Thursday, November 14, 2013

Is there a Trick to Sewing Glittery Fabrics????

My gut is telling me not to do it. It's a GORGEOUS fabric but I fear it will ruin my sewing machine. And I wouldn't even think twice about running it through my serger. I fear it will damage my blade. The fabric is a black slinky knit with a gorgeous and intricate design of ---- in which the flowers in the design are highlighted with lots turquoise glitter. I mean so much so that when you even look at the fabric a pound of glitter sloughs off. Here it is. It's absolutely stunning!

Something tells me that the thought of sewing this should make me nervous.  Other sewers have cautioned me against sewing this fabric as well. Sigh......but it's so beautiful fabric and I really wanted to make a gown out of it. But back to the store it goes! This whole situation has got me thinking about whether or not it's feasible to sew such a fabric. I definitely could use some advice from anyone experienced in this area. My extent of sewing fabrics with glitter has been satins with small amounts, nothing to this extent where it covers 50%+ of the fabric.  Have you sewn with any type of glittery fabric? Was there lots or a little glitter? Did it mess up your sewing machine or serger??? Is sewing this fabric by machine even possible? Got any tips???? Thanks, you guys are a WEALTH of information. I'm looking to satisfy my curiosity:)


  1. I look at it this way, if the fabric was made, it was meant to sew...somebody did it, you can sew with it too. You just have to have the right sewing aids. Speaking of sewing aids, make sure you have plenty of needles appropriate for your type of fabric (you may have some breakage- doesn't always happen, but be prepared), the right thread, a tube of Sewer's Aid( this helps with glue build up as you sew), tissue paper.
    Read this link that I found and it will explain it all.
    But, I have sewn on fabric like this many times. I have not thrown my machine off. You just may get the glue build up on your needle, and if you don't periodically clean off your needle while sewing, it will cause your needle to break. I definitely do not recommend using your serger for this type fabric, it can throw your timing off. I hope this helps.

  2. I've never sewn with a fabric like this before, but could you try laying some tissue paper or something like that over the fabric and sewing through that, then tearing it out of the seams afterwards? Might stop gumming up your presser foot at least!

  3. Ann from also had this tip for keeping glitter dust at bay:

  4. Have you ever used the needles "Blue Tip" from Janome? If you have a metallic material or glittery, this is the needle to use. Or if you can't sew something properly with any other needle, try this one! My instructor told us it is magic!

  5. Think of all that glitter in your bobbin spins and whips itself into small balls that can really mess up things. I have worked on fabric for clients with much less and when I opened the bobbin case later it was horrible...little balls spun with the speed and heat of so many revolutions...yikes! Every needle pass down brings with it shards of glass and metal...who needs that! Don't let it near your serger!

  6. I understand you, Victoria - the fabric is so beautiful! I made a simple dress for my kid with glittery fabric. Lots of skipped stitches. Had to finish it by hand. But it turned out so pretty! Even though, I would rather not sew it again.
    I am not sure if a special needle would help?....

  7. It is a gorgeous fabric and the colors and design are beautiful. I was going to suggest tissue paper above and below but see Erin already mentioned it. With many fabrics with sequins, there is a 1-2 inch selvage with no sequins but I guess this is not the case with this fabric. The only other thing I can think of, in addition to using tissue above and below, would be to take the edge of a paring knife and scrape away the glitter from the area that will fall within the seam, and the line of stitching. Tedious but it could be very well worth it. There is one other solution but I am sure you would not want to consider it - assemble your dress completely by hand. Just remember the gorgeous things people wore in the middle ages, and even 100 years ago - all done by hand, generally with a backstitch. Very, very slow and tedious but the result could be oh, so worth it. Do you have a backup, non-computerized machine? Is there a tailor nearby with an industrial machine who might be willing to sew it together for you? Good luck. I do hope to see a finished garment from this exquisite fabric..

  8. Wow, that's some beautiful fabric! It will make a gorgeous gown on you.

    I made a simple top with sleeves about 10 years ago in an allover glitter fabric I got at Joanne's. I was so dumb it didn't even occur to me that it might mess up my sewing machine. The stuff shed glitter like crazy and made a terrible mess of my ...
    closet. It had no effect on my sewing machine. Well, I did need to vacuum out the bobbin case when I was done, but other than that, nothing. The tissue above and below does sound like a good idea though.

    I made a mermaid costume for my niece about 5 years ago and used green knit that had plastic sequins glued all over (fish scales don't you know). That one made a horrible mess of my needles. I don't think I'll try sewing anything like that again.

  9. I made a simple skirt with this kind of fabric and still love it, but it was sewn by hand after I gave up on the machine. But my grandmother made beautiful dresses by hand and isn't it the couture way !

  10. I've never tried this with fabric but when I use glitter in paper craft I sometimes use hairspray as a sealant? It wouldn't help with the needle or glue but it might help to stop glitter shedding? I'm certainly not an expert but it would be easy enough to test.

    I'll definitely be really interested to see what you do and what works. :-)

  11. I do bridal alterations and sew over sequins all the time. Beads have to be removed, but sequins and glitter are fine. One recommendation I would have, especially if you are going into business full time is to purchase an industrial machine. It was the best purchase I ever made! They can be found on craigslist at a reasonable price. They will sew through anything (except beads lol) . In full time business you will soon wear out a home machine. My facebook page is Behind the Seams Bridal if you are interested. Blessings

  12. Have no fear! I work in the show choir apparel industry and we sew this stuff all the time. Lots of glitter will fall off but your machine will do fine sewing it. I would recommend getting it cleaned afterwards as it can get messy. Or just get a can of air to spray it out. Good luck!

    1. Sarah, wondering if you serge sparkle dot, and if so, do you use a lubricant?

  13. I just made a dress with a glitter fabric and it was fine. Ran the vacuum cleaner over the machine at the end.
    I'd have reservations about sequins though...

  14. The fabric is so beautiful! Thanks for sharing. I made a simple dress with Stretch Sequins and Glitter Stone
    fabric and still love it, but it was sewn by hand after I gave up on the machine. but my elder sister make a dress without ant trouble.


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