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Lauren Wilmore wearing evening gown she made, Sew Like A Pro™ member

 

Say hello to Sew Like A Pro™ member, Lauren Wilmore.

She wants to create a sweetheart neckline gown using a sequin fabric similar to this sequin dress she previously made for a different client.  It’s pretty fabric that will look great on the bodice of this new gown.

 

sequin fabric to make sequin appliques, ballgown sketch, Lauren Wilmore Made by LaLa, sequin dress

What’s the problem?

The problems are:

  1. The sequin fabric has no stretch and it needs to go on a stretchy lycra leotard.
    • This combination of stretch and no-stretch can be a big problem for dance and skate costumes.
  2. There is no pattern to help guide the cutting-out of shapes to make the appliqués.
    • It’s just a solid sheet of shiny, shimmering sequin fabric. … Say that three times fast. 🙂

Lauren’s Q:  How can I use a non-stretch sequin fabric to make appliqués for a stretchy lycra leotard?

 


Before I share with you my A's to Lauren's Qs about a sequin dress, let me fill you in on how I offer live dressmaking support to her and all the Sew Like A Pro™ members.  (Knowing this will help the video excerpt make more sense.)

 

  Livestream  Video  Q&A  Calls  

I love hosting the live Q&A calls!

Zoom meeting allows us to hang out and talk in real time.  I get to see the members' faces.  Sometimes I also get to see her sewing room and the dress she wants to talk about on the live meeting.  That's cool!  I admit the image below makes most of us look pretty bored, but the image is only a screenshot while I bring up training material.  It would look weird if everyone was smiling like The Brady Bunch.

 

Sew Like A Pro live Q&A group image 3-14-2020

 

I host the live calls every 2 - 2.5 weeks.  All SLP™ members are invited to join and ask any questions they have about the dressmaking process, or even about the business side of running a costume company.

The members who attend the live call can join late or leave early depending on her availability.  The members who cannot attend the live video meeting post their Qs on the member site  so I can answer them live the next day.

With ninety members in ten countries, the calls average about two hours long these days!  I try to have everyone's Qs and photos lined up in a document to help make the session most efficient.

Shortly after the live call, I release the replay.  All SLP™ members have access to the Q&A replays  24/7  all year 'round.

For more information, go to my FAQ about Sew Like a Pro™ page.

Click here to watch another Q&A excerpt featuring SLP™ member Kerry, who wanted to know how to shorten the bodice of a dress that is too long.


Sew Like A Pro™ member, Wendy Marfleet, custom ice skating dress, ombré skating skirt, sequin dress

 

 

When asked what her favorites aspect(s) of the Sew Like A Pro™ course is, Wendy, a British figure skating dressmaker, said,

All of it really. Having the videos to back up the downloads and vice versa is great.

The videos are like we are next to you and that’s soooo helpful. And the Q&As where I’ve picked up lots of ideas.

 

 


 

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sequin fabric sequin aplique ballgown sketch, Lauren Wilmore Made by LaLa, sequin dress

 

Lauren's Q #1:  sequin dress with a sweetheart neckline

"I’m making a sweetheart neckline leotard for a client to use with a skirt she already has.  I won’t be stoning it but I will add sleeves. 

How can I make the border between the neckline and mesh look finished?  Stretch bias tape around the neck before attaching mesh?"

black mesh leotard, Lauren Wilmore, sequin fabric appliqués to be added

 

NOTE: Per our conversation during the live call, Lauren's sequin dress sketch will look similar to this black mesh over flesh color lycra leotard she posted on our private SLP™ Facebook group.

 

T's answer to Q #1: 

No bias tape.  It will take out the natural stretch from the lycra.

Instead, "sandwich" the neckline with mesh.  (This is a technique I teach in the sewing school.)

Stretch the mesh as you stitch to create a mild elastic effect.  Because the bodice is sheer-looking, putting black mesh over the bodice fabric will make an obvious dark border, but it will still be a decent segue between the black mesh sleeves and the mesh-lycra body suit. 

