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Specialty materials

HotRags | Posted in General Discussion on

I have just bought some new material conforming with my usual habit of “shoot first, ask questions afterward” and now have to figure out how to sew it into a glamorous lined short dress! I wonder if any of you have any tips.

It is composed of many shiny black plastic discs overlapping on a black (minimally or non-stretchy)mesh so that they have the effect of reflective fish scales. The mesh doesn’t show; it is all shimmer and shine. Guess that is what seduced me. 😉

I have a very simple pattern for a pullover A-line dress with no sleeves, McCalls #7995, view B, but straps, which I plan to make in black velvet.

The salesman said I could just sew in the gaps. Someone else said I could sew over the plastic discs, but this doesn’t seem right. If you have no hints, I might end up sewing it by hand. Help, please!

Edited 7/10/2008 11:03 am ET by HotRags


  1. User avater
    ThreadKoe | | #1

    What you have is a lovely sequin or paillette fabric. Before I can tell you anything more, I need to know if these are fused or sewn on to the fabric backing. On the Tips & Tricks page here there is a good tip on sewing seams in sequin fabrics. Threads #92 has an article on sewing with these fabrics also. Cathy

    Edited 7/11/2008 7:49 pm ET by ThreadKoe

    Edited 7/11/2008 8:19 pm ET by ThreadKoe

  2. Teaf5 | | #2

    Ooh, fun fabric!  The simple A-line sounds like a good plan.  I had no problem sewing on a similar fabric for my daughter's crazy-dance tube top, using a normal, small needle and stitching right across the paillettes. 

    Some of them cracked and popped off at the seams, but that didn't show on the side seams. But don't get the fabric anywhere near an iron or dryer, as the paillettes melt easily.  Before cutting, you might want to run your hand across the fabric a few times to see how securely they are attached; if they pop off easily, you might want to make just a top out of the glittery fabric and make a skirt out of satin or something that will take the wear better.

    Cut your dress with a bit of extra ease, as you don't want the fabric to be stretched while you're wearing it.  Then, with the scraps, test different stitches and needles to find the optimal one for seams that run both vertically (side seams) and horizontally (shoulder seams) across the knit.

    Have fun and show us what you produce!

  3. meg | | #3

    Those shiny discs may be difficult to wear at the under-arm area - wouldn't they be too scratchy?  So what about the velvet carried down to this area, facing-like, to protect your arms?  (A facing turned to the outside, I mean....)

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