THE SEWING DIVAS sewing, design, fashion

March 21, 2007

Draft a Skirt with Godets

Filed under: Els,Fit/Pattern Alterations,Pattern Drafting,Tutorials — Els @ 11:25 pm

 If you want to make a 6 panel skirt with godets but do not have a pattern, you can use your straight skirt pattern to make a new pattern.

For example I drafted a straight skirt with a side zipper. This skirt pattern example is 70 cm ( 27,5 inches) long and I want to add godets with a length of 35 cm ( about 14 inches) and a hem wide of 20 cm ( 8 inches).

You should trace your straight skirt pattern and divide the skirt front and back pattern by 3, marking a line 1/3 the width away from the center front and center back panels on your pattern (see the drawing below).

Mark the desired godet length on the panels and side seams.

Move the waist darts towards the panel seams.

Mark on the pattern: center front on fold, center back on fold, side front part and back side part . This will help you to see which is which if you cut the pattern pieces. You can use scotch tape and label each cut piece.

The new panel skirt pattern looks like this example,

The new panel skirt pattern parts,

Drafting a godet is easy.

Start with a vertical line which indicates the length of the godet. The length I used here is 35 cm ( about 14 inches) Mark the beginning and end of the length.

I used a width of 20 cm( ( 8 inches) so I marked 10 cm ( 4 inches) to the left and 10 cm ( 4 inches) to the right from the base line length.

From the start of the baseline which is on top, measure the length you want I used 35 cm ( nearly 14 inches) and draw a new diagonal line towards the marking 1/2 width point  at 10 cm (4 inches). Do the same for the other side. Now you need to mark the hemline which is not a straight one. You can use your measuring tape and hold it steady at the top and move the tape between the lines marking dots every 2,5 cm.( 1 inch) which you then connect .

If you want to sew the godets as insets then you can use the finished draft godet and cut this 6 times because it should be sewn at the panel seams.( front side , side and back side)

If you want to line your skirt you can use the same pattern but with some minor changes ( it is not necessary to use all the godets, a few will do to give your lining skirt enough walking ease)  Since I am making this skirt from a semi sheer fabric I used the same traced pattern but I do not want to sew the panels to avoid see-through from the panel seams. I connected the traced skirt patterns next to each other and added only a half godet ( folded on the grain line) at the side seam at front and back pattern.I redrew a bit of the side seam just above the half godet for a more fluid line. 


The only thing that needs to be done now is adding seam allowances to the pattern parts and you can make your 6 panel godet skirt. Another option is to make the skirt with cut-on godets instead of the separate godets.

Add seam allowances and you are done.

Enjoy your new pattern.


  1. Wow, wow. This is really awesome. Thanks! Reading this I’m thinking I should really be a subscriber or something. 🙂

    Comment by Kelly in Milwaukee — March 22, 2007 @ 1:15 am

  2. Thank you Els for another wonderful tutorial! The half godets and the way you trued the lines to make it fluid really make all the difference!

    Comment by Tany — March 22, 2007 @ 3:55 am

  3. Great tutorial! I’d love to see one of your creations on you!

    Comment by Gorgeous Things — March 22, 2007 @ 6:59 am

  4. So that is how it’s done … and I’d already spent $ on a pattern, darnit! Thanks for this very clear lesson in pattern drafting.

    Comment by lorna — March 22, 2007 @ 7:15 am

  5. Great tutorial, Els. So easy to follow. Your lucky Mother’s going to love her new skirt!

    Comment by Mary Beth — March 22, 2007 @ 8:26 am

  6. As usual, an excellent tutorial on pattern drafting/altering! I love the idea of a cut-on godet. It would be very useful for fabric with which you’d like to eliminate all the bulk and seams from real godets. You’d get the fulness without the fuss.

    Comment by Summerset — March 22, 2007 @ 3:07 pm

  7. Thank you for another wonderful tutorial Els!

    Comment by Maja — March 26, 2007 @ 3:41 pm

  8. Great tutorial!

    Comment by Linda L — March 28, 2007 @ 5:56 am

  9. Thanks for the very clear tutorial. I just drafted my first straight skirt and then successfully altered it for the godets. It looks great and fits perfectly! Hooray!

