How to DIY a Chiffon Midi Dress

Sewphilia Studio
by Sewphilia Studio
10 Materials
10 Hours

I was challenged by another vlogger to work with a fabric I find difficult, and I chose to make a sleeveless chiffon fabric dress with a crossover or wrap bodice and pleated skirt.

Chiffon can be challenging in several ways - it's sheer and it's slippery - but I think I made a good job of this dress.

In this tutorial I'll show you how to sew a dress from chiffon and how to make a pleated skirt.

Tools and materials

  • 3 yards chiffon fabric
  • 3 yards lining fabric
  • Lightweight fusible interfacing
  • Invisible 22 inch dress zipper
  • Roll of paper for pattern
  • Pencil or marker
  • Ruler
  • Fine pins
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine with a fine needle
Drafting the pattern

1. Draft pattern

See the video at 2:50 for how I made the skirt pattern and at 4:22 for the bodice pattern.

Cutting fabric

2. Cut fabric

Make sure to pin the pattern pieces to the chiffon securely when cutting out, so the fabric doesn't slip.

Fold the skirt pattern and the lining in half and place the pattern on the fold to cut out the skirt front panel.

Use the same pattern to cut out the back lining and back skirt panels, but not on the fold. Don't cut the front skirt panel from the chiffon yet.

Cut two back bodice pieces from the lining.

Cutting fabric

To cut the wrap front, fold the chiffon with right sides facing and cut two. Cut the bodice lining in the same way.

Creating front pleats

3. Create front pleats

Place a single layer of fabric over the skirt pattern and pin at the top edge.

Pleat the fabric widthways and pin to the pattern to hold the pleats together.

You don't need to measure the pleats but make them as even as you can.

Creating front pleats

When the entire front panel is pleated, turn the pattern and fabric over and cut off the excess fabric at the sides.

Creating front pleats

Hold the pleats in place by pressing small pieces of very lightweight fusible interfacing between them.

Sewing the skirt

4. Sew skirt

Place the back and front panels right sides together.

Pin along the sides seams and sew with a straight stitch. Sew the skirt lining in the same way.

Sewing the bodice

5. Sew bodice

Join the front and back dress pieces at the shoulders. Sew the bodice lining at the shoulders. Press the seams open.

Match the lining and main fabric pieces at the shoulders and pin one back and one front together along the armhole and front and back necklines.

Join all the seams with a straight stitch. Sew the second front and back together in the same way.

Sewing the bodice

Cut notches along the curve of the armhole and neckline on each piece. Turn them right side out and press.

To stop the chiffon and lining from slipping while you work, sew a zigzag stitch along the open edges of the skirt and bodice pieces to hold them together.

Finishing the bodice

6. Finish bodice

Place one bodice piece on one back piece with right sides together. Pin the short side of the wrap to the opposite side of the back panel. 

Finishing the bodice

Place the other piece on top and pin and sew the side seams.

Attaching the bodice

7. Attach bodice

Pin the skirt to the bodice along the waist with right sides together, matching the seams. Sew in place.

Inserting zipper

8. Insert zipper

Pin and sew the zipper to each side of the back, starting at the neck edge.

Join the remainder of the back seam, leaving a small slit at the bottom for ease of movement.

DIY chiffon midi dress

DIY chiffon midi dress

DIY chiffon midi dress

I hope you enjoyed watching me make my blue chiffon dress and even sewed along with me.

I love the pleated skirt detail and I'm definitely going to sew chiffon again. I'd love to know if you find any fabric difficult to work with. Please let me know in the comments!

And, for more sewing content, check out my post on How to Make a Cute DIY Peplum Top Out of an Old Men's Shirt.

Suggested materials:
  • 3 yards chiffon fabric
  • 3 yards lining fabric
  • Lightweight fusible interfacing
See all materials

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