Tips for Sewing Chiffon

Silk or polyester chiffon makes delightful blouses and lovely lightweight jackets when just a little cover-up is wanted. Chiffon can be difficult to sew because it is so lightweight and can be easily pulled into the throat hole of the sewing machine. Wait until you have developed some basic skills before tackling a chiffon garment.

Follow these tips when sewing chiffon:

Before cutting your fabric, dry-clean or steam silk chiffon, unless it says it can be washed. Test press a small scrape before steaming or pressing because chiffon is easily damaged by heat. Pre-wash polyester chiffon.

Use a size 8-10 machine needle.

Use a wide straight stitch foot or roller foot. Use a small hole throat plate if you have one; you can improvise by placing a piece of tape on each side of the hole to make it smaller, being careful to avoid the feed dogs.

Use lightly balanced tension and a stitch length of 2-2.5 mm. Test your tension and stitch length on a scrape of fabric before sewing the garment.

You may want to sandwich chiffon seams. Do this by positioning the seams to be sewn and then pinning strips of water soluble stabilizer on each side. Stitch and then lightly steam to remove the stabilizer. Before using this technique be sure to test a scrape of your fabric for heat sensitivity; you don’t want to sew stabilizer in place and then ruin the garment by subjecting it too high of heat while dissolving your stabilizer.

Shorten stitch length around curves. Don’t backstitch on chiffon; use knots.

Use serged, hand overcast, or bound seam finishes. Hand sewn French seams are a nice.

Finish edges with facings or bindings.