 

 

 

Lauren's Q #2:  sequin appliqués

"Also, I plan to appliqué a non-stretch sequin fabric to the front and back.  How much extra space should I leave in the actual leotard because the sequin fabric only stretches a little bit on the bias. "

 

T's answer to Q #2: 

You'll make the pattern, cut, fit and finish the leotard just like I teach you in the program.

How and where you place the non-stretch sequin appliqués is the key.  Watch the lace training in module 9 of the ballgown program for more details.

The application principles are the same for your non-stretch sequin fabric as they are Liesl's non-stretch lace appliqués.   Click here if you want to watch the blog post that shows the transformation from no lace on the leotard to completely finished in only 12 minutes.

lace appliqué look can be made out of sequin fabric

If you leave spaces about 1/4 inch or 6-7mm between each piece appliqué, that should be sufficient to allow the lycra to stretch between the non-stretch decoration. 

However, you can always leave a bigger gap than 1/4" or 6-7 mm.  A bigger space allow the lycra leotard even more room to stretch and contract.

 

Allowing space between your shiny sequin fabric and the darkness of the leotard also creates visual depth. 
The contrast between shine and matte can be a powerful design element. 

 

Lastly, cutting the sequin fabric into small pieces will make it easier for you to arrange the sequin fabric to fit your client's body shape.

turn sequin fabric into sequin appliqués strategy, Lauren Wilmore, Made by LaLa, sequin dress

 

NOTE: During the live call, Lauren was not fond of the small-appliqué look for her sequin dress design.  I thought about it for a minute and came up with a bold, graphic sequin appliqué look that she liked a lot.

 

However, if you don't like the look of small pieces like regular lace, you can make pretty much any shape you want as long as you leave spaces between the pieces of sequin fabric.

Since your goal is to make your client's waist look smaller, you can cut long, thin strips and place them on an angle. This creates a slimming effect on the woman and allows the leotard to stretch between the sequin appliqués.

 

SEW LIKE A PRO™ DRESSMAKER TIP #1: 

Sequin fabric is often stitched with a chain stitch so that when you cut the thread or remove one sequin, many sequins fall off.  To prevent this:

  1. Place your sequin fabric right side down on a table.
    • Put a flattened cardboard or several layers of newspaper between the fabric and the table.
  2. Draw the shapes you wish to cut with chalk, fabric pencil, etc.
  3. Apply Fray Check (the easiest option), Goop, E-6000 or any other type of fabric glue along all edges you wish to cut. 
  4. Let the glue dry. (
    • Pick the fabric up every few minutes to make sure it doesn't stick to the newspaper or cardboard.
  5. Cut your shape as desired.
    • It is possible the glue will have "erased" your draw lines.  However, you should still be able to see where the glue is so you know where your cut lines are.

 

SEW LIKE A PRO™ DRESSMAKER TIP #2:  

I am a fan of gluing appliqués to the dress with either E-6000 or Goop because it's fast and super tidy. The only trouble with this is if you ever wish to remove the decorations, large glue smudges will remain on the dress.  Therefore, if you think you may want to change out one set of appliqués for a different style or color, I suggest you sew them on.

I do not recommend gluing the appliqués with hot glue.  More than once have I heard of folks whose decorations melted off the dress when they went to a competition in the desert and left the dress in the sunshine.

 Click here if you want to watch the blog post showing how I glue lace appliqués on a dress.

 

 


For a lot of laughs and more details about how to cut non-stretch sequin fabric to use on a stretchy dance or skate leotard,  watch the Q&A replay.

 

 

 

 


 

Get the SLP™ newsletter and information about sewing school enrollment.

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By signing up here, I am aware I will receive the weekly SLP™ newsletter. I am also aware I will receive two special training videos and information about enrolling in the sewing courses. (This series of marketing emails lasts about 2 weeks.) I can unsubscribe from either list at any time.

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THANKS FOR WATCHING!

If you enjoy my videos, please share this post with all your dancing, skating, sewing friends.

 

Thanks sew much,

Teresa Sigmon

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