How To Sew On Sequin Trim By Hand Easily

For the longest time, human beings have been fascinated with sparkly things. Whether naturally occurring or man-made, we have found a way to incorporate them into our lives as ornaments and embellishments. They add a touch of glamour and luxury to your appearance that most girls adore, as much as guys would appreciate making a tie or bow tie! You can simply sew sequins and spangles to upgrade any fabric. 

girl decorates white T-shirt with colored sequins

Sewing is a very comforting hobby that comes in handy many times in your life. We can use this skill to add a little bit of glam and drama to your outfits, or even create them, like making a dress. And by adding glam, we mean adding sequins to your outfit. If you want to learn how to sew sequin trim by hand, then you have landed on the right page. Read on to learn everything about sequins and how to incorporate them into your outfits.

What are sequin trims?

There are a variety of laces and trims available in the market that are used to decorate garments. Sequined trims are one of the most sought-after ones for fashion and home decor. It is a ribbon of pre-strung sequins that you can attach to any fabric. These trims are used to decorate dresses, pillow covers, costumes, and fashion accessories. It is easier to use a trim with sequins rather than sewing individual sequins to the fabric, one after another. 

Bobbins with a variety of chains and sequin braid

Types of sequin trims

Once we start searching, we can find several different kinds of trims featuring sequins. Here are the top five types that you can find in every craft store:

  1. Beaded sequins: These trims have rows of sequins that feature a small or medium-sized bead sewn on the centre hole. They are used to embellish fancy dresses like a wedding dress, ball gown, or dance dress. 
  2. Plain strung sequins: A plain trim is the most used embellishment in fashion and home textiles. It is a plain row of sequins or spangles stitched together to form a ribbon. These ribbons or trims can be sewn onto hems, necklines, sleeves, or embellishing your garment in any other way. It can also be used in cushion covers or table runners
  3. Stretch sequins: A stretch sequin trim has sequins sewn onto an elastic thread. It looks like a plain trim but is used to give a dramatic smock effect to a dress. It is also used in different fashion accessories like bags, shoes, and scarves. 
  4. Fringe trim: This trim has fringes of sequins hung from a ribbon. It is fancier than other trims and is commonly used in dance costumes and festive garments. Most fancy bohemian clothing features fringe trims like these to give it a glamorous flow. 
  5. Zigzag stitch trim: It is a sequined ribbon in a zigzag form. It is made by sewing sequins together in a zigzag pattern. It is also commonly used to decorate clothes and make retro outfits. It is also frequently used in headbands and choker necklaces

How to sew on sequin trims by hand – DIY style

What you’ll need

You’ll require a few basic supplies for this DIY project that you can easily find in your sewing kit at home. Here is what you will need:

  1. Fabric 
  2. Sewing needle 
  3. Thread 
  4. Pre-strung sequins 
  5. Scissors
  6. Common pins

Sewing tools

How to sew

Once you have gathered all the supplies, it’s time to get stitching!

Step 1: Selecting a trim

Select a trim of your choice and lay it out on the fabric in the pattern you have decided. If you haven’t made up your mind, you can search for online sewing patterns for embellishments on the internet. Using that as a guide, set up your trim and secure it in place using common pins. Cut the excess trim off with a pair of sharp scissors.

Step 2: Choosing the thread

Take a needle and a matching thread, and pass the thread through the eye. You can also use a needle threader to make this job a tad easier. You can also use a transparent fishing thread if you are sewing trim on a cushion cover or a table runner. 

Step 3: The stitching

Take the needle on the wrong side of the fabric and pass it through the starting or the trim. Ensure the trim is pinned on the right side of the fabric. From there, start hand sewing a straight stitch across the whole trim to sew it onto the fabric. 

sets of beads in boxes, tweezers, needles and scissors on a white background

Step 4: Locking the stitch

Once you are done with the straight stitch, tie the thread on the underside of the fabric to lock the stitch. Locking the stitch is very important; otherwise, the trim will fall apart over time. 

Step 5: Ensuring a straight line stitch

Make sure you are only stitching in a straight line going through the centre of the sequins. An easy way to ensure this step is to pass your needle through the hole of the next sequin while sewing. You can also use invisible stitch if you don’t want your thread to show over the sequins

With a simple tutorial, you will be able to decorate any fabric in your house with bedazzling sequins without using a sewing machine

Note: Stay tuned! We may cover creating more sequins magic -with a sewing machine– in some other DIY tutorial

Woman sewing clothes. Gold scissor, threads and fabrics on a white table

Care tips for your sequin trim 

  1. Always gently hand wash your clothes with sequins to prevent them from falling or breaking. 
  2. Do not iron over the sequins, especially if they are made up of plastic. They will shrink and melt if they come in contact with very high temperatures. 
  3. Avoid using bleach on any fabric with sequins. It will not only fade the colour but will also wrinkle the material of your sequins
  4. Make sure to always air dry your sequined clothes to prevent any damage. 
  5. If you are still confused about how to treat your clothes that are embellished with sequins, it’s okay. Give your clothes to a professional dry cleaner who knows how to work with embellished trimmings like these. 

Short history of sequins

The word sequins have Arabic roots, derived from the word “Sikka” (coin). Later in the 13th century, it transformed into “Zecchino” in Venetian, then the French named it “sequins” in the 16th century. Leonardo da Vinci also put together a sketch of a machine that would punch holes in metal disks. However, the machine for it was never invented. Nevertheless, today it is a common and easily available adornment used to decorate formal garments like wedding dresses and suits for high profile people.

Its history goes way back to ancient times where it was considered a status symbol. In 1922, archaeologists dug up the tomb of King Tutankhamun (1341 B.C.-1323 B.C.); his royal garments had sequin-like disks in pure gold sewn onto the fabric. They deduced it was to symbolize his wealthy afterlife.

In some religions, sequins or coins are kept in close contact with the body because it’s perceived as a spiritual counsellor. In Middle Eastern nations like India and Egypt, superstition is often associated with keeping the evil eye off. Women in many parts of the world used sequins made of gold and silver to display their wealth and celebrate special occasions.

In the 1930s, an effort was made to make these metal disks more affordable. First, metal sequins were replaced with a lighter version made out of electroplated gelatin. It served the same purpose but was easily melt-able if it became wet or warm. Later, Herbert Lieberman used an acetate sheet to produce sequins, but it was still fragile. Finally, in 1952, sequins were manufactured using a sturdy polyester film. These polyester film sequins are used to date and have adorned countless of our designer ensembles. 

vintage evening dresses in sequin fabric on manequins

Now that you know how to sew sequin trim by hand, gather all the materials, and get started with a new DIY project. A beautiful dance costume, an old t-shirt, or a cushion cover, anything that needs a touch of glam can be upgraded with sequins. With our easy guide and handy sewing tips, you can add a glistening charm to anything you want. So let us know what you will be decorating using beautiful, glimmering sequins?

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