Seriously Challenging Sequins – Deer & Doe Plantain Tunic

I purchased this really ‘in your face’ sequinned fabric from Fabricland in early December. With the departure on a cruise to the Caribbean coming up fast thought I had better get on and sew an evening tunic to go with the Black wide leg trousers.

At the time of purchase I did not know which pattern I would be using and so purchased 2 metres at £6.99/metre. Having browsed through my selection of PDF patterns I decided that I would use the Plantain top from Deer & Doe.

This is described as a T-shirt fitted at the shoulders and flaring at the hips, with optional elbow patches. Short, long and 3/4 sleeves are included in the pattern. I had plenty of fabric, cut out view A in size 52 and excluded the elbow patches. Only alterations were to reduce the sleeve length by 4 inches and extend the length, also by 4 inches.

Pinning the fabric was a challenge. I did not want to pin through the sequins and so had to be very careful with pin placement into the jersey fabric between them. I stabilised the shoulder seams with some narrow fusible Vilene ® interfacing. As I did not want to feel the scratchy edges of the sequins on the inside, I made a faux flat fell seam which effectively covered the sequins and made a nice flat seam.

Next was the neckline binding. I was nervous about this but decided to cut some of the un-sequinned selvedge fabric which is the base ‘carrier’. A fine knit that was very stretchy and so great for a narrow neck binding. I lightly pressed the binding in half and then ran a row of overlocking stitches to keep the raw edges together. In effect the binding was ‘gathered’ onto the overlocking stitches but that was fine as I gently stretched and pinned the binding to the WRONG side of the neckline. Taking a ¼ inch seam, I then turned the binding to the RIGHT side and top stitched in place. I am really pleased with the way this has turned out.

At this point I did a test run on the overlocker and found that there were no problems using the machine on the sequinned fabric. Setting in the sleeves was straightforward. Although the notches did not match up with the armscye it did not matter as the sleeves went in beautifully.

Now the side and underarm seams. I left 8 inches open at the hem and overlocked the entire seam from that point to the underarm and down the sleeve seam. As the ‘carrier’ fabric is jersey there was no need to hem the sleeves or the hemline of the tunic. I simply cut level with a row of the square sequins.

Now I tried on the tunic. Oops! The sleeves are very tight and this is when I discovered the fatal error. What I had not taken into account was the fact that although the ‘carrier’ fabric is jersey, the sequins have NO stretch and therefore restrict the stretch of the jersey. I should have enlarged the pattern the to take this into account!

I can wear the tunic but it is not comfortable. My husband does not like the top as he feels it is too glitzy! He is not wrong!

Teal Sequinned Jersey Plantain Tunic

A valuable lesson learned. I have adjusted the pattern and will certainly make it up again. I like the flare over the hips, the extended length and the lovely shaped neckline. So onwards and upwards…..