piece is as brilliant as your skills.

Sewing sequin fabric? It's not just about threading your machine and starting. First, choose a needle that's strong enough to handle the sequins but won't damage the fabric. Think about using a special sequin foot for your sewing machine, if available. Adjust your machine's tension and stitch length to handle the weight and texture of the fabric better. For example, a longer stitch length can prevent the fabric from bunching up and getting damaged.

When sewing, remove sequins from the seam allowance to avoid breaking your needle and to ensure smooth seams. If you're not sure how to start, look for sewing guides or tutorials specific to sequin fabric. Brands like Singer and Brother often have useful tips and product recommendations for sewing with specialty fabrics.

Remember, your goal is to make something beautiful without hurting the fabric. With the right preparation and techniques, you can create a dazzling piece that stands out for all the right reasons.

Key Takeaways

Ready to dive into the world of sewing with sequin fabrics? Let's make it simple.

First things first, selecting the right needle and adjusting your sewing machine's stitch length is crucial. This is because the right needle and stitch length prevent the fabric from getting damaged and ensure your sewing machine can smoothly sew over the sequins.

Take it slow when you're sewing. If possible, use a foot attachment designed for sewing sequins, and always try out your technique on a scrap piece of fabric before diving into your main project. These steps are key to avoiding errors and achieving a professional-looking finish.

So, grab your needle, take a moment to get everything set up, and begin your sequin sewing project. This is your opportunity to flex your sewing muscles and create something that truly shines.

Remember, practice makes perfect. Don't hesitate to experiment on scrap fabric until you feel confident. And, if you're looking for specific needle recommendations, try a universal needle size 70/10 or 80/12 for most sequin fabrics. Happy sewing!

Choose the Right Needle

Choosing the right needle for sewing sequin fabric is important to prevent needle breakage and avoid harming the delicate sequins. Think of working with sequin fabric as embarking on a special sewing project that requires a specific tool to do the job well. A heavy-duty or denim needle is ideal for this task. These needles are strong enough to sew through tough materials, making them perfect for handling sequin fabric without any issues.

The sequins can be tricky since they're like small, shiny challenges throughout the fabric. To make sewing easier, you might need to remove some sequins from where you're going to stitch. This helps avoid the needle hitting the sequins directly, ensuring a smoother sewing process. Always sew in the same direction as the sequins to make things easier.

For adding special stitches like the zig-zag, using a leather needle can be very effective. Its sharp point and strong structure are great for sewing through sequin fabric, making every stitch count. It's also a good idea to keep spare needles around, as they may need to be replaced. This method protects your sequins and makes sewing more efficient and enjoyable.

Adjust Stitch Length

Selecting the appropriate needle for your sequin fabric is vital, but equally important is adjusting the stitch length to suit your fabric's specific needs. This step ensures your sewing project looks great and holds up well. Different types of fabric, whether stretchy or stiff, require various stitch lengths for the best results.

Here are four essential adjustments:

  1. Use Shorter Stitches for Dense Fabrics: If your sequin fabric is thick with sequins, using shorter stitches can prevent missing stitches and keep the seam strong. This works best when the sequins are packed tightly together.
  2. Longer Stitches for Basting: For basting or gathering, longer stitches can help avoid breaking the thread and make it easier to remove stitches if needed, which is perfect for temporary stitching.
  3. Test on Scrap Fabric First: Before starting your main project, try different stitch lengths on a piece of scrap sequin fabric. This way, you can find the best stitch length for your particular fabric.
  4. Longer Stitches for Topstitching: When adding topstitching, longer stitches can help avoid a buildup of thread and give your project a neat, professional look.

Adjusting the stitch length isn't just about following a procedure; it's about making sure your sequin fabric projects turn out beautifully and last. By considering the fabric type and the project's needs, you can choose the best stitch length for each task.

Lower Sewing Speed

Reducing your sewing speed is key to getting accurate and stunning outcomes when working with sequin fabrics. This slower pace gives you better control and helps avoid damage to both the fabric and your sewing machine. Sequin fabrics, with their sparkle, require not only creativity but also a careful approach. Slowing down helps you handle the unique challenges of sewing sequins onto the base fabric with more precision.

By taking your time, you can ensure each stitch is just right, keeping the sequins in place without missing stitches or creating uneven seams that could ruin the fabric's shine. Also, sewing slowly helps you keep your seam allowances consistent, which is crucial for making your garment look professional. It's a good idea to practice on some scrap fabric first. This helps you get used to how your machine handles at a slower speed and might even involve using a lower heat setting or a pressing cloth to protect the sequins. This careful method not only keeps your fabric safe but also enhances the quality of your work, making it look professionally made and durable.

