Design Variation : Waist Stay and Hemline Flare with
Vertical Panels and Godets Godets (triangular-shaped fabric inserts) add a bit of flare to this skirt’s hemline. You can add just one at the center back for walking ease, in place of a vent or slit, or you can insert several along the hemline for extra flare.
Draft the Pattern
1). Trace your straight skirt front and back slopers onto drafting paper, leaving space all around for design features and seam allowances. Use the directions to change the front and back patterns from two darts to one dart. Lower the waistline as desired and change the skirt length as desired on both the front and back slopers.
2). Create eight vertical panels, or gores. Draw a line from the dart point down to the hemline, parallel to the center front. Repeat for the skirt back. (These four panels will become eight when two of each piece are cut out.)
3). Cut the front and back patterns apart along the line. It helps to label the pieces as follows: front, side front, back, and side back. Make note to cut two of all the skirt pieces.
4). Design the godets. Decide how long you want the godets to be (for this skirt the godets are 11½” long). Measure up from the skirt hemline at each seam by the desired amount and make a mark indicating the top of the godet. Smooth the dart edges to eliminate any hard corners along the waist seamline.
5). Draft the godet. The larger the bottom width of the godet, the more flare the godet will add to your skirt. (The skirt shown features 6″-wide godets.) Draw a triangle using the desired length and width measurements, as shown. Shape and smooth the bottom into a curve. Then add ½” seam allowance to the side edges and 1″ hem allowance to the bottom edge.
PATTERN DRAFTING NOTE : Godets can be stitched to the skirt in seams or slits. Ribbon is used as a waist stay to finish the waistline, in place of a facing or waistband; it makes for a finished-looking top edge.
6). Complete the pattern. Add ⅜” seam allowance to the top edge of all the panel pieces for the waist stay (see Pattern Drafting Note on previous page) and ½” seam allowances to all the remaining edges. Add 1″ hem allowances.
>>> 2 yards of 44/45″ fabric (see Design Tip)
>>> 7″ zipper
>>> Zipper presser foot
>>> Hook and eye
>>> 1 yard of Petersham ribbon (for waist stay)
>>> Matching thread
Sew the High Definition Skirt
1). Cut out the fabric. Use the newly drafted pattern pieces to cut the following from fabric: two skirt fronts, two side fronts, two backs, two side backs, and eight godets. No interfacing is necessary.
2). Insert the zipper in the left side seam or center back, and then stitch the rest of the seam to the placement mark for the top of the godet. Backstitch at the placement mark. Press the seam allowance open.
3). Assemble the skirt pieces. With the wrong sides together, stitch the two skirt front pieces together along the center front, from the top edge to the godet placement mark, backstitching at the placement mark. Press the seam allowance open. Repeat to join the remaining skirt pieces, including the side seams.
4). Attach the godets. With the wrong sides together, pin the godet to the skirt along one godet opening edge, making sure the top of the godet overlaps the opening. Starting at the opening, stitch the godet to the skirt. Repeat for the opposite edge of the godet. Then, repeat for all the godets. Backstitch at all the seams. Press the seam allowances open on the right sides of the skirt and edgestitch the loose edges of the seam allowances to the skirt as shown in the photo. If your fabric ravels, press the raw edge of the seam allowance ¼” to the wrong side and edgestitch the folded edge to the skirt. If you prefer a more bohemian style or the fabric doesn’t fray, simply edgestitch the raw edges in place.
5). Attach the waistband stay.
a) Start by measuring around the top edge of the skirt and adding 1″ for two seam allowances. Cut a piece of Petersham ribbon to that length. Fold both ends of the ribbon ½” to the wrong side. Use your iron to steam a curve into the Petersham.
b) Pin the wrong side (bottom edge) of the ribbon to the right side of the skirt ⅜” from the top edge with the finished edges of the waist stay aligned with the skirt opening. Stitch the ribbon in place close to the edge of the ribbon.
c) Turn the entire ribbon stay to the inside of the skirt and press. Machine-stitch or hand-sew the loose edge of the stay in place. Hand-sew the stay ends to the zipper tape. Hand-sew a hook and eye on the stay as shown.
6). Hem the skirt as desired. Or, if you have leftover Petersham ribbon, use it as a facing and topstitch it in place. For help on sewing a faced hem, and keep in mind that you’ll need to trim the hem allowance on the skirt to ½”.
DESIGN TIP : The skirt shown here is made of reversible fabric that is orange on one side and pink on the other. To showcase the different sides, I used one color for the right side of the skirt panels and the reverse for the godets. Get creative with your godets by inserting contrasting prints or solid fabrics, or even lace for a flirty detail.
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