    Comment by Ellen — September 28, 2007 @ 12:09 am

  10. thanx 1 ur tutorial has been a gr8 help…..u saved my life (i had to submit pattrn for my submittn and cudn’t find it anywhere)…….i hope u hav such help for other styles as wel

    Comment by saloni — October 21, 2007 @ 3:03 pm

  11. Thanks for the help on skirt godets. do you or anyone else know a website i could refer to to find a godet that goes in hte bottom of a skirt where you have a different fabric gathered behind it?? i have searched allover and have so far come up with a big fat nothing!? help me!

    Comment by Ally — November 1, 2007 @ 9:03 am

  12. This is great! I just drafted up a pattern based on your pictures. We’ll see how it goes.

    Comment by Aurora199 — December 3, 2007 @ 11:52 am

  13. I wonder how the godets differ from kick pleats other than the godet with pleats seem to be kick pleats

    Comment by Rekha — December 10, 2007 @ 1:27 pm

  14. […] one: Panelled skirt directions and another based on a straight skirt pattern: Draft a Skirt with Godets The Sewing Divas McCall’s pattern M5523 has godet inserts McCall’s pattern M5429 has godet inserts McCall’s pattern […]

    Pingback by Skirt made from straight panels? - Page 2 - Belly Dance Forum — December 13, 2007 @ 2:57 am

  15. Hi Els
    I am not a sewer and as such I am struggling with the whole process. I can sew somewhat and once I work this out I know I will be able to sew what I want. My question is, I have 2 skirts (t/shirt type material that you twist to keep crinkly) like this pattern except they only have the side seams. Somehow the maker of them has made the front and back pieces whole and simply inserted the godets. Have you a pattern for that or is it a simple case of drafting up what you have shown here without cutting the original skirt pattern?
    I want to make a full length wedding skirt from maybe chiffon/gorgette with a matching silk/satin type slip underneath.
    Thanks in advance for any help.

    Comment by Judy — May 22, 2008 @ 7:43 am

  16. Judy,

    You can sew godets in any place you want. If you have a sewing technique book that will explain the process. It is important to stabilize the slash point of the seam where you want to sew the godet.
    You can draft a godet pattern in the wide and length you prefer.
    Good luck.

    Comment by Els — May 23, 2008 @ 4:41 pm

  17. This is very helpful in altering current patterns I have.

    Comment by Brenda Marine — March 16, 2009 @ 6:49 pm

  18. so glad to find this been trying to figure out how to do this

    Comment by Rita — May 26, 2009 @ 7:28 pm

  19. […] can find another tutorial on how to make a six paneled skirt with godets on The Sewing Divas. Their tutorial has you use any current straight skirt you own to create the […]

    Pingback by How to make a skirt with godets · Indie Crafts @ CraftGossip — June 16, 2009 @ 7:04 am

  20. thank you so much … I have made myself a flamenco skirt from the instructions posted here … very helpful. I would like send a picture of my finished skirt to you.

    Comment by Leena Tabula — November 3, 2009 @ 1:37 am

  21. Here’s the skirt I’ve made drafted in accordance to what has been posted here … just lengthening it up to ankle and adding the ruffles … hope everyone can see it!

    Comment by Leena Tabula — November 3, 2009 @ 11:08 am

    • Thanks Leena for showing us the beautiful skirt you made.

      Comment by Els — November 10, 2009 @ 9:04 am

  22. wow

    this was just what I needed. I saw a velvet skirt with chiffon godets, wasn’t quite sure on the process. This has made it simple. Thanks

    Comment by Jayne — November 13, 2009 @ 9:26 pm

  23. hi. nice pattern. im wondering what you did with the other dart though? you didnt seem to have pivoted into the hem? did you add the relevant dart value to your panel seams?

    Comment by im my dreams — December 5, 2009 @ 1:18 am

    • The original darts are moved towards the panel parts, see the second picture where you can see the new darts drafted in red, while the original darts are in black dots.

      Comment by Els — December 5, 2009 @ 7:52 am

  24. I am thrilled to see a free skirt pattern, especially with godet inserts.

    Thank You

    Comment by Pam — December 19, 2009 @ 1:29 am

  25. This is so wonderful. My skirt turned out really nice. The way you explained it gave me all the courage i need to to get started. Please have you any lessons on how to draft a bodice block? I want to attempt a blouse.

    Comment by susan — March 9, 2010 @ 7:06 pm

  26. Only one word -Amazing, the way u have described,complied the patterns is just simply great. my wishes for you and thanks…

    Comment by jessica — May 3, 2010 @ 3:20 am

  27. Thank you very much for a simple explaination on what seemed like a difficult task. I am looking forward to getting started.

    Comment by Tammy — June 26, 2010 @ 4:31 am

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