For example, when working on a stretch sequin fabric, you might find that setting your sewing machine to a slower speed allows you to manage the fabric's elasticity better, preventing puckering and ensuring smooth, flat seams.

A recommendation for those new to sewing sequin fabrics could be to use a specialized sewing foot, like a Teflon foot or a walking foot, which can help in feeding the fabric evenly under the needle at slow speeds, making the sewing process smoother and more controlled.

Special Foot Attachment

Adding a special foot attachment, like a walking foot, can make sewing with sequin fabrics much easier. This tool helps avoid the sequins from getting caught in the machine's feed dogs, which is essential when you're making a sequin dress for an event. It allows the fabric to move smoothly, keeping the sequins intact and shiny.

Here are ways to improve your sewing with sequins:

  1. Pick the Right Foot: Use a walking foot or any foot made for sequins to prevent them from being cut or snagged by the seam.
  2. Prepare Your Fabric: Before you start sewing, remove the sequins from the seam allowance using a seam ripper or a rotary cutter. This is important to protect the sequins and your sewing machine.
  3. Adjust Your Sewing: Sew slowly and change your sewing method to match the unique feel and thickness of the sequin fabric. This ensures your seams are even and accurate.
  4. Keep It Clean: Make sure to clean your special foot attachment regularly. This will help it work well each time you sew with sequins.

These steps will help keep your sequin projects looking their best.

For instance, when choosing the right foot, consider the Janome Convertible Even Feed Foot Set if you're using a Janome machine, known for its ease of use with tricky fabrics like sequins. Before sewing, you might find a small, sharp pair of scissors more precise than a seam ripper for removing sequins in tight spots.

These practical tips and specific product recommendations can make a significant difference in the quality and enjoyment of your sewing projects.

Test on Scrap Fabric

Before you start working on your main sequin project, it's really important to first try out your sewing, ironing, and finishing methods on a piece of scrap sequin fabric. This practice step is like a safety net—it helps you avoid mistakes on your actual project because sequin fabrics can sometimes behave in unexpected ways. By using a scrap piece, you're figuring out the best ways to handle the fabric for your specific project.

Begin by testing different needles to see which one works best. You want a needle that can go through both the sequin and the underlying fabric smoothly without cutting through the sequins. The right needle mightn't be the first one you think of, so it's worth trying a few.

Then, make sure to clearly draw where you're going to sew. This is important because it helps you sew straight without accidentally catching or misaligning the sequins.

When it comes to ironing sequin fabrics, always iron on the side that doesn't have sequins. This protects the sequins and keeps them looking good. It also makes the fabric easier to work with.

By testing these methods on scrap fabric, you're not only improving your technique but also ensuring your final sequin project looks amazing.

For example, when choosing a needle, a size 90/14 universal needle might be a good start for thicker sequin fabrics, while a thinner sequin fabric might do better with a 75/11 sharp needle. Always remember to test first to avoid any mishaps.

In a friendly chat, remember, working with sequins can be fun and rewarding, especially when you take the time to prepare with these tips. Happy sewing!


Now that you know how to sew with sequined fabrics, it's time to get creative.

It's important to use the correct needle and adjust your stitch length. Why? Because these steps help avoid damaging the fabric and ensure your sewing machine can handle the sequins.

Also, slow down while sewing, use a special foot designed for sequins if you can, and always practice on a piece of scrap fabric first. Doing these things will help you avoid mistakes and make your sewing project look professional.

So, get your needle ready, take a moment to prepare, and start working on your sequined project. It's a great chance to show off your skills and make something that sparkles beautifully.

Michelle Schmidt

Michelle is the founder and lead designer of MPowered Dancewear, a Minneapolis-based costume shop specializing in vibrant salsa performance attire. With over 8 years of experience crafting eye-catching designs for local dance teams, her creations enable dancers to feel confident and captivating as they sway across the floor.  

An expert on sewing dazzling dance costumes, Michelle loves to share her skills and knowledge by publishing sewing tutorials focused on helping aspiring designers create their own sensational Latin dancewear.

Disclaimer: the blog posts on this website may contain affiliate links. This means that if you click on one of these links and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Please note that I only recommend products that I genuinely believe in or use myself. My goal is to share my knowledge and experience to help you find the best sewing tools and accessories for your needs, regardless of whether you purchase through my affiliate links or not.

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