I’m still here and I have chiffon

I went to the fabric store yesterday and coming home with armfuls of yardage always makes me feel creative. I don’t know what I may be letting myself in for with this chiffon I bought though. I immediately loved the design – white background with red birds – and at about $2 a yard, it was worth buying a couple yards and experimenting.

I spent last night reading what I could find about sewing with chiffon and I found some useful tips, which I thought I’d share, in case anyone else is brave (or crazy?) enough to try sewing such sheer fabric.

* You don’t want to double up your fabric when cutting out your pattern because the chiffon is so lightweight it will shift causing you to have very wiggly lines. Any pattern pieces that require you to place them on the fold, I recommend you retracing the pattern piece so that you get both halves and taping them together. (Like my green tape pilfered from my hasband’s tool box?)

* I have a lovely cutting table in my sewing room where I usually do all my crafting, but for cutting out the chiffon, I decided to cut it all on the kitchen floor instead. Lengths of yardage hanging over the edge of a cutting table will pull the chiffon making it stretch and skew. Being on the floor, means that none of the fabric is pulling in different directions and will help you get much straighter lines.

* I use pattern weights in general for cutting fabric and I found them especially useful in helping me to stop the fabric shifting around so much when lining up my pattern piece. If you are using pins, you should use the finest, sharpest ones you have (if your pins are anything like mine, you may need to buy a new set).

* Place a piece of tissue paper (the stuff you use in gift bags) underneath your fabric and cut through the fabric AND the tissue paper, when you cut. The tissue paper will act as a stabilizer and again, help you get straight lines. Don’t underestimate how much this fabric moves – I don’t know much about chemical elements but this stuff is so fluid, it’s almost a liquid.

* Whether you use shears or a rotary cutter to cut out your pattern, make sure the blades are sharp. Any snagging will cause the chiffon to shift and pull out of place.

Ok, that’s probably enough procrastination. I haven’t even put this fabric anywhere near my sewing machine yet. You can probably tell I’m trying to put that moment off.

Do you have any tips for working with chiffon to share?

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