Sewing with Chiffon: Tips and Tricks

Chiffon is a soft, transparent fabric that will give an elegant flair to the project at hand. It is woven from highly twisted yarns which makes it slippery and yet strong. This fabric can be made from polyester, nylon or silk. It is used mostly for special occasion dresses, linings and scarves. It can also be used for blouses, sheer curtains or other home dec accents. Let’s look at the key components of this lovely fabric!

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Fabric Characteristics of Chiffon:

  • Chiffon is soft and drapes beautifully.
  • It is fragile so will become damaged by large machine needles, pins and feed dogs.
  • Because it is sheer, all construction details will be seen on the outside of the garment.
  • Steam may cause shrinkage.
  • Cut edges will fray.

Care and Use of Chiffon:

  • Use extra fine pins and very sharp scissors.
  • Press with a cool iron, moving quickly and without steam.
  • Chiffon is frequently used with gathers, shirring and soft pleats.
  • Layers of chiffon create luxurious linings.
  • Polyester and nylon chiffon may be hand washed in cold water with mild soap.
    • Do not wring as it may lose shape.
    • Lay flat to dry.
  • Silk chiffon needs to be dry cleaned.

Recommended BERNINA Presser Feet for Sewing on Chiffon

BERNINA Three-sole Walking Foot with Seam Guide #50

Of course the Walking Foot #50 will keep the fabric feeding evenly.


Another choice could one of the BERNINA Dual Feed Feet. They are a great choice for sewing on chiffon.

BERNINA Reverse Pattern Foot #1/1C/1D


Tips for Sewing on Chiffon

  1. Decrease the Presser Foot Pressure on your machine to promote even feeding of this very light weight fabric.


  1. Use a Sharp or Microtex needle, size 60-70.


  1. For seams, use Straight Stitch #1, a Straight Stitch Plate and a short stitch length of 1.0-1.8


  1. Choose a fine cotton thread like Mettler Silk Finish Cotton 60 wt. or YLI Silk thread 100 wt.

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Chiffon can be a challenging fabric to work with, but the results are amazing. So, go ahead, choose a small project, test sew, learn, study—because someday soon, this sewing experience will be so valuable!

Check out these blog posts on WeAllSew:

Fear No Fabric!

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