Have you checked out the Make [Believe] Collection from Pattern Anthology yet? Granted I am one of the designers so quite possibly bias… but I LOVE this collection. I love all the pieces I have made my kids and plan on making them again and again.
One of my favorites from the collection has to be this top. As soon as I saw the Bookworm Button Up I just knew I HAD to make it in chiffon. I just love the drape of chiffon and the light and airy look. Chiffon can be tricky to sew with though, so I am sharing my tips and tricks on how to sew with chiffon fabric below.
The pattern has TONS of options for you to make it perfect for girls or boys. I went with the girls version with the deep pleated back and hi-low hem, and bow sleeve, however I used the boys pockets.
I paired the top with a simple tank and skinny jeans. I love the look of the top, the bright colors make my heart swing.
I was nervous sewing the top the whole time, so afraid that chiffon would totally mess it up… but you know what? It turned out amazing. It wasn’t even bad sewing with the chiffon. So I put together some tips on working with chiffon that really helped.
If you are not familiar with chiffon, it’s a sheer light weight fabric with soft drape and no stretch. With a little help you can use chiffon for any pattern that calls for woven fabrics.
1. Spray starch. I used heavy starch because I wanted to take the light and slippery chiffon and make it stiff. So I sprayed the fabric and then pressed, then I cut the pattern pieces out and sprayed and pressed again. Doing this made the fabric stiff almost like paper and it was way easier to sew with and deal with. Then when you are done sewing you just get the shirt wet and the starch washes away.
2. Use pins. Lots and lots of pins. Even though the pieces were nice and stiff and the fabric was easier to deal, I still pinned everything securely in place before sewing. Especially the pockets and collar pieces since I needed those to be specifically placed.
3. Iron. Heat that baby up. (always test the heat on the chiffon first) Pressing well really helped, especially since everything was starched it held a press very well.
Few notes: I assumed that I should use interfacing, one the pattern calls for it and 2 chiffon is really thin so the structure would be good. Wrong. I added it first and then I realized that chiffon being sheer meant that you could see the interfacing, and I didn’t like that. So I skipped it. Then it came time for the button holes. I used tear away stabilizer (like the stuff they use for embroidery projects) I ironed it on in a strip down the button placket. It was handy because I could draw the button hole markings on to the tear away, then I added the buttons and removed all the extra. Bam stabilized button holes that were super easy to sew. I did the same for the buttons so they would’t pull the chiffon apart.
*** Edited to add***
I also did french seams for all the seams because I was lazy and didn’t want to change out the thread on my serger but again you would see if it was serged in white thread since chiffon is sheer. So I went with french seams. The bookworm button up pattern I used included 1/2″ seam allowance so doing french seams were easy without having to alter the pattern I just did 1/4″ and 1/4″ seam allowances. For most patterns you will have to increase the seam allowance when doing french seams so you have enough seam allowance to sew.
Also for the hem I simply rolled and pressed it twice, and then stitch in place. The starch helped keep it all smooth and pressed and it was really a lot easier than I thought.
Everything else went together really well. The collar areas took a little extra time since I went slowly so it would look nice when done, but it worked. I did sew the bow sleeve in place a bit more than the pattern instructs so that they would stay in place even through washing.
Do you feel ready to take on chiffon? Chanting “It’s only fabric” also seemed to help. 🙂
Top || Bookworm Button Up || Pattern Anthology
Pants || Gap
Shoes || Old Navy