Sheer fabrics- 5 top tips for painless sewing!

Sheer fabrics are the ultimate in luxury. These fabrics are available in silk and synthetic fibres, so it’s possible to get some without breaking the bank! A light, chiffon is truly the perfect fabric to add luxury into your everyday wardrobe.

Sheer Fabric

Sheer fabric is definitely not for beginners! The ‘sheerness’ of the fabric means all seams and hems are totally visible, so you should be machine savvy before tackling your first piece of chiffon.

For all sheer fabrics it’s good to choose a pattern without lots of details and features, as all the seams are on show. Consider the transparency of the fabric too as it may need to be lined in order to make it modest!

 5 Top Tips for working with Sheer fabric

  • NEVER transfer pattern markings with carbon paper- the marks can permanently mark your fabric
  • Do a test seam and press. You’re trying to find the optimum temp that won’t scorch your fabric.
  • You may find it helpful to use tissue paper on the underside as you sew to protect and stabilise your fabric. It can be torn away once the seam is stitched.
  • NEVER use French seams around curved areas like arm-holes. Try narrow or felled seams instead.
  • Allow 48 hours for garments to hang before hemming. These fabrics love to droop.

Screen Shot 2015-02-17 at 22.43.29

Pin hemming is a fabulous way to get a narrow rolled hem on sheers. Watch my video on how to pin hem.

Have you tried sewing with chiffon or sheers, how did it go?

CL :)


  • Emma Sherrard

    24.02.2015 at 15:12

    Dear TS, that’s it; no more excuses, I am going to ‘woman up’ and tackle that chiffon blouse next! The fabric is a gorgeous dark teal with white birds printed onto it and came from TFW in Cowley. It will be a challenge to sew, but the spray on starch trick has inspired me to give it a go. Wish me luck! EBS

    • The Thrifty Stitcher

      25.02.2015 at 11:29

      Hi Emma,

      Good Luck!

      happy Stitching:)

  • Catriona

    22.02.2015 at 08:27

    Only just got the video to work….
    What about fraying when you cut do close to the first line of stitch? Also my machine likes to chew sheer fabrics if I try to sew near the edge? I know I can use tissue but is this something I’m doing wrong or just one of those things?

    • The Thrifty Stitcher

      22.02.2015 at 14:01

      Hi Cat,

      Thanks for taking the time to comment. In terms of sewing near the edge you need to employ whats called tension or taut sewing, which means holding the fabric behind and in front of the machine foot, and holding it taut as you guide it through the machine. you need to re-adjust hand position every few inches. machines should be able to sew delicates, even a cheap one, you need to be in control of the machine and manage the fabric much more than say a cotton that can glide through the machine almost by itself. If your machine keep chewing up, maybe get a service? There’s no issue with fraying as once you’ve trimmed you’ll be turning the raw edge under another fold.

      Best wishes, and try making a simple shape in georgette stash to build your hobby.

      Happy Stitching

  • Catriona

    22.02.2015 at 08:21

    I made a loose top with georgette. I over locked the seams…it was painful but luckily the style of the top hid all my wonky seams. I’ve still got pile of georgette to make more (5years on) but just can’t face it! Need to think of something else or woman up!
    Your advice has given me a bit of confidence to have another try. Watch this space…

  • Eliza-sew-little

    19.02.2015 at 17:12

    I popped my chiffon cherry this week. I’m not a fan! The tissue paper tip would have been useful as would th reminder to pick simple design. I shall save this hints for if ever I’m tempted again. Thx for advice.

    • The Thrifty Stitcher

      19.02.2015 at 17:44

      Hi Elizabeth,
      Sorry to hear the chiffon cherry popping wasn’t a resounding success! It’s really all about the practise, and maybe try making the fabric stiffer to cut and sew with spray starch.
      fingers crossed for next time:)

  • Sharon

    19.02.2015 at 01:38

    You make that look so easy! I’ve done a bit of sewing with chiffon and have used the gelatine trick which worked a treat (I did test my fabric first).

    • The Thrifty Stitcher

      19.02.2015 at 16:26


      After 20 years of sewing professionally i’m glad i make it look easy. Not tried the gelatine trick because as a veggie i don’t use gelatine, and also in my industry, we can dunk long lengths of fabrics for costume in liquid before we sew them up. I gather many find spray starch helps? Thanks so much for taking the time to comment
      Lovely to meet you last months in sydney too x