Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Chiffon Poncho!

I saw a chiffon poncho on a clothing website and fell in love. It was, however $30. Depending on your clothing budget $30 may or may not be a lot. For me, an experienced seamstress, it was too much. I buy about half of my clothing, but I rarely buy anything I can duplicate unless it is cheaper to buy than make, yes that does happen.

Searching the net, I discovered this pattern, which was similar enough that I was off and running. Don't be mislead by the photo provided, instead of a curved poncho the directions are for a rectangle. Lucky for me, it was what I wanted. I did round the corners to make sewing the rolled hem easier.

Though the original had a bias tape made from the same chiffon around the hem and neck opening, I opted for a rolled hem. I have found it to be easy to do and worth the effort. Rolled hems disappear more than a bias taped hem and this lends itself very well to chiffon. I make it on my traditional sewing machine as I haven't mastered it on the serger.

This is my final product. The picture really doesn't do the fabric justice. The background is shear and the rectangles you see are opaque and shimmery and there is a gold thread very subtly woven in.

I purchased 1 1/2 yards of chiffon on sale for $11.69 total. It took about 20 minutes to trim to size, cut the neck hole and sew. No joke. Because this fabric has such strong horizontal and vertical lines I chose to trim all four sides so the lines would be true and not distracting. For the rolled hem, follow your sewing machines guidelines. Test it on scrap fabric. From the 1 1/2 I purchased I had several inches left over after trimming to size. This enabled me to get the stitch length and thread color right.

Chiffon likes to unravel some and it will show from the rolled hem. I've worn my poncho three times since I made it and have trimmed one or two threads each time.

Chiffon gets a bad rap, because it is slippery and can be difficult to sew. My advice, try it. Use the right needle. Take your time. It will work or it won't, but there isn't anything scary in the process. Just give it a go. You might just discover something wonderful. :)

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