How to Make a Chiffon Shawl

By Stephanie Flood

If you take a moment to peer closely at chiffon, you'll notice how tightly knotted and twisted the woven threads look. This tiny weave is multiplied with silk or synthetic material, which ultimately creates the sheer, light quality of this beautiful fabric. Chiffon gives a touch of elegance to formal wear, such as ballroom gowns and fashionable skirts. Making a shawl yourself will look just as nice as one from a store.

Colorful sheer fabrics on rack
credit: Hemera Technologies/ Images

Step 1

Shop for your chiffon at a fabric store. Factor in what garment you want this material to complement. Choose a color that will go well with your awaiting outfit. White usually looks nice with most colors. You'll need to select the type of chiffon to use, such as silk chiffon or poly-chiffon. You'll need 1 square yard.

Step 2

Fold the fabric completely in half lengthwise. Use fabric sheers to carefully cut along the long inside fold. Put two ends of the two separate pieces together width-wise, so that the edges match up perfectly.

Step 3

Pin the pieces together carefully, making sure the edges are aligned. Baste these prepared edges 1 inch from the edge with a sewing needle and thread. Baste means to sew with long and easy guiding stitches that will be removed with seam rippers later on, once it's formally sewn. Take out the pins when you're finished basting.

Step 4

Try on the shawl in front of a mirror and model it on your shoulders, as you would if you were really wearing it. Judge on your own if the shawl is too long--which will most likely be the case. Go back and trim off whatever excess material you don't want, since it will drag on the ground.

Step 5

Once you have the length you want, turn in 1/4 inch of the outer edges of the chiffon. Pin it perpendicular to the edge. Chiffon is slippery, and so this step is a bit challenging.

Step 6

Press this pinned edge with a hot iron to thoroughly flatten it all the way around. Overlap the corners, one over the other, so that the outside still creates a clean flat edge. Take out all of the pins when the ironing is complete and all edges are folded.

Step 7

Use a basic sewing machine to sew a 1/4 inch stitch at the outer edge of the basted chiffon. Carefully remove the guiding basting stitch with a seam ripper. Make sure not to rip the material. Prepare the edge of the shawl for sewing.

Step 8

Sew the outside perimeter of the shawl at the center of the 1/4-inch fold. The chiffon may end up moving around or getting snagged. Stop sewing immediately and fix the situation if it does. Pull out the chiffon shawl once you've completely sewn the outside seams. Closely snip off any extra thread.