Have you stumbled across this beautiful fabric? It comes in a variety of beautiful prints, mostly floral, and varying textures? They all have one thing in common though, it is soft and slippery CHIFFON!. Yeah you got it. These qualities are what makes and breaks chiffon. Chiffon is one of many lightweight and sheer fabric, made from cotton, silk or synthetic fibers
As a beginner, I found chiffon difficult to work with and I would rather avoid it if I can. Infact, when I was learning to sew, we were challenged to make a standard collar shirt. I bet you can guess how that project went. You know one of those makes you cannot wear? yeah, it was one of those
But since then, I have had to sew with chiffon and I have gathered a few tips along the way to make the task less daunting. I hope you find them useful as well.
Use a pattern paper to cut the fabric
It is very important when sewing with chiffon that you do not measure on the fabric. It is very slippery and it will be difficult to place chalk markings on. A pattern paper will ensure that the fabric is stable underneath.
Use Lots of Pins
In addition to using a pattern paper, you need to use a lot of pins to secure the pattern to the fabric. Literally pin every centimeter around the pattern to prevent the fabric from moving. However, use thin pins to avoid poking holes in the fabric. Pattern weights can also be used, but I prefer pins.
Avoid complicated designs
This tip is important because you want to avoid a lot of lines and stitches. I personally like to avoid darts with chiffon. Chiffon drape beautifully so why take away the beauty with fitted darts. Lightweight fabrics in general like chiffon tuck and gather very nicely but work best when they are sewn into simple designs without a lot of seams or details since you can see through the fabric.
Cut pieces individually
Lay out the chiffon in single pieces and cut each part of the pattern individually. Avoid cutting 2 layers on the fold.
Use a small sewing needle
Sewing machine needles make a difference. Change your sewing machine needle to a fine needle. Remember the smaller the number of the needle size, the finer the needle so in this case, you want a 70/10, 65/9 or 60/8 size needle in your sewing machine.
Watch for Stretching
Be super careful not to stretch your chiffon as you feed it through the machine. If your seams do get stretched, though, don’t panic: Steam ironing can usually get the fabric to shrink back to its original size. Set the iron on low heat
Enjoy sewing with chiffon!