– sequins

Elsa’s sequins on her bodice are of many sizes and appear to float over each other and move with her breathing. They are also quite rounded and subtly differ in shade from the neckline to the waist, much like her skirt also darkens towards the hem.

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(Detail taken from the cover of a box of Frozen cereal showing the neckline of the bodice between her arm and her braid- Anna’s arm covers the rhs)

 

Commercial and custom sequins custom dyed to match the base fabric.

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Left: my custom dyed 3mm sequin “pearl” fabric with Athena Beads sequins tinted to match on top.

Right: 3mm matte turquoise sequin fabric (plain and painted respectively) with a mix of Josey Rose, Elizabeth Crafts, and Athena Beads sequins. The variety is endless.

 

(Hello people coming here from tumblr! Just as an update (November 2014) I have now tested all but one option of ready made and sequin film- at least of the options available without trying to get custom sequins made!

This page will cover cutting, gluing and colouring different products available most easily to cosplayers. I have expanded further in my hunt for the perfect sequin and will always update here.

The featured image is the final test comparison before I bought my final supplies.

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Top; Athena Bead cornflower blue, cornflower blue Josey Rose sequin film, aqua green Athena Bead, ditto overdyed with iDye poly Turquoise.

Middle; Sullivan’s (29032- 9mm cup ivory with coating) dyed ditto, Maria George clear with coating 20mm sequin dyed ditto.
Bottom; Sullivan’s cup  undyed, Maria George undyed, Elizabeth Craft shimmer sheet (iris) ditto Turquoise.
Turquoise 3mm matte sequin mesh.

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And this is how they look all mixed up.

 

So to start:

1) Do you have a particular fabric in mind for the gown? If so and you already have one of these materials and it is not right, I can hopefully show you the colour range of the other options.

2) Do you want to sew  your sequins? I strongly recommend precut sequins as the Scan n Cut at least can’t make small enough circles with the blade it has.

3) Do you think you can punch holes in plastic on top of cutting sequins to shape. If you can make tiny hole punches or have a cutting machine that will make holes you can sew through, you have full range of options!

4) Do you want to glue your sequins? Highly recommend film sheets so you can scuff the back ready to grip the glue before cutting. It is increasingly difficult to scuff sequins the smaller they are.

5) Do you think your sequins might come in to contact with water or cleaning products? Avoid the sequin films with only a thin coating. It’s pretty durable otherwise but not under these circumstances. The colour comes of very easily when warm water or cleaning products come near.

 

Each product:

1)  Shimmer Sheetz are produced by Elizabeth Crafts.

(February 18 2014)

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These are the blue iris, NOT turquoise.

2) JosyRose Cornflower Blue Sequin film

(March 16 2014)

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The film is sitting on the Shimmer sheetz to show the difference in size and colour. They are otherwise the same material. A thin white flexible plastic with a colour wash. Not a thin plastic coating.

In both cases they are not easy to scratch once made in to sequins but the do when treated with warm water or cleaning product such as window cleaner, Ajax or alcohol. Or acetone.

I played with looking at the film in different directions and yes, you can control just how much pink or blue you get by using the film vertically one way or the other.

Really surprised by how pale this is. It’s great! Very tempted to get samples from all over the place to compare them to. But this is about as close to the colour of her dress at the end of Let it Go when she is in bright brilliant light that makes her dress look like pale mid tone blue.

I found both these through brute force Google searches.

After cutting on my plotter:

I played with looking at the film in different directions and yes, you can control just how much pink or blue you get by using the film vertically one way or the other.

Really surprised by how pale this is. It’s great! Very tempted to get samples from all over the place to compare them to. But this is about as close to the colour of her dress at the end of Let it Go when she is in bright brilliant light that makes her dress look like pale mid tone blue.

I then tried the Shimmer Sheetz Turquoise and compared them all under different lights:

(May 15 2014)

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Top: Turquoise, Blue Iris

Bottom: Cornflower blue

3) Athena Beads Rectangular:

These are found on ebay and I had seen them but Cosplay.com member Bennuko was kind enough to share the various colour effects of the cornflower blue, so I decided to test the Aqua green.

But I was sent Cornflower blue by accident- whoops!

(July 7 2014)

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So quite purple in one direction, lovely pale blue-green in another. I have mixed them with the Shimmer Sheetz and sequin film from Josy Rose.

And then I got the green!

(July 15 2014)

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Shimmer Sheetz and Josy Rose across the top

Athena Aqua Green then Cornflower blue. The two blues are different to each other as are the two greenish tinted colours.

