USE A JEANS NEEDLE. That's it, a jeans needle. Go through sequins like budda.
The jeans needle just sews right through everything, like the nice lady in Spotlight said it would! Which is obviously way better than removing all the sequins along the seam line; although my need for sequin skirt was acute, I dreaded the thought of unpicking all those little buggers. Every blog I read on the subject was agreed on this necessity before sewing but no! It is not so and halleluja sisters.
Maybe I hadn't read the right blogs but the unanimous advice was also to expect several broken needles but - jeans needle - that didn't happen and there were zero problems, praise the Lawd. Another thing, my other advice would be use adhesives rather than sewing wherever possible: hemming web to make the side seams lay flat and hemming tape on, yes, hems. That stuff is gold I tell you, gold. This was the quickest and most immediately rewarding make!
What did I make? I made a midi-length pencil skirt using my knit skirt block, possibly my most used pattern. Silver matte herringbone sequins from Spotlight. Its matte its shiny its matte its shiny its matte its SHINY.
Marvellously cheap sequins (for sequins, exy stuff) to be had at Spotlight & I've been wanting a sequin skirt forever, so with a Melbourne Cup lunch to attend & a dress ups opportunity to be had, shiny skirt, done deal.
I completed the agonising which sequin??? in about half an hour, fast work really. Happy to report I did good choosing and I love the selected matte silver very much. This is definitely a daywear skirt & the matte will make it easier to work in. Less confronting & matches my silver Puma's PERFECTLY. Because I'm totally wearing sneakers with this once race day is done.
My google due diligence was really helpful though & led me to take other blogger's advice when cutting: draw around the pattern shape on the wrong side of the fabric. Pinning is madness with all those plastic discs. Great idea everyone, thank you :) To cut I used my heavy duty serrated dressmaker shears NOT my nice sharp smooth ones. Good call, big serrated scissors are def the go for sequins.
The whole exercise felt like (in my mind) what it must be like driving a Hummer in the desert rather than Aston Martin in in Knightsbridge, an analogy meant to illustrate the riding roughshod manner of manufacture I felt I had going on. It was fun to just rip through something.
I vroomed down the side seams then pressed toward the back with a reasonably hot iron & pressing cloth from the right side, surprised how much heat this stuff could take actually. The discs we encouraged, via finger pressure/rolling to slide over & under each other & that worked pretty well. But those seams wouldn't stay nice & flat and no-one wants a pencil skirt to have lumpy side seams, so I made them stay there by ironing narrow strips of fine hemming web between skirt & seam and BOOM! The finish was really good! Sort of adhesived flat felling if you will. I used a nude ploy mesh for lining all the same, to be sure I wouldn't get irritated by inelegant scratchy bits.
The base fabric is actually mesh & stretchy but given the weight of it, I added an elastic waist to the lining, then attached lining & skirt together at the waist after hemming. I figured it'd be easier to do the hem first and lo, enter hemming tape. Genius hemming tape. Clean as a whistle, job done. Seriously, neaten up the bottom edge, iron on tape, remove backing, turn up hem, press again, whole job done. Wow!
This being my first time & the fabric being, as I mentioned, marvellously cheap, maybe I wouldnt have had such success with an upmarket sequin, I dont know. But for a first time this was just brilliant all round. Big smiley face right there. I'd like a maxi in this navy next, now I know how easy it is to sew. SO good to have a quick & dirty sewing project, especially one so flashy! I do recommend it.