Learn How SIMPLE
Digital Patterns Really Are!

Sign Up to Receive
The Ultimate Guide to Digital Sewing Patterns eBook + a FREE Skirt Pattern!

Jenny-inspired chiffon dress

Added Jun 16, 2010

by ncn6

Ithaca, New York...






Do you ever get a piece of fabric in the mail, and as soon as you take it out of the box you know you just have to sew something with it immediately? That’s how it was with this silk chiffon. As soon as I saw it, I couldn’t stop thinking about what to make with it. After much daydreaming, I settled on this dress.

The dress is inspired by the Jenny pattern, but I actually drafted the pattern myself (!). I was planning on changing the skirt anyway and I knew I would have to do a lot of modifications to the bodice, so I thought I might as well just make the whole thing on my own. This was my first time really drafting a pattern (as opposed to modifying a pattern, or just kind of winging it). I made a pattern for the bodice by just draping a piece of fabric over myself in the mirror, gathering it under the bust, and then drawing lines on the fabric for where the shoulder and side seams should be. I used that to draw a pattern piece out on paper, and then made a few modifications after making a muslin (the armholes came out much too small the first time). Then, I started sewing!

The skirt and underskirt are both cut on the bias, which was a big pain to sew because the pieces were all flimsy and hard to align. I had a few troubles with the neckline stretching out as well (you can see it’s more floppy on one side than the other). I think I probably need to learn some better techniques for working with chiffon and bias cuts to keep them from going all crazy during the sewing process.

But really, I shouldn’t complain too much because I am SO HAPPY with how this dress turned out. Have I mentioned how impossible it is to find a deep V dress that covers my boobs and doesn’t gape? It’s amazing how much difference it makes when you make something to fit your own shape! I’m going to try a shirt version of this soon in a lightweight cotton…. it should be much easier to sew!

Material Notes

Silk chiffon from Fabricmart and cotton batiste




Garment Type
Cotton, Silk

20 Comments Sign in to add a post

  • Avatarburda_large

    Jul 13, 2010, 08.27 PMby purplemage

    You did a fantastic job of drafting and sewing this dress. Love the fabric too – I can see how it just called out to you. I am very impressed with the draping of the neckline – beautiful. Same issues here with boobs and necklines – your experience has been an inspiration, and I think I’m nearly ready to just go for it. Fantastic project – thanks so much for sharing with us.

  • Meme_small2_copy_large

    Jun 23, 2010, 12.26 PMby jemimabean

    This is gorgeous! great job on the drafting too. I’ve been tempted to do just that, but always afraid too. You’ve inspired me! :)

  • 12068bdcf8f8559de50b4f6ade48c167b5d6c5cd_large

    Jun 23, 2010, 12.53 AMby ncn6

    Thanks everyone! I wore it to a wedding this weekend and it was very comfortable. I’m so excited about how this turned out that I’m planning on making a summer top with this neckline next. Would anybody be interested in the pattern? (it would be for a 40 inch bust/D cup, approximately). If there’s interest I’ll try to make up some instructions as I’m making the top so I can post it later.

    3 Replies
    • Missing

      Jun 23, 2010, 08.43 AMby sherrey

      The dress is beautiful and congrats on drafting your own pattern. I have struggled with that one for years. Re the wavy neckline (as others have said, probably more noticeable to you than anyone else) there is a article on the Threads mag. site by Charles Kleinbacker on using bias cut with just this problem solved. I’ve used his solution many times with great success for both cross over bodices and regular V-necks.

    • Meme_small2_copy_large

      Jun 23, 2010, 12.25 PMby jemimabean

      Ooh, I’d love to have it, that’s exactly the size I need! :D

    • 12068bdcf8f8559de50b4f6ade48c167b5d6c5cd_large

      Jun 23, 2010, 05.12 PMby ncn6

      @sherrey, Thanks so much! That is exactly the article that I needed to read, and I’m going to try that out on my next neckline.
      @jemimabean, I will do my best to make a version of the pattern that is readable by other humans!

  • Cherrys_047_large

    Jun 20, 2010, 12.19 PMby nenasew

    This is lovely. I think that your hard work paid off. The dress showcases the gorgeous fabric.

  • 19bdb9e97eb42c0c629e42c7e71dc2d7d13278ed_large

    Jun 18, 2010, 12.03 PMby sohenry

    agree, before you even start sewing the bias pattern piece is already stretch, its just drives me crazy

  • Firstroll-3_large

    Jun 18, 2010, 12.02 PMby integerclub

    That fabric is stunning, and you look beautiful in the dress, well done!

