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Chiffon Dress Help

Kbrane | Posted in General Discussion on

I’m making a chiffon dress for summer that I’m “designing” based of of a dress at Old Navy (link here: http://oldnavy.gap.com/browse/product.do?cid=5382&vid=1pid=529387&scid=529387042)
It’s an empire waist (with a small waistband)
small gathered cap sleeves
shawl collar

I’m not planning on lining the sleeves. So I finally used the threads tutorial on making a shawl collar and it looks nice on my test garment (after stay stitching and pivoting properly…haha) Problem is, now I don’t know where/how to sew the lining since the collar is 1 pc with the front and you sew it to the neckline and shoulder seams at the same time. Also, I’m not sure how to set in the sleeves in between the lining and the outer dress. I’d really like the inside of the dress to look “finished” and professional…not homemade. Not to mention chiffon frays. I’m planning on doing french seams, but again, I’m not sure how do do that through the 3 layers of collar and neckline plus some for lining.
How do you sew lining in when you use french seams?
Also, since it has an empire waist with a band, do I make the lining pattern 2 parts (bodice, skirt) or 3 (bodice, band, skirt)?

Would it be better to use french seams and then make the lining a camisole shape so it looks more like a slip and less like a lined dress? I’m really having trouble figuring this out…

Thanks for all your help!


  1. Palady | | #1

    Opened the URL you posted and the message was - Sorry, this page cannot be displayed.

    Sssoooo - being unable to see your project idea, may I offer you a somewhat blind idea of what I've done in a similar instance. 

    MO, hand stitching is in order to affix the lining to the waist along the collar.  After side seaming the lining, baste it in place & then using a fine needle & a embrodiery floss single strand, in a suitable color, blind hem the pieces together. 

     Before doing the collar edge, I'd see if it was possible to stitch the lining sleeve to the dress sleeves.  If this can be done, you could trim, then hand overcast the resulting seam.  Place your needle into the machine needle holes when you do the overcast.  Once the sleeves are secured, proceed to securing the lining to the collar section.

    Should machine sewing the sleeves be impossible, hand blind hemming is your option.  Again MO. 

    My reason for suggesting embroidery floss strand is the composition.  It is "softer" than machine thread and honestly I use it for a variety of hand work other than embroidery.

    There are sewists who abhorr hand stitching.  From my experience there are instances when it is the only way to go.  Reading Couturier  books, one will find it is the method of choice in their construction process.


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