I wanted to then see if the Aqua green could be shifted more to a true aqua-turquoise:

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And yes! To the left are the Cornflower blue

So finally I wanted to test solid white/off white and clear sequins with a coating. So I did:

(November 14 2014)

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Top; Athena Bead cornflower blue, cornflower blue Josey Rose sequin film, aqua green Athena Bead, aqua green Athena Bead overdyed with iDye poly Turquoise.
Middle; Sullivan’s (29032- 9mm cup ivory with coating) dyed ditto, Maria George clear with coating 20mm sequin dyed ditto.
Bottom; Sullivan’s  undyed, Maria George undyed, Elizabeth Craft shimmer sheet Iris &Turquoise.
Turquoise 3mm matte sequin mesh.

 

So there is the colour range!

 

Cutting your sequins.

The process to make them is as follows:

I scuffed the Sheetz on the reverse, this is to ensure the glue adheres. Not only is the iridescent layer laminated and so prone to pulling away but the surface is shiny. This means even the best glue it not going to grip unless it welds through- and that will lead to warping.

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Then I cut the sheet in to 1cm wide strips with a handy line cutter. I am going to invest in a better one, but this was enough to get a feel for how it will cut.

Then each strip was cut into shorter pieces. Preferred length is 2cm so this gives 180 larger sequins per sheet. So 540 per pack.

At this stage I will sand the edges into rounded shapes. Not only because the artwork shows this but also to eliminate any potential extra snagging.

In the below with flash is on the right, without on the left.

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I glued the pieces to two different kinds of net (the net of the sequin fabric and the old net for the cape). I tried irregular overlapping and I tried an open pattern. I prefer the open pattern, the shine really kicks through and the outlines of the background show up.

To glue I picked up each piece with angled tweezers and swept the underside over the end of an open tube of Shoe Goo (Same for E6000 or Goop) then laid and pressed the back in to the net. I used a sheet of styrene inderneath (would prefer waxed paper or sheet silicon to prevent sticking but also to allow the piece to lay flat during curing. I’d also like a roller to press the glue evenly.

So I tried from other angles and with and without flash to capture the effect.

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After this I used a Brother Scan n Cut with one of their regular shapes to cut rounded edged rectangles. You can create your own shapes and scan the print out then cut directly or you can make a file and upload to Brother to convert to their format.

Other cutting machine will do the same thing in different ways.

(May 15 2014)

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Different sizes different directions (portrait and landscape)

To see how the Shimmer Sheets look on a full costume, Kendal has shared photos here:

http://www.dreameroftheday.com/kendals-elsa-costume-tutorial/

Dyeing sequins

I use iDye Poly in turqoise. This is a very dark dye so for the sequins, and fabric, I use barely a few grains and a few drops of the colour enhancer.

For ready made sequins this is very easy.

Put 1L (four cups) of water in a medium sized saucepan and set to boil. Remove from heat and stir in a few grains of dye. The dye comes in a water soluble packet so do put it immediately in a sealable container.

Stir in the sequins. Stir in a few drops of colour enhancer (it stinks!!!!) and swirl.

Strain the sequins out immediately for a pale blue, and longer for a deeper blue, ditto with a little more dye and enhancer.

TEST! Test them.

The larger the sequin the more likely to warp with the heat. The 20mm flat round pailettes did. The rectangles and cups did not.

Even the hand cut sequin film was fine at low temps and small sizes. Both warped badly when cut as strips or full sheets. The film tended to come off and the dye not do much but leave water stains.

 

Painting sequins

It is possible!

I get chased by a bee at nearly 2mins. Just saying if you want to hear me get very squealy, that’s your cue.


Materials:

~Pearl Ex (interference green and duo tone blue/green– duo blue no longer available!)

~Resolene, matte.

Technique:

You just mix the pigments straight in to the Resolene and that is it. I used a mix of equal parts water and resolene and a lot of pigment in my airbriush for a more controlled and lighter application too.

Resolene is very runny- it’s like skim milk/no fat milk in colour and viscositys. It also isn’t sticky until it starts to dry. It does however smell of ammonia so you will need to work in a ventilated area. But this is true of spray paint ???? And if you have used acrylic paint from a tube it’s pretty much that… but more so. Not sure why some acrylics smell like ammonia and others don’t. Liquiset and PA don’t after all.

I patted the brush on the sequins after sweeping-brushing caused more pigment to build up under the sequins (which acted as mini scrapers). So I think airbrushing will be the best option. I need a new brush and a compressor. I have two cans of air but they may or may not last so will be set aside for make up.

I wouldn’t recommend a sponge as the Resolene will be sucked in too much, as it is so liquid.

This was also on matte surfaced sequins.

And to show how durable:

My base fabric was white spandex with 3mm pearl white sequins tinted pale turquoise as per the first photo on this page. It was dyed using the same techniques as above.

 

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