February 11, 2024

Top Sewing Machine Settings for Sequined Fabric

Working with sequined fabric can be tricky, almost like navigating a tricky path; make a mistake, and it could ruin your project. It's essential to pick the right needle and adjust your sewing machine settings carefully. For sequined fabric, using a thicker needle, such as those meant for leather or a ballpoint needle, is often recommended. This helps avoid damaging the fabric. The stitch length also needs adjustment depending on the fabric type: a straight stitch works well for non-stretchy fabrics, while a zig-zag stitch is better for stretchy ones. This approach helps prevent the sequins from being damaged by the sewing machine needle.

But there's more to it than just needle and stitch type. Adjusting the tension settings on your sewing machine and selecting the right type of thread are also crucial steps to ensure the fabric's integrity isn't compromised. For thread, a strong polyester thread is usually a good choice because it's durable and can handle the weight and texture of sequined fabric.

When sewing sequined fabric, it's important to go slow and be deliberate with your sewing to avoid any mishaps. Adding a piece of tissue paper between the fabric and the sewing machine can also help by preventing the sequins from getting caught in the machine. After sewing, you can simply tear the tissue paper away.

In summary, the key to successfully sewing sequined fabric lies in choosing the right needle, adjusting stitch length, carefully setting tension, and selecting a suitable thread. By following these steps, you can create a project that not only looks professional but also lasts.

Key Takeaways

Sewing with fabric covered in sequins might seem daunting, but it's quite doable when you know how. Start by selecting the right needle. Opt for a sturdy one, like those used for sewing leather or a ballpoint needle, to navigate the fabric's texture without damage. This, coupled with a durable thread, ensures your stitches remain intact.

Choosing a medium stitch length is the way to go. It strikes the perfect balance, avoiding too tight stitches that bunch the fabric or too loose stitches that might unravel. It's also crucial to adjust your sewing machine's tension to avoid puckering, ensuring the fabric lays smoothly for a polished look.

The type of presser foot you use matters significantly. A smooth presser foot avoids snagging on sequins, leading to a smoother sewing experience. Think of it as a boat sailing seamlessly over water, effortlessly avoiding obstacles.

Why these settings matter is clear: they not only simplify sewing sequined fabric but also contribute to a professional and attractive end product. For instance, a Schmetz Leather Needle pierces sequined fabric efficiently, and a strong polyester thread like Gutermann Mara 120 ensures enduring stitches.

In essence, sewing sequined fabric with finesse involves choosing the appropriate needle and thread, fine-tuning your stitch length and tension, and selecting a presser foot that effortlessly moves over sequins. These steps demystify the process and enhance your enjoyment, leading to stunning creations that sparkle as much as the sequins do.

Selecting the Right Needle

Choosing the right needle is crucial when you're sewing sequined fabric. This step is important because it helps your sewing last longer and keeps the fabric looking good. A strong needle, like the ones used for sewing leather or denim, is best for working with sequin fabric. This type of needle is strong enough to go through the sequins without breaking them, making your sewing smoother.

It's also important to pick the right size of needle. The size should match how thick your fabric is and how closely packed the sequins are. This helps you sew neatly without ruining the look of the fabric. If you're working with stretchy sequin fabric, you should use a ballpoint needle. This needle has a rounded tip that moves the sequins out of the way instead of snagging them. This helps avoid missed stitches and keeps the fabric stretchy and looking good.

For example, when using a heavy-duty needle, like the Schmetz Universal Needle size 90/14, it's great for regular sequin fabric. And for stretch sequin fabric, a Schmetz Stretch Needle size 75/11 can prevent damage and ensure smooth sewing.

Choosing the Best Thread

To pick the perfect thread for sewing sequined fabric, you need one that's strong and can handle the tough job. Polyester or nylon threads are your best bet because they're tough and can deal with the weight and pull that comes with sewing sequins. These threads are also good at not getting worn down by the rough edges of sequins, which means they're less likely to break and your stitching will stay put.

Choosing the right color of thread is also key. You want to pick a color that matches the sequins or the fabric underneath. This way, your stitches won't stick out and will look like part of the fabric, making everything look better.

Before you start your main project, try sewing a small piece of sequined fabric first. This test helps you see if the thread works well with the fabric and doesn't break or cause other problems. It's a good chance to make any adjustments needed for a smooth sewing experience.

