Learn all about sewing chiffon with this step by step tutorial. The sound of the word chiffon makes you think of something soft, flowing, gently beautiful and definitely French. Who would have thought that this luxuriously sounding name would simply translate into a three-letter word…….RAG! Sewing chiffon does not require your regular rag treatment. No this beautiful, flowing and soft fabric requires some dedication and attention to detail. Many of the steps in sewing sheer fabrics apply to chiffon, however, the difference is that it is prone to fraying and stretches easily. This means the cutting and sewing of this delicate fabric needs to be taken seriously.
The story of chiffon could be the original rags to riches story!
What is Chiffon?
Chiffon is a lightweight transparent woven fabric that can be made from silk or synthetic fabrics. It is commonly used in wedding and evening wear and can be layered or lined to reduce its transparency.
Sewing Chiffon: In 3 Easy Steps
Step One: Cutting chiffon.
- PREPARE THE CUTTING SURFACE – Cover the surface you are using to cut chiffon with tissue paper.
- CUT INDIVIDUALLY – Lay out the chiffon in single pieces and cut each part of the pattern individually.
- DON’T PIN – Hold down the fabric with weights instead of pins. Weights can be of the commercial variety or simply tins from your pantry. Pins will mark the fabric badly. Alternatively, pin in the seam allowance where it will not show in the finished garment.
- SMOOTH THE FABRIC – Keep the fabric as taut as possible to prevent stretching and slipping.
- SCISSORS – Sharp scissors or a rotary cutter is essential. Blunt scissors will produce a ragged edge.
- HANG – If your fabric looks wrinkled, hang it up overnight instead of ironing.
Step Two: Preparation for sewing
- TRANSFER – Transfer any markings with tailor tacks and not pins. If you want to use chalk, test first to see if it will remove without marking the fabric permanently.
- STAY STITCH – Stay stitch curved edges to prevent stretching and slipping.
- SETTINGS – Check your sewing machine needle sizes and sewing machine tension settings. You will need to use sharp and fine needles.
- SEAM ALLOWANCES – Chiffon frays a lot so increase the seam allowances if necessary.
Step three: Sewing chiffon
- SEWING – Follow the same guidelines recommended for sewing sheer fabrics but remember that chiffon frays very easily.
- TEST – Always test sewing on a scrap before you start and check the sewing machine tension is even.
- NEEDLES – Try a smaller universal needle, size 60/8 or 65/9.
- STITCHES – Test shorter stitches 1.5-2.0
- STARTING – When starting the stitching, hold the fabric behind and in front of the foot.
- FINISHING – Instead of backstitching, tie the ends in knots.
- SEAM FINISHES – Use French seams for the seams. A French seam encases the raw edges to create an attractive edge that won’t fray. It is most suitable for straight edges.
- HEM – Hem with a narrow rolled hem foot. Wide hems look unattractive and you will see the raw edge through the fabric.
- PRESSING – Press gently with a pressing cloth and your chiffon garment should be looking fantastic.
Voila, the garment is finished!
Sewing Chiffon – In Conclusion
Now all you need is a petit pet to go with your gorgeous outfit. You could try a designer dog called the Shiffon! It is a cross between a Shih Tzu and a Belgian Griffon……a beautiful little piece of fluff to sit beside you in your chiffon outfit as you feel like a Parisian princess.
READ MORE ABOUT SEWING DIFFERENT FABRICS
- CHIFFON – Sewing Chiffon
- BATIK – What is Batik
- CANVAS – Sewing Canvas
- COTTON – Sewing Cotton
- DENIM – Sewing Denim
- FELT – Sewing Felt
- FUR – Sewing Fur
- KNITS – How to Sew Stretch Fabric
- INTERFACING – Types of Interfacing
- LACE – How to Sew Lace
- LEATHER – Sewing Leather
- RAYON – Sewing Rayon
- SHEER – Sewing Sheer Fabrics
- SILK – How to Sew Silk
- THICK – Sewing Thick Fabrics
- VELVET Sewing Velvet
- WOOL – Sewing Wool