DIY Sequin Choker Necklace

One word… sequins. Even the most experienced sewers are groaning at the mention of sewing with sequins. While some see eye catching, shimmering, and glamourous fabrics and designs, sewers only see back breaking sequin removal, a dozen broken needles, and eye strain trying to replace missing sequins. Working with sequin fabric, requires special techniques, extra time, and a whole lot of patience. If you are creating a garment or accessory with sequin fabric, expect it to take twice as long as if you were to create it with regular, simple fabric. You will be tempted to take short cuts instead of following the advice below. Don’t do it! While it is tedious and can get frustrating at times, the end result is well worth all of the painful hours and sequin covered floor that will take weeks to vacuum all the way up. Avoid the hassle of figuring it out on your own and instead, follow these secret tips & tricks for making sewing sequin fabric simpler and create something that’s sure to impress.

Tips for sewing all-over sequin fabrics:

  1. Use sharp scissors when cutting sequin fabric. I would also recommend not using your best pair of scissors because they will dull quickly and your scissors will be ruined over time. Also, consider wearing safety glasses. If you have never cut sequin fabric before, you will be likely be showered with tiny plastic shards from the scissors breaking through the sequins. The last thing you want is to get it in your eyes!
  2. Choose a pattern or style that is simple with few pieces and style lines. Patterns that require darts, gathering, etc. will be much more difficult to execute in sequin fabric and will add extra bulkiness. Instead, choose simple silhouettes that allow the fabric to be the focal point and truly shine.
  3. When making a garment out of sequin fabric, you must remove the sequins with a seam ripper from the seam allowance. It is too thick and the sequins are made out of plastic not fabric. If you do not, your needle will continually break throughout sewing it and may ruin your machine as a result.
  4. Sequin fabric is directional. They all brush up or down one particular way. Identity that direction and be aware of that when laying out the pattern pieces on the fabric because they all need to go the same direction.
  5. Pin pattern pieces to the wrong side of the fabric for easier, more accurate cutting.
  6. Change the stitch length on your sewing machine to a larger stitch to create stronger seams.
  7. Use a heavy needle, such as a thick needle recommended for denim, to prevent breaking if it does hit some sequins that weren’t completely removed from the seam allowance.
  8. Have some scrap fabric leftover to remove the sequins on it and use them to cover up any bare spots after sewing it all together.
  9. Use bias tape for finishing seams, necklines, and armholes.
  10. Do not use a serger sewing machine for sequin fabrics as they will break needles and ruin your cutting blade. It will also get jammed up with sequin pieces flying everywhere.
  11. Fabric with smaller, delicate sequins is much easier to sew through compared to large, thick, chunky sequins.
  12. Only iron on the back side of the fabric with very low heat since the sequins are plastic and will likely melt under the heat of the iron. Try spreading the seams with your fingers to press them open and avoid the iron completely if possible.
  13. Use a lining fabric beneath the sequin fabric to avoid irritating or itching your skin. Keep in mind whether it is a knit sequin fabric or a woven fabric with sequins and choose an appropriate lining fabric accordingly.
  14. Lastly, follow the advice above the best that you can, but know that it doesn’t have to be perfectly constructed. One positive thing about working with sequin fabrics is that it covers up any mistakes and hides imperfections. This is great news for sewers everywhere!

Today on the blog, we’re throwing it back to the 90’s. An era of platforms, hoop earrings, scrunchies, and chokers. Don’t worry, as far as I’m concerned, scrunchies will never make a comeback in fashion! However, 2017 saw a re-emergence of the beloved choker in modern fabrics and styles. Make your very own wrap, sequin, choker necklace with this easy, step by step sewing tutorial. It is a very simple introduction to working with sequins for beginners and the end result is sure to give you a blast from the past!

Materials: Extra wide bias tape, a scrap of sequin fabric, thread, pins, scissors (not good sewing scissors), and a tape measure.
Time: 20 minutes
Difficulty: Easy

Measure your neck with a tape measure. My measurement came out to 12 inches.

Next, cut a 12 inch by ½ inch wide strip of the sequin fabric.

Cut the bias tape at 36 inches long. This leaves plenty of excess to tie and wrap around your neck.

Center the sequin fabric over the length of the bias tape and pin in place. Sew the sequins to the bias tape. By sewing it on top of the bias tape, it eliminates thick, visible seams. It also creates a lining between your skin and the sequins, since sequin fabric can itch and irritate the skin. Use a thick needle to sew directly through the sequins. Depending on the fabric you choose, one layer of sequins should not be enough to break needles.

Next, the bias tape comes out of the package already folded. All you will need to do is stitch it closed down each side.

Cut the ends of the bias tape in a triangular shape to prevent frayed edges.

Cut down any uneven sequins in areas where it hangs over the edge of the bias tape.

That all there is to it! Now you have a trendy, stylish choker perfect the holidays and counting down to the New Year. Add little extra sparkle to any holiday look this season. Leave me your thoughts on this tutorial below!

Stayed tuned for my style secrets for how to wear sequins for every day. Click here in case you missed my sequin sketching tutorial.

Until next time.


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