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How to Machine Sew Sequin Trim

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Sequin trim adds sparkle and fun to a costume, but sewing it on by hand is a time-consuming task. Instead, apply the trim using your sewing machine. Unlike hand-sewing that leaves tiny, nearly invisible stitches on the underside of the sequins and the garment, machine-sewing will create a visible line or lines of thread on top of the sequins. However, this is usually acceptable for most costume applications and often is a welcome trade-off for the time-saving convenience of machine sewing.

Examine the sequin trim to determine which direction the overlapped sequins lie. When you hold up the trim, the sequins should be chained together so that the lower sequins are attached one beneath the other rather than on top of each other. If you run your finger along the trim from top to bottom, it should feel smooth and not as if you are petting a cat’s fur the wrong way.

Position the trim where desired on your garment, laying it out so you will begin sewing at the top of the trim piece and down along the grain of the sequins.

Pin the trim in place, inserting the pins through the existing center holes of the sequins.

Set your sewing machine to a medium-length straight stitch. Sew the trim onto the fabric. If the trim is a single row of sequins, sew down the center of the strip. If the trim is wide and made up of multiple rows of sequins, stitch 1/4 inch away from each edge.

Things You'll Need:

  • Straight pins
  • Size 16 universal or standard-point sewing machine needle
  • All-purpose thread to match sequin color


If you are sewing a large amount of sequin trim, replace your needle when it becomes dull.


  • Do not use a ballpoint needle. Its rounded tip is not sharp enough to cleanly pierce the sequins.
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