A simple chiffon wrap adds an elegant and refined look to any evening or special occasion ensemble. Don’t spend a fortune on one at the store, however. These gossamer creations can be made at home for a fraction of the cost. Chiffon is a delicate, slippery fabric and not easy for beginners to work with. So, if you are new to sewing, you may want to get a few other projects under your belt before you tackle this one. Apart from sewing skills, you will need a sewing machine, some basic sewing supplies – dressmaker pins, tissue paper, scissors, measuring tape, a yardstick or a ruler, a fabric marking pen with disappearing ink, and your chosen fabric.
First, you will have to choose fabric for your wrap. To calculate the required yardage, hold one end of the measuring tape at your belly button. Use your free hand to bring the measuring tape up, across your shoulders, and down to your belly button. The path of the measuring tape should mimic the intended line of your wrap. Jot down the measured distance, and add 1â€ť. Wraps typically fall at the waistline, but you can make yours shorter or longer, as desired.
When you shop for a chiffon fabric, look for one that will coordinate with – not necessarily match – the color of your attire. Look for embroidered chiffon or a fabric that has been embellished with sequins or beads. Chiffon that has been pre-decorated in this manner will add a beautiful, designer touch to your wrap and will also help camouflage any sewing errors or flaws. Buy a 45″-wide fabric in a length equal to the measurement previously calculated.
Normally, you will pre-wash any fabric before cutting and sewing. This fabric, however, is an exception. You will not machine-wash or machine-dry it, so shrinkage will not be an issue. You can simply press the fabric according to the manufacturer’s instructions and cut and sew. Make sure to note all care instructions for your chosen fabric. This information will be located on one end of the fabric bolt.
Lay your fabric out onto the cutting surface and trim the cut edges so that they are even. Use a yardstick and fabric-marking pen to accomplish this. As stated above, chiffon is a slippery fabric. Therefore, you may find it helpful to place fabric or a table pad between your cutting surface and the chiffon in order to stop the chiffon from sliding around while you measure and cut.
Fold the chiffon in half, lengthwise, so that the selvedges meet evenly and the wrong sides of the fabric are together. Pin it into place with dressmaker pins. Before you sew, make sure that your machine needle is one meant for sewing sheers. Otherwise, the needle may make large, permanent holes in the fabric. One other factor that should be taken into account when sewing sheers – the fabric may get caught in your machine’s throat plate when the needle makes its downward motion. To avoid this, place one piece of tissue paper on top of the fabric and one beneath it. The tissue paper will add stability to the fabric while you sew and can be gently torn away when you are finished.
The best type of seam to use for sheer fabrics is a French seam. It has a very narrow width and encloses the seam allowance within the finished seam. To sew a French seam, first sew along the pinned selvage, 3/8″ from the edge. Trim the resulting seam allowance down to 1/8″ and press it open. Fold the fabric in half again with the right sides together this time. Make sure you fold the fabric so that the seam line you just stitched lies evenly along the edge of the fold. Press this into place and stitch 1/4″ in from the folded edge. Press the seam to one side to finish.
The only thing left to do is to hem each end of your wrap. Turn each edge under 1/4″ to the wrong side and sew it into place. Once more, turn the newly hemmed edge under 1/4″ toward the wrong side of the fabric and sew it into place. Repeat this for the opposite edge and turn the wrap inside out.
To wear your wrap, secure the front with a brooch or pin. You can simply keep it in place with your arms, if desired. You can hide the seam by making sure it is positioned either at the top or bottom of the wrap.To wear your wrap