Thursday, January 16, 2014

How to Make a Sequin T-shirt, a Tutorial

Because sometimes you just need to have your own poppin' party!
Confetti Push-Pop from Umba, thanks!!
If you aren't wearing are missing out! They are so awesome, so shiny and so in!! (Awesome...that is until they get stuck in my hair, and then I have a love/hate thing with them...Ha!) But, I dig them anyway.
They really are all over fashion these days, (did you see Olivia Wilde at the Golden Globes? Sequin perfection if you ask me!) so I thought I would give you a simple, fast, and pretty cheap way to add DIY sequins to your wardrobe!
 I bought a 1/2 yard of sequin fabric at Joann's, it was on sale for 40% off, Score! Cuz it's kinda spendy otherwise, but if you are only buying a small amount it's not so bad and use your coupon people! (I got two shirts done and some bows for my kids hair!) Then I bought a plain old white T-shirt at Walmart for $3.47, rollback baby!! I already had the Metallic Gold thread. So I did this all for less than $10 bucks!

To begin: You need to unpick the sleeves off the body of the shirt. You can use a seam ripper or scissors, if you use scissors be careful not to cut the fabric. I find it easier to start by clipping or ripping 2-3 of the stitches from the inside and then flipping the shirt back out and continuing cutting the threads from there until the sleeves are completely removed.

Here I'm cutting the threads from the outside of the shirt.

Then once you have removed both of the sleeves, you will then use the old sleeves to be your pattern for new, improved, shinier sleeves!

Here is a look at the shirt without the sleeve.

Then pull off all the broken threads so they don't get sewn back into the shirt.

Nasty, unnecessary threads that need to be removed and thrown away!

Then using the old sleeves you will mark (with a marker) your new sleeve onto the sequin fabric. I folded the sequin fabric in half, with wrong sides out. Make two sleeves facing opposite ways on the sequin fabric. Keep in mind that the T-shirt knit fabric is super stretchy and the sequin stuff..not so much! So you will probably need to add a little length to the bottom of the sleeve when cutting, otherwise the sleeve will not fit.

Here is the old shirt sleeve acting as a pattern for the new one. Place the top of the sleeve at the fold of the sequin fabric.
Here I'm adding a couple inches to make sure it fits with the stretch of the knit.

I added an extra 2" to the bottom of my sleeve and it worked well, yours may vary a bit depending on how stretchy your knit is. But I think adding 2" is enough and then pin the sleeve to the shirt and see if any of the sleeve needs to be trimmed up in order to fit perfectly. Then I used the serger to sew the sleeve seam first. Then I sewed the sleeve to the shirt, also with the serger.

Sewing the sleeve seam. Then it looks like a tube. If you aren't sure if the sleeve will fit I would pin it to the shirt first to get the size right before doing this step!

Sewing the sleeve in.

Here both sleeves are sewn on.

Then I made a heart patch to add to look like a pocket. I just used a heart template (actually it was my heart shaped pin holder and I trimmed it to suit me from there!) And then using Metallic Gold thread on topstitch and white thread on bobbin thread, I zig-zagged around the entire heart to hold it in place. (I held the heart in place using pins and removed them as I went along.)

Heart patch being applied with a zig zag stitch.

Then I trimmed my threads and ta-da!! Super shiny, trendy T-shirt and cost me less than $10 bucks!!

And her she is in all her completeness!! Gorgeously shiny don't ya think?!

When sewing sleeves into shirts I used to always get confused on how to attach, right sides or wrong sides together. So here's the deal: Turn the shirt wrong side out and the sleeve should be right side out and put the sleeve inside the shirt, (so the right sides of the shirt and sequin sleeves are kissing each together) and then line the sleeves up to the shirt. So when you turn the shirt right side out the sewn seams are on the inside and the sequins are outside.)

To style the shirt I went with my black faux leather cropped pants, with gold zipper details (Koodeker), Gold statement necklace and earrings (Cherry Lane Boutique), Gold chain necklace worn as a bracelet (Koodeker), Leopard Print, calf hair signature loafers (Victoria Secret) and a little fun confetti to liven up the party from Umba! Here are some looks from my shoot today with my new sequin shirt:

Word to the wise, when you pop confetti, shut your mouth! Pth, Pth!!
A side braid with a bit of confetti left over!
The shoes and confetti fall-out!

Hope you have a "Fancy Day" and as always thanks for following!!


  1. You are so fun! Awesome job! Love it. -Erika D

    1. Hi Erika, Thanks so much,It was totally fun! I think as adults we sometimes forget to have fun everyday!! Thanks for stopping by and have a great day!
      xo Kacey