Anything but Basic DIY Chiffon Robe

OCT 13, 2017 updated Jun 14, 2021

It’s no secret that we’re fans of Maddie Flanigan, the fearless founder of lingerie brand Madalynne. After a summer of lingerie making workshops, Maddie is back with your new go-to fall look featuring our dreamy chiffon. If you thought it was time to pack up your chiffon for heavier weight fabrics, you’re in for a treat! Keep reading to see how Maddie is transitioning this lightweight fabric for fall with the DIY statement piece you can sew up in under 2 hours!   

Maddie: With fall here, you’re probably preoccupied with finding the perfect pair of boots or a super cozy sweater. I’m assuming you would overlook anything chiffon – I would – but I promise, paired with the right pieces, this sheer fabric can be worn when the temps dip and the leaves start to change. Scout’s honor.

Featured design by liz_sawyer_design

This summer, I teamed up with Spoonflower, using their Sport Lycra and Cotton Spandex Jersey at my lingerie and bodysuit workshops (see photos here!). It’s a new season, so time for a new collab! This time around, I’ve sewn up a knee-length robe using their chiffon fabric and a coordinating bodysuit using one of my patterns with Simplicity, the 8435. Today, I’ll be sharing all the deets on the robe, including a tutorial below and then be sure to check out my bodysuit review here


FABRIC:

The outer layer of the robe is Spoonflower’s chiffon featuring Bohemian Solar Eclipse by Liz Sawyer. I’ve lined the robe with a beige poly chiffon, purchased from a local fabric store in Philadelphia – Fleishman Fabrics, so that it wouldn’t be so sheer and to help with the drape of the light chiffon fabric. I used 506 spray adhesive to fuse the two layers together prior to cutting and treated as one during sewing.

The lace is a navy blue guipure, also from Fleishman.


STEPS 


Note: I used the most basic construction techniques so that any level sewist could make this robe. If you’re more experienced and want to finish a different/better way, go ahead!

  1. Sew the front and back shoulder and underarm seams together – use a French seam or a serger (see tip below on using a serger on chiffon).
  2. Use a basting stitch to stabilize the neckline. Sew from center back of neck to center front of neck on left and right sides.
  3. Use a serger to finish the neckline, sleeve opening and front edge of the robe (see tip below on using a serger on chiffon).
  4. Turn back neckline ¼” and topstitch.
  5. Turn back sleeve opening and front edge of the robe ⅜”-½” and topstitch.
  6. Use a straight stitch and/or serger to sew the lace to the bottom edge. I finished the center front edge before attaching.

TIPS FOR WORKING WITH SPOONFLOWER’S CHIFFON:

Cutting: Line your cutting board with tissue paper and lay fabric on top. Also, use very sharp fabric scissors (make sure they’re sharpened) or a rotary cutter.

Pinning: Use fine or silk pins. If you’re worried about pin holes showing through, try using steam after you pin, but be sure to use the synthetic setting since it’s polyester. An alternative to pinning is using pattern weights.

Thread: Choose a high quality, FINE, polyester thread. Because the fabric is poly (and not silk), it’s important to make sure the thread is the same content as the fabric.  

Sewing:

    • Be sure you are using a throat plate with the smallest opening. I sew on a PFAFF Passport 2.0 – my full review here – and the standard throat plate works great!
    • Use a slightly smaller stitch length. On my PFAFF, that’s 2-2.5mm.
    • Hold the ends of the top and bottom threads behind the needle as you start to sew the seams. This will prevent a “bird’s nest” from forming.
    • Because your fabric is so sheer, if you want to use a 3 or 4 thread serger, I highly suggest using a stabilizer like I did in the tutorial above. A French seam is an alternative method.
    • Change to 70/10, 65/9 or 60/8 size needle in your sewing machine.
  • When hemming, go for a narrow or rolled hem.

One of my mottos in life is “perfection is overrated”. Chiffon is difficult to work with. PERIOD. You’re going to make mistakes and that’s completely okay. I do too! It’s acceptable to cut as you sew. That’s the beauty of handmade garments. Give yourself a break and enjoy the process.

Motivated for even more DIY projects? My DIY Bodysuit pattern has you covered!

Photography: Bekuh Browning


Maddie Flanigan is the lingerie designer and sewing teacher behind lingerie brand, Madalynne. Operating a studio out of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Maddie is a woman on a mission. As she puts it, “My overarching vision is to provide women with feminine lingerie that is equally beautiful as it is functional, whether that be through sewing their own or buying from the market.” With a new made-in-the-USA line of lingerie available through her site, Anthropologie and more, a pattern licensing deal with Simplicity, and bra-making workshops taught in her studio, Maddie is doing just that! 

Recommended Posts

Spoonflower Marketing team member Kristina and her niece with matching tie dye bandanas

Make the Most Unique Tie-Dye Bandanas for the Whole Family

1 comments

2 Ways to Make an Easy No-Sew Notebook Cover

3 comments

A illustration in a sketchbook shows next to the final surface pattern design

Announcing Our First Surface Design Symposium

14 comments

7 comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • What’s the yardage on this? Idk if I’m just missing it, but I can’t see it anywhere.

    • Hi Carina,

      The length of the robe can vary for each person depending on your personal preference but Maddie’s robe “pattern” is 27″ long and we would recommend 2 yards for this project. I hope that helps, but if you have any more questions don’t hesitate to ask!

    • Hi Sharon,
      Great question! We recommend lightweight fabrics like the Chiffon, Poly Crepe de Chine or Silky Faille for this project. I hope that helps, but if you have any more questions don’t hesitate to ask! -Meredith from Spoonflower