Finished: “The Devil’s Tank Top”
Take that Burda! Here’s my Burda Twist-front top 05-2013-103. I’ve christened it the Devil’s Tank Top not because of my struggles with the weird instructions, nor because of my frustration with a bodice that I had to chop 2” shorter at the shoulder so the bust sat at my bust. No, I named it that because instead of a great tank, it tricked me into creating a “wearable muslin”… And I hate muslins!
I love this bird fabric but my finishing sucks where I lost patience with the mysterious process… So I’m planning on making this again!
Of course, instead of just sewing, I spent a long-ass time googling “How to Sew With Sequins…” At least now I know how not to get a sequin-related eye injury. Here’s everything, for future reference:
Sewing with Sequined (or beaded) Fabric
• Take your time; it’s probably going to take longer than an afternoon to finish the project. Sandra Betzina says it will take at least three times longer…
• Choose a simple pattern with minimal seams.
• Steer clear of patterns with zippers, buttonholes, pleats, pockets, and set-in sleeves.
• Do a muslin first.
• Know that sequins have a nap— they lay on top of each other like shingles; be aware of the right direction when laying your pattern out.
• Lay your pattern out in a single layer.
• Use pattern weights.
• Use 1-inch seam allowances.
• Know that sequins shed. Lay down a tarp or old bed sheet on the floor when cutting the fabric to make clean up easier.
• Try to use old scissors for cutting, because the sequins/beads can dull blades.
• Sew slowly.
• Don’t even try to use a serger.
• Wear glasses while you sew (even sunglasses) to avoid being blinded by a random flying sequin.
• Consider hand sewing the entire project for more control and a better finish. At the very least get ready for some hand hemming.
• Use a longer (3.5) stitch length.
• Choose the needle according to the backing fabric; buy extras, because they’ll get dull fast.
• Line the garment where possible (seam finishes are going to be difficult so lining is better).
• Press with a pressing cloth, without steam.
• Don’t try to sew over the sequins; you’ll get lumpy seams. Remove any sequins/beads in the seam/hem allowances before sewing. After sewing, re-sew sequins in any bare spots:
Removing sequins from sequined fabric:
1. Use chalk to trace the pattern pieces on the wrong side of the fabric, then thread-trace the pattern pieces.
2. Remove the sequins in the seam/hem allowances. But don’t remove them by clipping the thread, since that’ll cause the others to fall off one by one. Instead, pull the thread up with tweezers and use little scissors to clip just the sequin, leaving the thread intact.
3. After stitching the seam, turn the garment and look for bare spots where sequins need to be replaced. Hand-stitch the sequin back where needed.
Removing beads from beaded fabric:
1. Place painter’s tape along the edges of the pattern piece. Painter’s tape is low tack, so it should not damage your fabric.
2. Hammer along the painter’s tape to break the glass beads.
3. Pull the painter’s tape up and all the broken bits of bead are stuck to the tape.
4. Depending on how heavily beaded the fabric is, this may need to be repeated.
(above is some leather sequin fabric from B & J fabric in NYC. Wonder if anyone will buy this $82 leather fabric and line the *inside* of a dress with it like on Project Runway…)
Scary stuff kids!
I’m prepping to sew with sequins (this isn’t the fabric I have, but it’s close) … I’m a bit scared!
Props to Lauren on the Great British Sewing Bee, aka Best Show Ever, for sewing with sequined fabric under a time constraint….
Crap that reminds me I have a GBSB challenge to finish too!
An actual finished object— yay for me!
This is the Wiksten Tank, in cotton broadcloth. Lovely pattern and fabrics. Some more details are here:
So I caved and bought October Burda. I didn’t mean to… but here it is. These are my picks:
Even though I don’t have heaps of picks, I really quite like this edition of Burda.
I visited the Fabric Fabric store for the first time in a loong while— and time has not been kind.
Stuff had always been scattered but now it’s like they’re not even trying to keep things separate. And it’s really too dark to see the fabric clearly, a flashlight would be handy.
I took a while vainly trying to find what I came for. Then I gave up and just tried to find something interesting worth buying. Then I just grabbed two zippers and tried to get out. After waiting at cash for a while with no service, I just dropped the zips and left.
Definitely won’t go back willingly.
The recent Burda mag advertised a special Classic issue of Burda: 33 styles including fitted jackets, Chanel suits, and other things that sound really wearable. I’m in, are you?
I wish Burda would stop trying to make Dirndls happen.