Making the Chiffon Underskirt for Black Standard Dress

Making the Chiffon Underskirt for Black Standard Dress

The chiffon has been hanging for about a week, and it is now time to make the underskirt for the black dress (as pictured right). It will consist of a skirt, made out of the same material as the dress, and 3 layers of the chiffon attached to it. The underskirt will be sewn to the built in bodysuit and then the chiffon length will be adjusted accordingly. First, I sewed the chiffon pieces together to form 3 skirts. To do this, I used a chain stitch with a 2 thread overlock on my serger. The reason for this is:

  • Chiffon can fray easily, with a combination stitch, you have extra reinforcement
  • A 2 thread overlock, as opposed to a 3, reduces bulk since chiffon is such a lightweight fabric.

It is very easy for chiffon to pucker, especially with 2 different stitches, so it takes some testing and tension adjustment to not have that happen. Another thing I do is use a BRAND NEW serger needle. The slightest blunt needles can cause the serger to skip stitches, especially with chiffon.
After I have sewn the chiffon pieces together, I press them and attach them to the skirt. I stagger the chiffon seams ever so slightly at the side seam so as not to create a huge lump on either side. Just make sure that the outer chiffon skirt (the one that shows) meets with the side seam of the skirt (looks neater and more professional).

The worst thing that can happen to a ballroom dancer is get their heel caught in their dress in competition. To reduce the chance of that happening, I finish the underskirt with a cover stitch where the chiffon attaches to the skirt. This contains all of the chiffon seam allowance in a nice enclosed stitch underneath. Obviously the bottom of the skirt is still uneven! After I attach the skirt to the bodysuit on the dressform, I will adjust the hem to make it even.

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