Sequins add instant drama to almost anything, and pre-strung sequins are a great time saver. If you’re attaching them to fabric there’s a simple way to stitch them down so they’ll stay in place.
– pre-strung sequins
– needle and thread
– fabric, preferably backed with interfacing
– marking device if you want guide lines
The sequins need to be strung so that they’re laid out flat, as shown in the photo. If they’re strung like beads then you’ve probably got yourself some pretty good quality sequins (maybe even vintage!) but you’re going to be sewing those down one at a time.
If you’re thinking about gluing instead you should expect what you make to be disposable – any glue flexible enough for fabric is likely go releases sequins, and any glue that will hold sequins is likely to make fabric stiff.
Pull a few sequins off of the end. Keep them to stitch into gaps later. Tie the ends of the thread together to prevent that end sequin from falling off.
Place a line on the fabric where you want the sequins to be, if you want. If it’s centered under the sequin line it won’t be visible when you’re done.
Stitch up through the fabric.
Stitch back down in the same spot or close to it.
Put the end of the sequin strand through the loop. Tighten your thread down, making sure that loop settles in just behind the end sequin.
Side view of where that thread should land.
If you are starting at a seam allowance edge or will be covering the area with sequins then you can just lay the tails out flat and stitch over them with a bunch of tiny stitches like I did.
If this end won’t be covered you’ll want to use a needle to stitch these tails to the back of the fabric, then stitch over them the same way, in line with where the sequins will be (to hide the stitches.)
All of that was how to securely start the sequins. Once that’s done, the rest is fairly easy. You want the stitches to tuck into that overlap of sequins so they don’t show on the front. Stitch up on one side of the gap between the sequins.
Stitch down on the other side of the sequins, next to or in the same place as the stitch up. Pulling the thread into the gap before tightening it will help the thread land in the right place, rather than being caught on another sequin.
You can stitch in every other gap if you’d like to save some time. At curves and corners it’s best to stitch in every gap.
If you’re turning around it’s easiest if you place the sequins where you want them through the whole turn, then stitch them down. You may need to nudge them around a bit to make sure the turn is exactly where you want it. If there’s no way to avoid a gap you can stitch in a singe sequin to fill it in.
When I’m stitching rows next to each other I try to overlap the sequins as much as I can – almost 50% – so the thread they’re strung on is right next to the edge of the last row of sequins. This results in a really lush coverage of sequins where the backing fabric is almost impossible to see.
When you get to the end of what you want to sew down, take a stitch (or two) after the your last sequin.
Cut the strand at least 4 sequins away for a low-wear application, and pull the extra sequins off.
If what you’re making will receive a lot of use, cut it at least 8 sequins away, pull the extra sequins and tie the tails together.
Set the tails where they won’t show on the finished project and stitch over them a bunch. If there’s no where to hide them, pull them through to the back of the fabric and stitch over them there.