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Projects & Patterns

Make a Custom Godet Skirt

Video: Jeff Roos, Cari Delahanty. Technical Edit: Carol Fresia

Threads Editorial Director Sarah McFarland demonstrates how to make a custom-fitted, fun skirt with godets at the hem.

A godet is a triangular fabric insert that provides flare and sweep at the hemline. You can add godets to skirts, dresses, tops, and sleeves for added movement. The example skirt has four vertical seams, and the godets are inserted into these seams for easy construction. You can make this skirt in a casual fabric like soft denim, or something more upscale or bohemian, such as printed chiffon.

Draft the godet skirt pattern

Start by taking your widest hip measurement. Then measure the skirt length from the waist to the desired hem level, somewhere below the knee. Go for a longer style to maximize the movement. Finally, plan the godet’s top point, which should be at about knee level.

Skirt panels

The skirt panels are rectangles. Follow this formula to determine the skirt panel width:

Width = (hip circumference + 3 inches ease) ÷ 4

Make the skirt length equal to the waist-t0-hem measurement. On each long edge, mark the godet’s top point.

Add a 1 1/2-inch-wide waist casing on the upper short edge, 1/2-inch-wide seam allowances on the long edges, and a 1-inch-wide hem allowance on the bottom short edge.

Godet pattern

This pattern is a pie-shaped piece. Make each side the desired godet length you measured. The curved hem edge can be as wide or narrow as you wish, depending on the amount of flare you prefer. Add 1/2-inch-wide seam allowances and a 1-inch-wide hem allowance.

Cut four each of the skirt and godet pieces. Mark the godet point on the skirt panels.

Construct the godet skirt

With right sides together, join the skirt panels from the waist to the godet points; press the seam allowances open. Press the allowances under along the godet placement area.

Apply fusible tape to the godet seam allowances on the right side. Remove the tape’s paper backing. Place the skirt piece over the godet with its pressed-under seam allowances covering the tape. Press the seams to fuse. Then edgestitch along the seams, close to the skirt’s folded edges, to permanently secure the godets to the skirt.

Waistband and hem

To create the elastic waistband casing, press the waist edge under 1/4 inch, then 1 1/4 inch. Edgestitch along the inner fold to secure the casing, leaving a 2-inch opening at the skirt’s back. Insert elastic, join its ends, and edgestitch the casing opening closed.

Make the hem similarly by pressing under 1/4 inch, then 5/8 inch, and edgestitch. (The extra 1/8 inch is for turn of cloth).

Consider using a narrow, or baby, hem if your fabric is lightweight. For other waistband options, check out “The Great Elastic Waistband.”


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