In my sewing journey I thought I’d seen the worst that fabric stores have to offer.
I was wrong.
In a moment of weakness I agreed to help a friend with some costumes for their up-coming play. In reality I was supposed to just be answering a question, but you know how that goes, and it turned into me sewing several costumes for the production. All the costumes were to be made of this “Confetti Dot Sequin” fabric from Jo-Ann Fabrics.
First problem I noticed my machine skipping stitches while I was trying to sew.
Second problem the sewing thread would break after only a few stitches, which I found out was due to…
The third problem which was the sticky residue left behind by the fabric on my sewing needle.
To understand why this is all happening you have to understand this fabric that you are working with. Those “pretty” sequin dots are literally glued to the lame polyester warp and weft yards. Because of this as you sew your needled builds up friction which creates heat and melts the glue ever so slightly as it begins to coat your needle. Once the needle is coated your thread can’t pass through which causes it to build tension and snap.
As you can see above, here is a needle coated with sticky residue from the fabric.
Well my first piece of advice is to simply pick a different fabric…no? You really want to sew with this? OK, fine.
(After intense internet research and my own trial and error here is how I was able to sew with the Confetti Dot Sequin Fabric)
- Get some oil: WD-40, Sewing Machine Oil, Baby Oil, etc… I used sewing machine oil. Take a Q-tip and soak it in the oil, then rub the Q-tip on the sewing machine needle until it’s coated in oil. Now thread your machine like normal being careful not to touch the needle with your fingers.
- Use Stabilizer. To save a bit of time, and money, I used parchment paper. You place this paper underneath your fabric and sew through it, after you’ve sewn your seam you tear it away leaving just your fabric and the finished stitch.
- Sew on the SLOWEST speed, this reduces the friction and heat build up which in turn reduces the amount of gunk build up on your sewing needle.
- After you have finished a seam soak another Q-tip in oil and run the sewing needle until you’ve rubbed off any build up. *repeat steps 2-4*
Using these steps you should be able to slowly sew together your pattern pieces and create a garment.
Good Luck and God speed!
(here is a pair of paints I managed to cobble together with the above steps)