Sewing with sequin fabric can be a challenging task for even the most experienced sewers. The delicate nature of the fabric, combined with the added weight of the sequins, can cause a variety of problems during the sewing process.
From broken needles to snagged threads, there are many issues that can arise when working with this type of material.
In this article, we will explore some of the most common issues that arise when sewing with sequin fabric and provide expert advice on how to overcome them.
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You’ll also benefit from reading our guide to problems when sewing zippers (similar issues).
Despite these challenges, it is possible to sew sequin fabric with ease and confidence.
By following a few key tips and techniques, you can avoid common problems and create stunning garments that sparkle and shine.
Before we start, you might want to read our guide to overcoming problems when sewing canvas (the part about needles)
Before sewing sequin fabric, it is important to prepare the fabric properly to avoid any issues during the sewing process. Here are some tips to help you prepare:
Choosing the Right Needle
Sequin fabric is thicker than regular fabric, and sewing through the sequins can be challenging. To avoid breaking your needles, it is important to choose the right needle. A size 14 or 16 needle is recommended for sewing sequin fabric.
A sharp, heavy-duty needle is also a good option.
Selecting the Right Thread
When sewing sequin fabric, it is important to use a strong, durable thread. Polyester or nylon thread is recommended for sewing sequin fabric. These threads are strong and won’t break easily when sewing through the sequins.
Avoid using cotton thread, as it is not strong enough for this type of fabric.
Cutting the Fabric
Cutting sequin fabric can be tricky, as the sequins can get caught in the scissors, causing them to dull quickly. To avoid this, use a rotary cutter instead of scissors.
A rotary cutter will glide through the sequins without damaging them. Also, be sure to cut the fabric in the direction of the sequins, as cutting across them can cause the sequins to fall off.
Following these tips will help you prepare your sequin fabric for sewing and prevent any problems during the sewing process.
Common Problems and Solutions
The edges of sequins can scratch surfaces
Working with sequin fabric can be particularly challenging due to the sharp edges of the sequins, which have the potential to scratch surfaces. To minimize the risk of damage, cover your work surface with a thick cloth or a piece of felt before starting your project.
This precautionary measure will protect your workspace, sewing machine, and pressing tools from unsightly scratches, preserving their appearance and functionality.
Sequins Falling Off
A common issue when sewing with sequin fabric is sequins falling off during the process, which can be frustrating and time-consuming to fix.
To minimize the occurrence of loose or dislodged sequins, consider using a glue stick to temporarily hold them in place before sewing. This adhesive solution will ensure that the sequins remain secure as you stitch.
Alternatively, you can use a piece of transparent tape or painter’s tape to hold the sequins in place while you sew. After sewing, carefully remove the tape to reveal a neat seam with intact sequins.
Sewing over sequins can potentially damage your sewing machine
Sewing over sequins can pose risks to your sewing machine, potentially causing damage to the needle, presser foot, or other components.
To mitigate these risks, use a heavy-duty or leather needle designed to handle thicker, more robust materials.
Sewing at a slower pace will also help prevent needle breakage or machine damage, giving you greater control over the process.
In addition to using a heavy-duty needle and sewing slowly, it’s advisable to use a walking foot attachment for your sewing machine. A walking foot can help feed the sequin fabric through the machine evenly, preventing puckering or uneven stitching.
This specialized foot also reduces the likelihood of sequins becoming caught in the machine, ensuring a smoother sewing experience.
Uneven fabric feeding
Sequin fabric can be difficult to feed evenly through the machine due to the weight and texture of the fabric.
To prevent uneven fabric feeding, use a walking foot or a roller foot to help the fabric move through the machine evenly.
Needle Breaks or Bends
Sequin fabric can be tough on needles. The sharp edges of the sequins can cause needles to break or bend.
To prevent this, use a heavy-duty needle that is designed for use with sequin fabric.
Fabric Gets Stuck
Sequin fabric can easily get stuck in the feed dogs of your sewing machine. To prevent this, use a piece of tissue paper or wax paper between the fabric and the feed dogs. This will help the fabric move smoothly through the machine.
Overall, sewing sequin fabric can be challenging, but with the right tools and techniques, it can be done successfully.
Tips for Sewing Sequin Fabric
Use a Walking Foot
When sewing sequin fabric, using a walking foot can make a big difference in the quality of your finished product.
A walking foot helps to evenly feed the fabric through the machine, preventing the sequins from getting caught or distorted. This is especially important when sewing multiple layers of sequin fabric or when working with delicate fabrics.
Tape the Seams
Sequin fabric can be difficult to work with because the sequins can get caught in the seams, making it difficult to sew. A simple solution is to tape the seams before sewing. Use a low-tack tape, such as painter’s tape, to hold the fabric together.
This will help prevent the sequins from getting caught in the seams and will make it easier to sew.
Sew Slowly and Carefully
When sewing sequin fabric, it’s important to take your time and sew slowly and carefully.
This will help prevent the sequins from getting caught in the needle or the foot of the machine. Use a slow speed and gently guide the fabric through the machine. If you need to sew over a particularly thick seam or area, use the hand wheel to manually turn the needle and guide the fabric through.
Overall, sewing with sequin fabric can be challenging, but with these tips, you can create beautiful finished products without the frustration. Remember to take your time, use the right tools, and be patient. With practice, you’ll become a pro at sewing sequin fabric!