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Chiffon Practice Dress

Added Feb 23, 2011

by distie

San Francisco, C...






I made this dress to practice some techniques that I’ve wanted to try. Unfortunately it doesn’t quite fit, and it came out too short! But, I learned a lot from working on this project. I’m definitely open to tips and advice if you are willing to share in the comments!

When people say chiffon is hard to work with, they aren’t kidding! I think chiffon and I will be taking a break from each other for a while…

This dress is based on the 5/2010 Dress with ruffle sleeve. I found the instructions hard to follow, so I just cut out the pieces and kinda winged it.

I tried french seams on the neckline and the waistline. This is my first project with a lining, and the first time I added a zipper. The zipper was actually not as difficult as I thought it would be – I think having a zipper foot helped quite a bit.

I got a narrow hem foot for Christmas, so I tried that out on the hem of the skirt. I thought it would do all the work for me, but you really have to hold the fabric perfectly, or the thread won’t catch right and you have to start over. I think a thicker fabric would’ve probably been easier.

I also got a ruffle foot, which was amazing and easy to use. I made some ruffle sleeves, but decided to just go without them. I’ll definitely be using that foot in a future project though!

Material Notes

chiffon, satin, lining fabric




Garment Type

14 Comments Sign in to add a post

  • Pc310016_large

    Feb 23, 2011, 10.17 PMby peaches2218

    If it doesn’t fit you, you should consider offering it for sale. It’s gorgeous and I think you’d sell it post haste.

  • Dsc00110_large

    Feb 23, 2011, 01.59 PMby mcphoon

    beautiful color ! fits u very well too =)

  • Borsa_gatto_large

    Feb 23, 2011, 09.11 AMby robygiup

    The dress turned out wonderful! Great job! I love my zipper foot, it’s so useful!!! :) Never tried the other foots you are talking about, but you make me want to try them all!

    1 Reply
    • Profile_large

      Feb 23, 2011, 11.08 AMby distie

      I was watching an instruction video on how to attach a zipper, and was so relieved to find that my machine came with a zipper foot! I had never used it before, and didn’t know what it did. It looks like it makes a huge difference compared to using a regular foot.

  • Profil_75x75_large

    Feb 23, 2011, 09.01 AMby sansancouture

    It fits you very well ! Like the fabric and the dress !

  • Yvette_books919_200x249px__large

    Feb 23, 2011, 08.21 AMby Yvette Stanton

    The fabric is gorgeous and it sounds like you learned heaps from the project.

    I’ve been thinking I’d love to have a ruffle foot. Not sure what I’d use it for, but I think it would be fun to experiment with.

    1 Reply
    • Profile_large

      Feb 23, 2011, 11.05 AMby distie

      I got the Brother SA120 Gathering Foot (http://www.amazon.com/Brother-SA120-Gathering-Foot/dp/B002NR6QOM), which I guess isn’t exactly a ruffle foot, but it was cheap enough for me to want to try it out.

      I think the biggest difference between the two is the ruffle foot gives you a lot more control over the size/frequency of the ruffle. The gathering foot (from what I can tell so far) is pretty straightforward, but you can make adjustments to the gathers by changing the stitch length and tension.

  • Img_0885_large

    Feb 23, 2011, 07.39 AMby prettysewinggirl

    Well done on not giving up despite some difficulties! Great job!

  • Me__large

    Feb 23, 2011, 06.46 AMby blmfld

    for a practice dress i think its fantastic!! great job and you look great in it.

  • Imgp3732_large

    Feb 23, 2011, 06.35 AMby d3liriums4m4

    If you still have more of the satin, just add a band of dark blue at the hem to make it longer. It’ll weigh the skirt down, so you might just add it to the lining?

    The dress is beautiful, though, you did a great job. The fit looks fantastic!

    1 Reply
    • Profile_large

      Feb 23, 2011, 10.45 AMby distie

      That’s a great idea! Unfortunately, it’s still quite tight in the chest, so I don’t think I’ll be able to wear it around even if I fix the length issue. I’ll have to remember that idea with future “too-short” projects though!

  • Avatar_facebook_large

    Feb 23, 2011, 06.31 AMby zoe-may

    That is such a beautiful print = ) Chiffon is so conflicting… Horrible to work with, yet so floaty and fun to wear. You did a great job!

    1 Reply
    • Profile_large

      Feb 23, 2011, 10.40 AMby distie

      Thank you! I like the look of chiffon too :)

  • 100_8780_large

    Feb 23, 2011, 04.37 AMby mojo elgin

    too short? wear it with leggings and act like it’s supposed to be that length. it’s gorgeous! you did a great job on this.

    have fun with your new feet. i used my ruffler for lots of dresses when my daughters were little. and yes, slightly heavier fabric works much better with the rolled-hem foot. for chiffon, i turn up the hem (no trimming yet), machine-stitch close to the pressed edge, trim the excess, turn it again, then hand- or machine-stitch the hem. this method takes time, but makes a very pretty finish.

    1 Reply
    • Profile_large

      Feb 23, 2011, 10.38 AMby distie

      Thanks for the tip! Even though your method takes time, it sounds like that’s a better method for chiffon. My hem kept slipping, so in parts it’s coming undone. There really isn’t a way to go back and fix it with the foot – and mine is very narrow so it’s difficult to try to re-roll those sections by hand.

  • Big_tri_large

    Feb 23, 2011, 03.55 AMby cantare

    Beautifully executed, I MUST say! It’s lovely! Joann’s really does have nice fabrics.

    1 Reply
    • Profile_large

      Feb 23, 2011, 11.14 AMby distie

      I agree! For me, they are the only fabric store in town with fashion fabrics. I really prefer shopping in person rather than buying online. Usually I can find a few gems when I go in!

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    Feb 23, 2011, 03.53 AMby mandrych

    I think you did great, great pick of colors and the pin tucking added just enough!

  • Road_trip_010_large

    Feb 23, 2011, 03.50 AMby cambra

    The color is gorgeous on you. If it was knee length I’d say it was perfect! I’m doing a project with a lot of chiffon in it for school right now, so I know your sufferings haha.

    1 Reply
    • Profile_large

      Feb 23, 2011, 10.34 AMby distie

      I totally agree! A lot of my projects lately have ended up too short – I think I just need to make skirts longer than I think they need to be – then I can hem it to whatever I want!

  • Sspx3395_large

    Feb 23, 2011, 03.05 AMby v-chan

    Such pretty fabric! I love the details on the bodice.

    1 Reply
    • Profile_large

      Feb 23, 2011, 03.14 AMby distie

      Thank you! I love that fabric too. I found it at Jo-Ann Fabrics

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