Silk Chiffon Skirt Hack
Posted in Projects on Wednesday the 25th September 2019 by Vicki Ormerod
Back with another silk project on the Minerva blog! I can’t get enough of silk and chiffon! This is Lady McElroy Crinkle Silk Chiffon Fabric
and it is GORGEOUS! Going into this project after my last major project with a vintage vogue pattern, I thought to myself, I wanted something a little more practical but I mean it IS silk chiffon so it can’t be pajamas right? HA! So I decided a skirt would be a great idea. I had the Simplicity S1110 Pattern
in mind with the multiple layers.
I used this pattern as a jumping off point for something a little different!
Washing my fabric: You already know this but I popped the fabric in the washer on hand wash and laid it flat to dry! THE END! I don’t dry clean anything really.
Needle: I used a “sharp” 70/10 needle to help get through the fabric without drawing it into my machine.
Arrangement of pattern pieces and cutting my pieces:
This part is actually rather simple. Instead of drafting my own pattern for what I wanted to do, I took a good look at the pattern pieces and decided what would work best! I was looking for a reverse of the tiers on this skirt pattern and to just do two tiers. When I took a good look at the pattern pieces I started with version A. I wanted to make a skirt with a longer first tier and a shorter second tier, making it more of a midi length. If you don’t have pattern pieces or have never made a tiered skirt it can involve a lot of math! I was NOT in the mood for this. So I knew from past experience that the skirt tiers had to be wider as they went down! For the top tier, I liked the height of the bottom tier for skirt A! This was pattern piece #3.
It is a little wider than the actual top piece which is #1 but I was ok with the skirt being more gathered. I cut 2 of piece #3 on the fold for the top skirt. I then looked at the patten pieces and decided that piece #2 was a good height for the second tier.
I cut 4 of these on the fold! I wanted this tier to be very gathered and it had to be more gathered than the top tier!
Adding a lining:
Because this skirt would be completely sheer without a lining, I decided to take the top pattern piece (or piece #3 as mentioned above) and cut a lining out of off-white broadcloth. I cut two of these on the fold. It was very lightweight and soft and breathable! Perfect for summer! I also cut out a lining piece for the waistband!
I needed something sturdy for the waistband, as elastic wouldn’t do well just encased in chiffon around my waist!
For the waistband, I decided to directly attach the chiffon waistband to the lining and finish the edges in one go! I had to make sure the edges were finished as chiffon frays easily.
The lining also acted as interfacing, giving the waistband some structure. I also left out elastic in the top channel to make it a paper bag waist skirt!
This made it look gorgeous! I love the look! I then continued with the instructions in the pattern for the waistband as is!
Finishing the edges and attaching the chiffon layers:
I used the serger for a lot of this process, but you can use a regular sewing machine to create these stitches with your manual and special pressor feet! I used the rolled hem feature and increased my differential feed on my machine! As you can see the lever is up to 2!
This allows your machine to gather and serge or overlock at the same time. I like to do this to cheat with the gathering and it helps the process get started. It even gathers as much as I need sometimes, so that I don’t have to end up doing a basting stitch to gather further. Let’t take a moment to talk about rolled hems.
The first step is to make sure you have coordinating thread in your serger. You will need 3 spools of thread that will look good on the edge of your fabric. In order to do a rolled hem on my serger, I have to first take out and unthread the left needle. On my Babylock Eclipse I don’t have to do much more, but on most sergers you need to remove your stitch finger. This is a part of the serger that is either removed for a rolled him or inactivated! You will need to refer to your manual for this! Then, I change the stitch width to be more narrow and reduced the stitch length to rolled (at a 1-2). You will have a good guide for this if you refer to the manual of your machine. You will need to know which dial is the width and which one is the length. It is super easy once you know this and you just need to turn a few dials and voila! You have a rolled hem!
The first thing I did was sew the skirt at the side seams! I attached the two pieces for the top tiers and the 4 pieces for the bottom tiers to each other to make one long enclosed circle for each layer. I finished the seams with a narrow overlock stitch on my serger.
The next step was to gather the top tier to fit the waistband. As I said above, I used the rolled hem feature to finish the edges and also gather the tier at the top. You don’t have to do a rolled hem for this and can use a narrow overlock stitch while still gathering. I did this for both the top of the chiffon tier and the lining.
I basted these two layers together at the top and then further used this basting stitch to gather the layers to fit the waistband. After attaching the waistband I could move on to the rest of the skirt (the next tier).
Before attaching the second tier, I went ahead and finished the bottom edge of the lining to make sure it would not fray and you can turn it under and hem it.
I then finished the bottom of the chiffon of the first tier with a regular non-gathered rolled hem.
I took the top of the bottom tier and also finished this with a rolled hem but increased my differential feed to make it gather a bit. I still needed a basting stitch to further gather the tier to fit the bottom of the first tier for attachment. I decided to sew the second tier on top of the first tier as shown here. This is with the top of the wrong side of the bottom tier being sewn on top of the right side of the top tier bottom edge. I hope this makes sense!
After doing this, I decided it would have been a lot easier, and had a similar look, if I would have just attached the first and second tier together with a rolled hem (attaching and finished at the same time), wrong sides together. This would make a stitch that would stick out on the right side which would create a similar effect and would be a lot easier, however, I would still need to gather the second tier to fit the first before attaching!
At the very end of all these shenanigans I decided on a rolled hem for the bottom of the skirt. It was just perfect! Super easy and quick! I wanted the hem to have a little interest so instead of increasing my differential feed, I decided to decrease it.
This creates more of a wavy hem and adds some interest! It didn’t go crazy but adds a little fun!
Guess what!? At the end of making this skirt I had some material left to make a scarf! All you have to do is do a rolled hem along the edges of the rectangle you have cut out for your scarf. The amount of material I had left made a 45 inch wide and about 25 inch tall scarf! It’s beautiful flowing chiffon and I love it!
I hope you enjoyed this post and learned a ton! It’s fun to experiment with finishes and how you attach your seams. A lot of these seams can also be done with a regular sewing machine as well. My sewing machine has an overlock stitch and also had the ability to do a rolled hem with the rolled hem foot! Have fun and don’t be scared of chiffon!
Thanks for reading,