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How To Draft A Godet

Today you’re going to learn how to draft a godet! I love a godet – in fact one of my very first projects as a first year student at fashion school was a dress with godets!

It had a close fitting bodice made from a faux leather with a sweetheart neckline, and the skirt section was made from a heavy polyester wool blend which I had inserted pin-tucked godets into.

And, despite what you’re led to believe, a godet does not have to be just a triangle inserted into fabric!

Today, I am going to show you how to draft a godet – the triangle type! – and will share a more advanced style later on this month!

Learn how to draft a godet - a small godet pinned to a skirt panel pattern piece on a cutting mat

What Is A Godet In Sewing?

A godet is a piece of fabric that is inserted into a garment to create additional flare. They are used most often in skirts and dresses.

What Is The Difference Between A Gore And A Godet?

A gore is a panel – my circle skirt template shows you how to create a circle skirt from gores – while a godet is an insert. It is added into something that exists to create additional volume, often by cutting a slit into the fabric.

You can add also godets into the seams of a gored skirt to created even more volume – that’s what I’m showing your in this example!

When Would You Use A Godet?

I used a godet to create extra flare in a sustainable way. If you were to create a panelled or gored skirt, and design the flare into the skirt, you can end up with pattern pieces that waste a lot of fabric. Drafting a godet can offset that as they can then be cut from surplus fabric pieces.

How Do You Put A Godet In A Skirt?

Once you have drafted a godet, you will need to put it into a skirt or dress. This is simple enough, and I’ll list the steps here, but I will of course create a sewing tutorial as well:

  1. Cut a slit (if not inserting into a seam) in your fabric the length of your godet.
  2. Place the edges of your godet in position, and pin into place.
  3. Sew from the hem up to the point, making sure to stop sewing at the point of the godet.
  4. Repeat on the second side.
  5. Press the seam allowance of your godet into the skirt so that it lies flat on the wrong side.

How To Draft A Godet

Ok, now you have an idea about how to sew one in, let’s draft a godet!

Step 1: Draw In A Length Line

Start by marking in a plumb line, a line from the top to the bottom of your piece of pattern paper.

How to draft a godet - the starting vertical line

Step 2: Mark In The Bottom Line

Square a line across at the bottom of this line – this will help you plot in the hemline of your godet.

Draft in the lower line - the hem of the godet

Step 3: Mark In The Height Of Your Godet

I’ve decided that my godet will be 8cm tall. It’s for the half circle skirt I’m creating on my mini dress stand, so doubled up for my full size stand, the godet would be 16cm tall.

Deciding the height of the godet using the plumb line

Step 4: Decide The Maximum Width Of Your Godet

Now place your patternmaster on the hem line and mark in the maximum width that you would like for the hem of your godet. I have chosen a modest 4cm either side of my plumb line for a total of 8cm.

Measure across the hem the amount that is the maximum width you'd like your godet to be.

Step 5: Plotting The Final Godet Line

Take your ruler and place it on the line from the tip of the godet to the maximum width mark – but don’t draw a line in yet!

Place your ruler on the line from the tip of the godet to the maximum width mark - but don't draw a line in yet!

You can see from the image below that if I just connect the lines, it will be too long at 9cm – this is 1cm bigger than I want. So, draw in a line along the ruler to the length you chose. I stop at the 8cm mark.

Measure the length your decided on along the ruler from the tip towards the hem and mark this amount in.

When I remove the patternmaster, you can see that the line does not ‘join up’ with my maximum width measurement mark – and that’s how it should be!

The first line is complete

Step 6: Repeat For The Opposite Side

To make a full godet, we need to repeat step 5 for the opposite side.

Repeating for the second side of the godet!

Step 7: Adding The Curve To The Godet Hem

We now have three vertical lines each measuring 8cm long. Now we have to create a curve on the one side of the godet.

To do this you could use a compass, set it so that the pencil and point have an 8cm distance and draw in a curved line.

Or the way that I do it is to pivot my pattern master from the tip of the godet and mark in dots at the 8cm point. I then connect the line as below.

Mark in the curved hem of the godet using your pattern master!

Step 8: Adding Seam Allowance

Now we need to add our chosen seam allowance amount to the edges of the godet. I’ve opted for a 0.5mm seam allowance which would double to 1cm when blown up for my full size dress stand,

Adding seam allowance to the godet

Step 9: Cut Out The Godet

Finally, cut out the godet so that it is a pattern piece ready to use! Don’t forget to make a note of things on the pattern piece!

The finished half size godet for the half sized dress form!

Testing The Godet

It is advisable to test your godet before sewing it in fashion fabrics. I do this in two ways.

Paper Pattern Test

The simplest method, just to check that proportion and measurements are correct, is to create a paper pattern test. From the below image, I can see that my godet is actually sitting above my hipline for this short panelled half circle skirt.

The paper pattern test for the half size godet and hand circle skirt

The Fabric Test

Also known as making a toile or a muslin – cut the pattern pieces out – you can test just two skirt panels and the godet to get an idea if you do now want to sew up the entire skirt.

Below is a seam of the 6 gored half circle skirt with no godet inserted. Notice how the seam sits neatly with no addition flare or volume?

This is a seam line of the 6 gore held circle skirt with no godet inserted

And now below, with the godet inserted you can see just how much additional flare has been created with a relatively small godet sewn into place.

Adding in even a small godet can add some additional flare and volume to a skirt of dress!

And yes – this is an old toile that I cut up and reused, because, why not?

Full Size Godet

Finally, here’s what the full size godet looks like when pinned to the pattern piece of my 16 gore circle skirt panel!

A full sized godet pinned to the pattern piece of a 16 girl circle skirt!

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