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Sewing on Chiffon

enidshapiro | Posted in General Sewing Info on

Lunatic that I am, I decided to sew a gown in chiffon.  I’m having a problem with pressing.  Anytime I go near the chiffon to press a new seam, for instance, the chiffon then looks slightly wrinkled.  I pressed it with a pressing cloth on the right side, low heat, being careful to lift up and then press down (in other words, not slide the iron) over the chiffon.  It has not taken out the wrinkles entirely.  It has a slightly puckered look all over, not enough to ruin the dress, but enough so that I know it’s there.

Any ideas as to how I can get rid of this?  I don’t want to overwork the fabric.



  1. ElonaM | | #1

    Gee, chiffon is woven of very fine threads, and sometimes you have to use machine embroidery thread, which is finer than regular, to sew fabrics like that without puckering. You need a small needle like an 8, to go with it.

    When working with very fine silks, I have occasionally found it reduces puckering to stitch the seam with the tiniest zigzag.

    If you have a scrap of the fabric to play with, you could try experimenting with a finer thread and needle, and/or stitch width, and see if any of those makes a difference.

  2. ClaireDuffy | | #2


    I had a piece of Silk chiffon left over from a project many years ago that I wanted to do "something" with. I finally decided I would make a scarf and bead it.

    Well, I found the straight grain by pulling a thread across it and cutting along that line and then I sewed a fine hem all the way around.

    I used a small stitch and kept the fabic taut as it went under the machine. I ironed it firmly and it was beautifully finished.

    Now this may differ from your gown because not all your seams will have been on the straight grain.

    I haven't got around to the beading because I'm not sure where to start.


    1. ShannonG4d | | #3

      I have a couple of other thoughts about this.....it sounds from your description as if the puckers appear after you press the fabric.   If this is the case, you may have the iron heat too high. 

      Another possibility is the grainline of the seams themselves.  If there is any bias at all, you would be well-served to change the stitch from a straight stitch to a very small zigzag (1.0 width and 1.0 length).  This will allow the fabric to "grow" as bias tends to do.  There will be no visible difference in the appearance of the seam by doing the zigzag....other than an improved drape.

      The third possibility is that you have one of those finicky fabrics that doesn't want to cooperate:)LOL


  3. lindamaries | | #4

    Do you know what fiber content you have? Silk, Acetate, Other Synthetic?

    1. enidshapiro | | #5


      1. lindamaries | | #6

        Could you use, then, a silk thread? Be careful, though, cause silk thread is tuff and depending on the where of your seam and the stress on the seam, silk thread will cause smily seams.

        1. rjf | | #7

          lindamaries........what is a "smily seam"?  I bet I've seen one but not known it by that name.  It takes a sewist to come up with a nice name for an irksome problem.   rjf

          1. lindamaries | | #9

            The seam is all proper and nice, holding together like it should, but

            because the fabric is delicate the fabric pulls away from the seam. Normally the thread would break in a seam when it is put under stress and stretch, but a silk thread doesn't give like a cotton thread would. So the give has to come from somewhere and that somewhere is the fabric. The weave separates and what you get is lines (teeth of a smile) of fabric hanging into the seam and the rest of the weave is away from the seam. Hope this describes it.

          2. rjf | | #10

            Yes, indeed!  That describes it perfectly.  And I have seen a smiley seam or two.   rjf

  4. sarahkayla | | #8

    You need to use a dry iron when you press chiffon. Otherwise you get crinkling. I have learned through bitter experience.

    sarah kayla

    1. enidshapiro | | #11

      Yes.  Discovered that by accident after I posted my message.  Why does one have to learn by MISTAKES?  Now I'm hoping I can iron out the crinkles.

      1. sarahkayla | | #12

        don't worry - the crinkles will come out.

        sarah kayla

        1. enidshapiro | | #13

          Thanks for speedy message.  Sometimes I feel like I'm the only one who runs into these problems as I struggle.

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