One way of adding fullness to a particular area of your garment, for example, a hemline on a skirt or a back of a dress or even the bottom of a sleeve, is by inserting panels of fabric which are commonly known as godets.
A godet is usually triangular in shape (but not necessarily) and is very easy to sew. It gives you extra volume and flare as you walk. It’s amazing how a simple triangle of fabric can change the whole look of a garment. Explore this new sewing technique in our easy tutorial!
Materials & Tools
Fabric of your choice (we are using IL019 INSIGNIA BLUE Softened Medium Weight Linen), matching sewing thread
Scissors, pins, chalk, ruler, sewing gauge, sewing machine
Note: Prewash your fabric and tumble dry it until it is still slightly moist, dry in room temperature. Iron the fabric so it is easier to work with.
Before sewing, finish the vertical raw edges of your godet and the straight panels with a serger or a small zigzag stitch to prevent the fabric from fraying in the future.
1. Start by sewing your straight panels right sides together at your usual seam allowance (we are sing 3/8” (1 cm) seam allowance) and stop where you want your godet to start.
2. Press your seam allowance open all along the stitch line and then down to the bottom of your future godet.
3. Take your triangle of fabric and mark a dot where the seam allowances intersect (for example, we are sewing with a 3/8” seam allowance, so we’ll draw two lines 3/8” from the raw edges and the point where they cross is the top of your godet).
4. Now pin one side of the godet to the garment’s seamline right sides together. Position the dot to where the seam ends, right in the center of the seamline. Don’t pin the other side yet as it will most likely cause a tuck at the point.
Tip: Place your pins in the crease of your garment’s pressed seam allowances. This way when you stitch, you’ll know where the crease is and will be able to use your pins as a guide for your line of stitching.
5. Using a very small stitch length (1mm – 1.5 mm), start sewing the godet (that is facing you) to the garment for about an inch or so. Do not backstitch at the point as it may ruin an attractive insert. Very small stitches are sufficient to secure the point of the insert. Once you’ve stitched the top (for approximatively 1 inch), switch to your regular longer stitch length and sew down to the end of the godet. Backstitch at the bottom.
6. Match and pin the remaining side of the godet to the opening.
7. Insert your needle at the point where the first stitching line ends and sew the second side of the godet using a smaller stitch length near the point and a larger stitch length down to the wide end. Remember to backstitch when you come to the end.
8. Press the seam allowances away from the triangle and admire your beautifully inserted godet.
Remember that you can also use contrasting fabric for the godet to create a decorative effect.
Have a browse through our selection of linen and see which of our fabrics inspires you to use your new skill!