Get Sparkly for New Years
Whether you’re going out on the town or celebrating at home, make a statement and ring in the New Year wearing something luxurious or sparkly … or both!
Sequins, velvet and lace are go-to choices for fancy dresses and evening wear. Pick your favourite pattern and fabric and sew yourself something spectacular just in time to shout HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Tips For Sewing Sequins
Pick a simple pattern with as few seams as possible.
Identify the “nap” or the direction of the sequins and cut all pieces in the same direction. Cut your pattern pieces from the wrong side, and from a single layer of fabric.
For best results, remove any sequins from the seam allowance by hand before sewing pieces together; particularly if they are large and stiff. You may need to hand sew ‘extra’ sequins along the seam afterwards to cover any blank areas.
Use a needle that’s thin and sharp and keep plenty of extras on hand. A thicker or dull needle can get stuck in the sequins when sewing.
Don’t iron, but do press. Very low heat (remember sequins may melt at high heat), press from the wrong side of your fabric and use a presser cloth (such as a scrap piece of cotton) to protect your sequins. Remember to test on a scrap piece beforehand.
Sequined fabric should always be lined to avoid skin irritation.
Tips For Sewing Velvet
Cut all patterns pieces in a single layer. Lay your fabric nap side down and place your pattern pieces on the back to minimize slipping and use a lot of pins.
You want to make sure your pattern pieces are secure and won’t shift when sewing. Again, use a lot of pins or hand baste in place before sewing.
Use only the sew-in type of interfacing if needed.
To press use a towel or scrap fabric to protect the right side of your fabric while you steam the wrong side. Hover with the iron rather than apply any pressure so the velvet isn’t crushed.
Tips For Sewing Lace
Check your lace fabric for any obvious right and wrong sides. Pay attention to the design elements of your lace and place the pattern pieces to take advantage of the design rather than trying to cut the lace straight across. Cut all patterns pieces in a single layer.
If pins don’t hold the lace pieces together, try small binder clips. Another option would be tailor tacks or a loose basting stitch which can be removed afterwards.
Use a narrow zig zag stitch for the seams. Use a strip of skin coloured fabric to bind the trimmed seam allowance; it will then be almost unnoticeable against your skin. Alternatively, use a French seam.