g Text Version
Beauty & Self
Books & Music
Food & Wine
Health & Fitness
Hobbies & Crafts
Home & Garden
News & Politics
Religion & Spirituality
Travel & Culture
TV & Movies

Bored? Games!
Take a Quiz
Rate My Photo

Autism Spectrum Disorders
Mental Health
Blogs / Social Networking
Kidney Disease
Today in History

All times in EST

Full Schedule
g Costuming Site

BellaOnline's Costuming Editor


Tips for Working with Chiffon

Guest Author - Julie Anne Eason

Chiffon and other sheer fabrics make awesome costumes. This type fabric floats and dances around an actor's body; it creates amazingly beautiful silhouettes; and provides a great surface for lighting designers to play on. But what a pain it is to sew! If you create dance and skate costumes, you're going to have to tackle this fabric sooner or later. Here are some tips and tricks to tame the chiffon beast and make it do your bidding.

1) Use a serger whenever possible. A four-thread seam is best because there's more fabric for the threads to grab onto. If you don't want a big seam showing, you can use a narrow or rolled edge as the seam but you must use a stabilizer or the seam will disintegrate in front of your eyes.

2) Use a stabilizer for both seams and hemming. There are all sorts of stabilizers you can use--spray on, tear away, wash away--you can even use plain paper to keep the seam steady and then tear the excess away when you're done.

3) If you don't have a serger, try sewing a straight stitch just inside the raw edge of the fabric before you stitch the seam together. This will help stabilize the threads and your rolled hem foot will work much better.

4) Use a size 8 or 9 sharp needle and always start your project with a fresh needle. Cotton thread is recommended for sheer fabrics.

5) To keep the fabric from slipping down into the machine, use a throat plate and presser foot with the smallest opening (usually a single hole plate).

6) Use a small stitch length (2.0 mm) to help each stitch grab more of the threads.

7) When you start sewing, don't backtac. And hold your top and bobbin threads in your hand as you start the seam, so they don't slip down into the machine and create a "birdsnest."

8) Make a chiffon sandwich when you're cutting out your pattern. Use tissue or regular paper on the bottom, then lay out your chiffon, then put your pattern on top. Cut through the fabric and bottom paper together to keep the slippery sheers from shifting as you cut

9) If you don't have a rolled hem foot or a serger, your best option for hemming is hand stitching. Wet your fingers and roll a tiny edge and place a few stitches. Then continue rolling and stitching all the way around. "Wet rolling" is really the only way to get a nice tight edge and saves you a ton of frustration.

Got any more tips on working with sheer fabrics? Post them in the forum!
The Art of Couture Sewing
This site needs an editor - click to learn more!

Add Tips+for+Working+with+Chiffon to Twitter Add Tips+for+Working+with+Chiffon to Facebook Add Tips+for+Working+with+Chiffon to MySpace Add Tips+for+Working+with+Chiffon to Del.icio.us Digg Tips+for+Working+with+Chiffon Add Tips+for+Working+with+Chiffon to Yahoo My Web Add Tips+for+Working+with+Chiffon to Google Bookmarks Add Tips+for+Working+with+Chiffon to Stumbleupon Add Tips+for+Working+with+Chiffon to Reddit

RSS | Related Articles | Editor's Picks Articles | Top Ten Articles | Previous Features | Site Map

For FREE email updates, subscribe to the Costuming Newsletter

Past Issues

Printer Friendly
tell friend
Tell a Friend
Email Editor

Content copyright © 2015 by Julie Anne Eason. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Julie Anne Eason. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact BellaOnline Administration for details.


g features
An Armistice Wardrobe from the 1910s

Thanksgiving Costuming

Gatsby Costumes and the Roaring 20s -- Ladies

Archives | Site Map


Past Issues

Less than Monthly

BellaOnline on Facebook

| About BellaOnline | Privacy Policy | Advertising | Become an Editor |
Website copyright © 2015 Minerva WebWorks LLC. All rights reserved.

BellaOnline Editor