Tools and materials:
- Pattern awl
- Pattern notcher
- Set square
- Sewing pins
- Sewing machine
I think dresses with godets (triangular inserts that give volume and shape to dresses) are so pretty and flattering. I really wanted to make one but didn’t have a pattern that included it, or the puffy sleeves I had in mind. So what I did, was take that pattern and modify it to get the dress that I wanted. Keep reading this tutorial to see how I did it.
For this project, I used a Simplicity pattern that I got online. I didn’t want to cut up the pattern itself, though, so the first thing I did was trace the pattern onto separate paper. The pattern didn’t include a V neckline, which I wanted, so I had to make some adjustments. Grabbing my ruler, I measured from the top of the neck to where I wanted the V to end. I marked at about 12 cm (4.7”) where I wanted to drop the neckline, then went across to the shoulder and pulled it back to roughly 10 cm (3.9”). I then went down from the shoulder and drew a line connecting to the V.
Next, I traced the back piece onto some paper. I took the front piece and folded along the shoulder line to match up the front piece to the back piece. Then I was able to continue the modified neckline from the front piece onto the back piece. I also added my darts to the back piece at this stage and folded them in. Next, I dropped the neckline at the center-back by 5 cm (2”) then went across from the seam with a straight line and started to curve it.
Now that the front and back pieces were drawn, I cut them out to create the facing. I placed the pattern pieces down on a new piece of paper and traced the neckline to the shoulder, bringing it down again by 5 cm (2”). Since the front piece was cut on the fold, but the facing wasn’t, I had to cut out two pieces and add some seam allowance. I then did the same for the back piece and cut it all out.
The next step was to trace the sleeve pattern for a puff sleeve. So I took the pattern and started at the elbow point, which the pattern indicated. After I traced and cut out the sleeve pattern, I used the top-center notch to position the grainline of my sleeve. I then grabbed my scissors and made three cuts on each side of the sleeve, starting from the bottom and coming as close as I could to the top of the sleeve.
With the slits cut into the sleeve piece, I glued down the middle part of the sleeve onto a bigger piece of paper. Then I spread out the other strips to make the puff sleeves. I measured out 6 cm (2.4”) from the center strip to the next one, then spread each strip out by the same amount, gluing each one down onto the paper. Once I finished with that part, I added 2 cm (0.8”) to the bottom and cut out my pattern piece.
To make the godet, I made a center-front panel in the front of my skirt. I cut my pattern piece in half and added a seam allowance, then cut times two of the skirt panels. I then measured from the center-front seam at the top of the waist all the way down to the hem, getting the side measurement of my godet. I then figured out how wide I wanted my godet to be. The wider the godet, the fuller the skirt. I made mine 10 cm (3.9”), which I cut on the fold, giving me 20 cm (7.9”). The grainline was simply straight, parallel to the center-front of my skirt.
Now that my pattern was finally done, I cut out the pieces and laid everything out. I was then able to start sewing all the pieces together, following the instructions of my pattern.
When it came to sewing the godet, I matched up the top of the godet point to where the seam allowance meets. I then pinned the other front piece onto the other side of my godet and continued to sew in the same way that I had sewn the other side. Once I was done with the godet, I continued sewing according to my pattern.
I joined the center-front with the seam allowance that I had popped onto my facing pattern, then attached to the shoulder seams of the back facing. I also finished off the raw edge of my neck facing with an overlocker. Then I pinned my facing, right sides together, to the neck of my dress and sewed all the way around with a 1 cm (.04”) seam allowance. Next, I snipped along the curved areas to make my facing sit flatly and ironed it, before sewing it to the inside of the dress. When I finished making the rest of the dress, I went back and handstitched it.
To make the sleeves, I joined the side seams and overlocked the edges. Then I created the elastic casing by folding over 1 cm (0.4”) and then another 1 cm (0.4”) and edge-stitched it all the way around. I left a 2 cm (0.9”) hole in the casing to thread the elastic through. I figured out my elastic length but wrapping it around my elbow area and ensuring it wasn’t too loose. I then threaded my elastic through by using a safety pin on one end and pinning the other end to the fabric. Once my elastic was pulled through, I connected the ends together with a straight stitch and back-tacked it a few times. Then I went back and closed that gap in the casing. Lastly, O attached the sleeve to the top according to the pattern.
I’m so happy with the way this dress came out. I love the fabric, and I love the way it looks with the godet. I’m very pleased that I decided to make this. What do you think? Was modifying the pattern worth the end result? Let me know in the comments below!
Who doesn’t love a good upcycle? This puffy sleeves tutorial proves that nothing should ever be...
Here is a trend to watch: the granny square sweater. When I saw this colorful blanket in the lonely...
And just like that, we have a brand new sewing tutorial! This week we are covering how to sew a...
So. You've read ALL about the velvet Wavy Cardigan, and you love love love it, right? Or maybe...
In this 5 by 5 look book, I grab 5 pieces and make 5 different outfits from them. This is the best...
This was a mini skirt I found at a thrift store. It was the embroidered cotton that caught my...
A little black dress is a closet staple for many, but no need to go out and purchase something when...
Whether it’s an old sweater that needs some new life or a really cheap piece that requires some...