  • Me_large

    Jun 18, 2010, 09.49 AMby Sandra McIntyre

    Truly beautiful dress. Everything you said about fitting endowed women for v necklines is so true, and your descriptions of your difficulty helped me. Lovely fabric, the fit and colors suit you so well. An inspiration. Thank you for sharing!

  • Headshot_large

    Jun 17, 2010, 04.19 PMby tinybows

    the fabric choice is amazing. and that style looks so good on you!

  • Missing

    Jun 17, 2010, 08.49 AMby savy79

    Good work……………!

  • Me_8d1_large

    Jun 17, 2010, 03.38 AMby chadrific

    That’s pretty awesome for draping it on yourself! I want to make a copy dressform of myself because I have the same problem. I normally have to modify all of my patterns for my tops (apparently being an hourglass shape just doesn’t exist in the pattern world)

    It looks lovely on you!!! Great job!!

    1 Reply
    • 12068bdcf8f8559de50b4f6ade48c167b5d6c5cd_large

      Jun 23, 2010, 12.55 AMby ncn6

      I would love to have a me-shaped sewing dummy to work out my fit problems on, because draping it on yourself is definitely not the most convenient way to go. Sometime when I’m feeling ambitious I’ll get my significant other to help me make a paper tape dummy.

  • Photo_51_large

    Jun 17, 2010, 02.32 AMby funnymuffin

    This is really beautiful. Good work.

  • Fbc7bbdefb6018d9d8f4a3f45db1f5d0a34952b0_large

    Jun 16, 2010, 10.06 PMby loreliz

    It’s lovely! beautiful fabric, love the colors :) awesome shoes too!!

  • Photo_15_large

    Jun 16, 2010, 05.30 PMby 6kidsathome

    You are so right the fabric truly adds to the beauty of the dress.

  • Img_0260_large

    Jun 16, 2010, 02.44 PMby ginasophia


  • 6e3656aa7036783b3e4bbc29f34d1029385afafe_large

    Jun 16, 2010, 02.13 PMby wzrdreams

    LOVE it! I totally know what you mean about the gapping problems with most cross-front / deep V-necks. Your version of this desing is so amazing. Congratulations! I especially love the low back.

    PS. I thought the ruffling of the neckline was intentional so don’t sweat the small stuff! :D

    1 Reply
    • 12068bdcf8f8559de50b4f6ade48c167b5d6c5cd_large

      Jun 16, 2010, 03.57 PMby ncn6

      I always thought that maybe it just wasn’t possible to make a cross front dress for the well endowed, so I was pleasantly surprised to find that it does actually work, and it wasn’t that difficult to draft, either. Thanks for the reminder to chill out about the less than perfect details. I do have a tendency to be over-critical sometimes and miss the big picture.

  • C9c58f92ed60d1987d1a711106e37cb70262f08a_large

    Jun 16, 2010, 09.20 AMby anajan

    Lovely! The fabric is amazing, I understand your urge to sew it immediately. The fit is great, too – you did an excellent job with drafting this pattern. I’m no expert when it comes to sewing bias, but I think some seams reinforcement with either silk organza, or fusible interfacing tapes might have helped you with the stretched neckline.

    1 Reply
    • 12068bdcf8f8559de50b4f6ade48c167b5d6c5cd_large

      Jun 16, 2010, 03.54 PMby ncn6

      Thanks, AnaJan After I posted this I saw that Gertie did a post this week on stay tape and reinforcing methods… information I could have used a week ago! She also mentions that you can use the selvedge of the fabric, which probably would have worked well here if I’d thought of it in advance.

  • 7477921d82b9cd62dad6abe75756cb0b30ea2282_large

    Jun 16, 2010, 09.01 AMby flowergirl22

    nice , great sunny fun dress

  • Img_20160222_155241214_large

    Jun 16, 2010, 07.06 AMby milkyway

    I love ittttttttt, the fabric is great

  • Avatar_large

    Jun 16, 2010, 06.39 AMby irmchen

    Congrats! You made a beautiful, light and colourfull sommerdress! :-) I know this trouble with the V dress – can’t buy myself any dress which fits in this point .

  • Copy_of_dsc06423_large

    Jun 16, 2010, 03.46 AMby samcam

    This is a really beautiful dress! Both overall and the fabric. Love it.

    • This is a question
  1. Sign in to add a post

Add to Favorites 8 people added it

This project is based on