For example, when working with a heavy sequined gown, a strong polyester thread like Gutermann or Coats & Clark can be ideal. These brands are known for their durability and wide range of colors, making it easier to find a perfect match for your fabric.

Adjusting Stitch Length

Adjusting the stitch length is key when sewing with sequined fabric to ensure the seams hold well amidst the glitter. For stretch sequin fabric, which can be thick due to the sequins, a shorter stitch length, like 2 mm, works wonders. This isn't just a small adjustment; it's a crucial step for making sure your seams are both sparkly and strong.

Short stitches help avoid the common problem of skipped stitches, keeping the seam strong even with the added challenge of sequins. However, it's not enough to stick to a one-size-fits-all approach. It's important to test different settings on a scrap piece of your sequined fabric to find the best stitch length for your project. Long stitches can lead to weak seams and the unfortunate loss of sequins.

To find the perfect setting, start by experimenting with your sewing machine on a piece of the sequin fabric you'll be using. This trial and error process is essential because using stitches that are too long could lead to the sequins breaking or the seams coming apart.

Tension Settings Tips

Adjusting your sewing machine's tension for sequined fabric is key to creating flawless seams that let your pattern stand out, without any unwanted puckering or stretching. Here's a straightforward guide to get it right for sequin materials:

  1. Adapt to the Material's Thickness: Begin by reducing the tension to suit the extra thickness of sequin fabrics. This step helps prevent the fabric from bunching up and ensures it lies flat, giving your project a professional look.
  2. Practice on Spare Fabric: It's smart to experiment with different tension settings on pieces of sequin fabric you're not using for your main project. Doing this helps you find the perfect tension for your specific material without risking your main project.
  3. Account for the Fabric's Stretch: If you're working with stretchy sequin fabric, you might need to increase the tension slightly. This adjustment helps avoid any stretching or warping of the fabric, which is especially crucial for projects that require a snug fit.
  4. Remove Sequins from Seams: Make sure to take out the sequins from your seam allowances either by hand or with a seam ripper. This reduces thickness and makes sewing smoother, enhancing the effectiveness of your tension adjustments.

Presser Foot Recommendations

Selecting the right presser foot is key for a smooth sewing experience, especially with challenging materials like sequined fabric. Imagine you're about to sew through a field of tiny, shiny obstacles - that's sequined fabric for you. To tackle this, you'll want to use either a roller foot or a Teflon foot. These tools are specially made to handle the sequins without getting stuck.

A roller foot can move over the sequins easily, preventing them from being flipped or broken. This means you can sew without worrying about damaging the sequins or the fabric. On the other hand, a Teflon foot has a non-stick surface that smoothly goes over the sequins, ensuring your sewing doesn't get interrupted. These presser feet aren't just add-ons; they're crucial for anyone wanting to sew sequined fabric well.


Sewing with sequined fabric can be quite a challenge, but with the right approach, it turns into a manageable and even enjoyable task. First off, it's crucial to use the correct needle. A thicker needle, such as those designed for leather or those with a ballpoint tip, is ideal because it's strong enough to handle the fabric's texture. Pair this needle with a strong thread to ensure your stitches hold up well.

When setting up your machine, aim for a medium stitch length. This helps in creating even stitches that are neither too tight (which could cause the fabric to pucker) and nor too loose (which could lead to stitches coming undone). Adjusting the tension on your machine is also key to preventing puckering and ensuring the fabric lays flat and looks smooth.

Using a smooth presser foot can make a big difference. It glides over the sequins instead of catching on them, making your sewing experience much smoother. Imagine it like using a boat that smoothly sails over water, avoiding obstacles.

Understanding these settings is vital for working with sequined fabric. It's not just about making the process easier but also ensuring the final product looks professional and beautiful. For example, using a Schmetz Leather Needle can be a game-changer for sewing through sequined fabric, and a strong polyester thread like Gutermann Mara 120 can help your stitches last.

In summary, sewing sequined fabric successfully means choosing the right needle and thread, adjusting your stitch length and tension correctly, and using a presser foot that won't snag on the sequins. These steps make the process less intimidating and more enjoyable, leading to beautiful results that shine as brightly as the sequins themselves.

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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