Tip 1: I layer my fabrics on top of each other to cut out my pieces. I use a rotary cutter because you can get smooth cuts without disturbing the fabrics. Also, the rotary cutter is faster.
Tip 2: I put a scant ¼” clip to mark the center front. That’s also the way I mark notches. When you are using a commercial pattern, don’t cut around the notches (diamond shaped) because it distorts the cutting lines and the notches will be off. Cut off the notches (leaving triangles) and use scant clips in the center of the triangles to mark the notches. The notches are more accurate when using this method.
Tip 3: Sew french seams on chiffon. It looks best. I do it a little different, so it easier to handle. How to make a French seam:
A) Put wrong sides together and stitch a seam 1/4” smaller than the seam allowance. I know everywhere else you are told to stitch a 1/4” seam, but think about this. If you are using a commercial pattern that has a 5/8” seam, you will only use up ½” of that seam allowance, which means you add 1/4” of fullness for every seam. Make an 8-gore skirt and you have added an extra 2” of fullness to your garment. DON’T TRIM THE SEAM ALLOWANCE YET.
B) Press your seam open. Fold on the stitching line, putting the rights side of the fabric together and press on the stitching line, encasing the seam.
C) Now trim your seam allowance to 1/8”. If you trim your seam allowance first and then try to do the pressing, you will get whiskers that will extend beyond the final seam line.Your seams will have hair growing from it.
A) I stitched my standard 3/4” seam. I like substantial seam allowances. The garment hangs better and you have something to let out if needed. I use a very narrow foot to alleviate the bunching and pulling that can happen when sewing light slinky fabrics.
B) After pressing the seam open, I stitch 1/4” from the cut edge using the longest stitch on my machine. I then cut 1/8” off the seam allowance using pinking shears.
Tip 5: I baste the chiffon and charmeuse layer together. Why? Easier to handle this way. How? I use the long stitch on my machine. I can’t drop the feeddog, so I raise the presser foot off the fabric just enough using my knee lifter (I have an industrial machine) to allow me to “pull” the fabric through as the needle goes up and down, resulting in LONG stitches that approximate the give that hand basting has.
Tip 6: For the lining, I stitch 3/4” seams and serge both seam allowances of the seam together, resulting in a 5/8” allowance when finished. Why? The lining is the part of the garment that gets the most stress. A more generous seam allowance means you lessen the likelihood of seams pulling apart. Yes, that 1/8” makes a difference. Press the seams to one side, usually toward the back of the garment. Aesthetically pleasing.