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Emily's crinkle chiffon summer maxi dress and top tips for sewing with chiffon

As soon as I saw this crinkle chiffon fabric, I knew it was just the thing to make the floaty maxi dress of my dreams.

Despite sewing for just over 4 years, I have only ever made one maxi, and it was a bit of disaster as I used a fabric that was too heavy to float about very well, so it wasn’t very comfortable for a warm summery day.

For this lovely fabric I decided to use my ‘tnt’ (that’s tried and tested) bodice pattern, and add on a simple maxi gathered skirt. I traced this bodice originally at least 3 years ago, from the book ‘Sew Many Dresses, Sew Little Time’. Over time it’s had many adjustments and hacks so I can’t faithfully say it resembles the original pattern at all anymore! But, it does fit perfectly, it’s comfy, and it’s my go-to when I’m using special fabric and I want to be sure I will end up with a dress I will wear again & again.

The crinkle chiffon is great quality and (for chiffon!) handles really well. It is prone to shifting about and fraying like fine fabrics often are, so I have three top tips for a stress-free sew.

  1. Cut the pattern pieces out flat with a rotary cutter to help you keep things on-grain.
  2. Take your time! And,
  3. Baste important or very visible seams before sewing. There’s nothing worse than unpicking little stitches from chiffon!

To finish the neckline I cut a bias strip from the fabric, and used it to bind the neckline and also create a keyhole tie closure at the back. For all other seams I sewed French seams to enclose the raw edges.

I love the dress I ended up with, as you can probably tell from these photos of me wafting around my parents’ garden! I’m going to wear this a lot this summer, dressed up or down. I can wear it with different lengths of slip underneath depending on whether I want the skirt to be slightly sheer or not – and it would also look great on its own as a light beach cover-up too.

Thank you so much to Harriet for the gorgeous fabric and the opportunity to write this post!





You can follow Emily on her instagram page. Emily was provided the fabric free of charge in exchange for this blog post. Emily chose the fabric and the pattern for her project.


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