Sequins: For going out or staying in!
There are a few types of fabric that I am obsessed with since I’ve been sewing, but never would have bought off the rack. Faux fur is one, and sequins are the other! (You can take the girl out of New Jersey but….) Maybe some of you have a similar relationship with certain fabrics?
I had wanted to make a sequined jacket for the holidays, but those came and went and it didn’t happen, but it stayed on my to-sew list. So even though it isn’t entirely seasonal, my new blog project is a sequined blazer! Some of my inspiration can be found here and here.
Cali Fabrics has a great selection of sequin fabrics, including the amazing reversible sequins they’ve added to the site recently. For this project I chose to work with their matte silver ‘micro sequins’. I’ve sewn with micro sequins before and they are pretty easy to work with, even if you are new to sewing sequins. I chose the matte silver, but they also carry shiny silver, holographic silver, red, blue, gold (and more colors in store if you’re in the Bay Area).
Micro sequins are the best because you don’t have to remove the sequins from the seam allowances (unless you want to)! Because that is the worst. You can sew right thru them. You can even topstitch or staystitch on them.
Some of my recommendations for working with sequins:
- Use a rotary cutter if you have one, or else some old scissors. Cutting thru sequins will dull your scissors.
- I wear my glasses (instead of contact lenses) when sewing. It’s all fun and games until someone loses an eye to a rogue sequin! But seriously, if you are sewing thru them, they do occasionally go popping off and it doesn’t hurt to wear eyeglasses or even safety glasses if you have them.
- Very low heat! Don’t melt them. But you can use a very light touch with the iron on seams, darts, etc. I even applied iron-on interfacing with no problem.
- NO SERGERS! I have a Brother cs6000i machine and it has never had a problem with micro sequins using a 90/14 ballpoint needle, but don’t use a serger.
On to pattern choice: I have a number of jacket and blazer patterns in my stash, but I didn’t want sequins on the collar – they’re a little scratchy, and I didn’t want to take the time to make something that wouldn’t get worn because it was uncomfortable. So I chose this fairly recent New Look 6481 pattern:
It has no collar, just a facing, bust darts but otherwise minimal seams and I liked the angled front. I debated adding a lining to it, since it is unlined, but decided instead just to underline it with a white interlock jersey for comfort, and to trim the sequins out of the seam allowances. (To do this I pinned the interlock out of the way and then cut out the sequin seam allowance.)
This pattern is super easy and very cute! I was surprised at how quickly it came together – just a couple of hours. The only modification I personally would need to make in the future is to move up the bust dart point. Otherwise, I love the fit; it’s relaxed but still has a nice shape to it.
I can’t wait to wear it – I’m ready for Treat Yo Self Day in October, a WWE pay-per-view, the holidays, whatever.
So after I whipped this up I had a small piece of fabric left over that needed a good home. When considering just what I would sew with my micro sequins, I also kicked around the idea of a bomber jacket or a casual pullover top, and I had enough for the pullover. I used the Fraser sweatshirt by Sewaholic patterns, View B. I had just enough sequins for the front and back bodice, but not the sleeves, so they are made with black techno knit, as is the neck, arm and sleeve bands; the bodice is underlined with the interlock. This was also a quick sew despite not being able to do the usual serging. It’s great for when you want to lounge in your leggings but also look glamorous, obviously.
I’m super excited about how both of these turned out! The micro sequins are so easy to work with and I had so much fun making these garments. Treat yo self to some sequins from Cali Fabrics!
Leslie blogs at stitchininmykitchen.blogspot.com when she’s not cleaning up sequins from every square inch of her apartment.