SEWING SEQUINS | How to Sew Sequins by Hand

This tutorial will teach you all about sewing sequins and how to sew sequins by hand. I really can’t tell you how much I love sparkly beads and sequins. In my alternate universe, I am dressed from head to toe in fancy sequined clothing. In real life, I settle for adding cute embellishments to my daughter’s clothing. She is particularly girly too and her little face lights up if I make her something with sequins – especially if there is a Lycra leotard involved!

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Sewing Sequins, How to Sew Sequins

How to Sew Sequins

When sewing sequins, you will need:

  • Sequins – These come in a dizzying array of colors, shapes and sizes
  • Hand needle – Just make sure it fits through the hole of your sequins easily.
  • Thread – A strong thread in a matching color to the sequin. Choose a good quality thread that doesn’t tangle.

Thread your needle with either a single or double strand of thread and knot the end.

If you are having trouble getting the thread through the eye of the needle, read my article on how to use a needle threader.

Here I will show you 4 main ways to sew sequins. All 4 methods require hand sewing. The only way to sew individual sequins is by machine. If you don’t like hand sewing then see my article on how to sew sequin trim by machine.

  1. In a row
  2. Overlapping
  3. Scattered with no beads
  4. Scattered with beads

Sewing Sequins in a Row (Side by Side)

If you would like your sequins to sit side by side then use a simple backstitch adding the sequins into each stitch.

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Sewing Sequins, How to Sew Sequins

Step 1: Insert your needle into the wrong side of the fabric and bring it up to the right side through the center of your first sequin.

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STEP 2: Put your needle back through to the side of the sequin on the right.

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Step 3: Bring the needle up on the left side of the sequin.

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STEP 4: Put the needle back through the middle of the sequin. Now both sides are stitched down.

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STEP 5: Place the next sequin on your fabric and bring the needle up in its center and start the steps again.

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Step 6: Keep repeating until you have a row. Once again, just make sure your fabric remains flat underneath.

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Sewing Sequins in a Row (Overlapping)

Sewing sequins that are overlapped is a common method to give an extra sparkle to your leotards and costumes. The overlapped edges mean there is very little thread visible and can be used to create dense shapes and rows like this example below.

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Sewing Sequins, How to Sew Sequins

Step 1: Insert your needle into the wrong side of the fabric and bring it up to the right side through the center of your first sequin.

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Step 2: Bring the needle back down at the side of the sequin. This means the thread will be across one side of the sequin.

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Step 3: Overlap the next sequin and bring the needle up through the center again.

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Step 4: Repeat until you have a whole string. Just make sure the fabric underneath stays flat.

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Great fun! I find this is a good “sit in front of the TV” job. If you are going to be sewing a lot of sequins, make sure you invest in a thimble to protect your fingers from constant pricks. (Further readingWhat is a thimble)

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Sewing Sequins

Sewing Sequins in Scattered Effects

You can also scatter the sequins across your garment using small seed beads as an anchor.

There are 2 methods you can use to sew scattered sequins. You can sew them with or without a seed bead in the center.

What you will need

  • Sequins Any shape or color! They can be flat or capped and faceted.
  • Hand needle – Just make sure it fits through the hole of your sequins and seed beads easily.
  • Thread – A strong thread in a matching color to the sequin – Choose a good quality thread that doesn’t tangle.
  • For method 2 only: Seed beads – These can be glass or plastic. My favorites are the little glass ones with mirrored holes.

Method 1: Sewing Sequins Without a Bead

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Sewing Sequins, How to Sew Sequins

Step 1: Insert your needle into the wrong side of the fabric and bring it up to the right side through the center of your first sequin.

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Step 2: Put your needle back through to the side of the sequin on the right.

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Step 3: Bring it up on the left side of the sequin.

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Step 4: Put the needle back through the middle of the sequin. Now both sides are stitched down.

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Step 5: Knot it off on the back. Each sequin will need to be individually knotted on the back for the greatest durability. If you are in a hurry you may just knot off every few sequins.

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DESIGN IDEAS

  • Stitch your thread in a Y shape or a cross shape for decorative effect. This looks particularly nice when you use a contrasting thread.
  • Stitch a little cluster of sequins. Because the sequins are quite close you can just knot off every few sequins.

Method 2: Sewing Sequins with a Seed Bead

Another way to sew sequins is by placing a seed bead in the center. This method will leave the edges of the sequin free so they may be more inclined to catch the light.

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Sewing Sequins, How to Sew Sequins

Step 1: Insert the knotted thread through the wrong side of the fabric and up through the center of a sequin. If you have used a faceted sequin then it should be facing up.

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Step 2: Thread your needle through the center of the seed bead.

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Step 3: Now take the needle back through the hole in the center of the sequin.

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Step 4: Knot off the back. The seed bead will hold the sequin in place and sparkle in the sunlight!

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Sewing Sequins FAQs

How Do You Sew Sequin Fabric

Sewing fabric with sequins takes a little extra care. Most sequin fabric has a mesh backing. On the edges where you will sew the seams, you will need to remove the sequins so you are sewing through the backing and not the actual sequins that may damage your needle and machine.

Can you Sew Sequins By Machine?

While you can sew sequin trim by machine, individual sequins need to be sewn by hand. The best way to sew sequin trim is with a wide zig-zag using a clear or matching thread.

What is the Best Way to Attach Sequins

The simplest and strongest way to attach sequins is using a needle and thread. A few stitches will hold sequins in place. Glue can also be used but may not last as long and may not be suitable for washing.

Can you Hot Glue Sequins?

You can use hot glue for sequins but due to their small size, there is more chance of not only burning your fingers but getting glue on the fabric. Hot glue can only be used if you are not planning on washing the sequined item.

What is the Easiest Way to Pick Up Sequins

Craft stores sell an easy-to-use tool called a jewel picker. These tools have a sticky end and are designed to pick up beads, sequins, and rhinestones. If you are sewing the sequins, insert the tip of the needle into the middle of the sequin and pull it up. That way you don’t need to handle each sequin.

Sewing Sequins – In Conclusion

So now you have learned all about sewing sequins and how to sew sequins, what will you be putting sequins on? Share your ideas below.

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