Chiffon Fabric

Sewing Chiffon Fabric

Chiffon fabric makes wonderful garments. It flows in a romantic soft way and gives a very feminine look to a dress, blouse or skirt.

Creative designers have been known to use chiffon in the making of shoes and jewelry as well.

Chiffon is made from natural silk fibers as well as man made synthetics. 

The price  of silk chiffon is going to be higher than the price of synthetic chiffon. 

Different Types of Chiffon Fabric

 Silk Chiffon

Silk Chiffon is lighter and less rigid than the polyester option. Silk has a more luxurious hand (feel) and of course the price tag is going to match. If you want to splurge on the silk version you will not be disappointed.

Samples of Silk

 Polyester Chiffon

Polyester Chiffon fabric will cost you less and is a good choice for your sewing projects. I often say natural fiber fabrics are best, however, man made fabrics are affordable and they have come a long way in matching the feel of natural silk chiffon.  It's best to choose a lesser price point fabric when you are learning to sew. Polyester chiffon comes in a wider bolt which also means you will need less when you purchase for your sewing project

Sewing With Chiffon Fabric

Let me start by saying I love chiffon, but it can be a difficult fabric to sew. I cannot stress enough, take your time when you are sewing a chiffon project. I have made my fair share of mistakes and had frustration when sewing this wonderful fabric. All because I was in a hurry to complete my project. 

So please take your time to do the tedious tasks of hand basting. Your project will look so much better and you will alleviate the headaches related to sewing sheer, fine fabrics. 

  • Seams: Use a french seam when constructing your garments.
  • Thread: Polyester all purpose thread
  • Machine Needles: Use 9/11 and a fine milliner's needle for hand sewing. 
  • Pressing: Use a dry iron (no steam) and setting should be on silk or wool.

Hemming Chiffon Fabric

Chiffon is a beautiful fabric, however, because chiffon tends to fray easily and the fabric itself shifts and moves easily, hemming can be a challenge.  There are a few different ways you can use to hem chiffon.

  1.  If you have a serger and your machine has a rolled hem feature included, you can use this stitch as a decorative stitch, using different coloured threads. 
  2. Another version of a rolled hem, is using your regular sewing machine and a rolled hem foot. The image below shows a rolled hem foot in different sizes. 
  3. Another way to hem chiffon is with a zig zag stitch. Using a very narrow zig zag stitch on your regular sewing machine can also give you great results when hemming chiffon. 

I would also like to share this a wonderful tutorial for hemming chiffon.

Sewing Tips

  • Chiffon can be difficult to sew because it slips and shifts while cutting and sewing.
  • It is very important to take your time with your sewing projects.
  • Try simple projects first and don't be in a hurry to complete it.
  • It can be frustrating at first, so as I said above, choose a lesser expensive polyester fabric to learn on.

Suitable Sewing Patterns

Chiffon fabrics are flowing and romantic. Choose blouses with wide sleeves and skirts and dresses that have wide flowing bottoms.

Typically this light weight fabric is used for a dressy flowing garment structure. Sheer fabrics make for soft elegant blouses that compliments a clean line suit for the office as well.

Take your sewing project slow and easy and you will gain experience quickly with this beautiful fabric.

The dress in the photo is made of polyester chiffon. You can see the fabric hangs nicely. Polyester is a good option to the higher priced silk chiffon.

Yellow Chiffon Wedding DressChiffon Dress

Oh and don't forget Chiffon also makes lovely curtains and curtain linings for the living room or anywhere in your home. I recommend using this fabric if you take it slow. The result is lovely. 

For more information about sewing all types of fabric click here.

Happy Sewing