I originally bought this chiffon print to make a scarf out of it. I failed, epically. I didn’t use the right needle, I didn’t roll the seams, it was just a mess. So I was determined to make something work with the remaining fabric. I opted for a short sleeve blouse with a gathered, scooped neckline. I should note that this shirt is lined. If you want to follow along, you’ll also need a chiffon lining. I found a ton of nude chiffon one day at the fabric store, so I used that.
I highly recommend making a pattern for this tutorial. Chiffon can be tricky, shift, and hard to sketch on. Use a non-stretch cotton of any kind (I used a bed sheet). That way you can try it on and make sure it fits before you cut your “real” fabric. Also, I’ve used the pattern I made for this shirt for a number of different things, including a zip-up leather t-shirt.
Ok, the best way to explain the pattern process is just to show it in a diagram.
For the sleeves, I’m going to use a different method than usual for drafting them out because I skewed the armhole to increase the neckline. To do this:
2. Take a bendy ruler (if you have it) and make a smooth arch, slightly flattening the ends. Above the arch, add a 0.5” seam allowance.
3. From the peak, measure down your sleeve length + 1”
4. Either taper the sleeve, or make it straight down.
***If you want a gathered sleeve at the top. Take the above pattern and make the following modifications:
Now there are a couple key things when cutting out your fabric pieces. For one, cut the lining 1” shorter than the main fabric for both the sleeves and body. And two, if you are using a printed chiffon, be vary mindful of making the pattern symmetric. I dare say it is more important to get a straight design than a straight grain line.
1. Take the middle 4” (about) of your neckline and ruffle it down to 2”
2. Sew front and back together at shoulder and side seams (optional but recommended: use an overlock machine to finish the edges)
3. Sew lining and outer fabric together around neck. Press seam open, turn right side out.
4. Stitch the excess seam allowance towards the lining side. This will keep that seam nice and crisp.
5. Stay stitch (or surge) the arm holes. This way your layers won’t shift or separate when you add the sleeve
6. For the sleeve: sew the bottom edges of the lining and outer layer together.
7. Turn right side out and line up the upper edge. You’ll notice that since you cut the sleeve lining shorter than the outer layer, the seam is hidden up inside the sleeve
8. Attach sleeve to body. I highly recommend surging this seam. If you don’t have an overlock machine, consider binding this seam with bias tape.
9. Hem the bottom edges, both lining and outer layer separately, up 1”.