Sunday, April 3, 2011

Friday Fashions #11, Striped Skirt with Purple Gores

A couple years ago I saw the prettiest skirt, and I have been casually looking for one with similar lines ever since.  This skirt was knee length with princess seams to form a slender A-line. But to add interest, it had triangular inserts along the seams in a coordinating fabric.  These inserts added such a fun flirtiness to what would otherwise have just been a normal pretty skirt.  I have never since seen such a skirt.   After a little research, I learned that these inserts were called GODETS and/or GORES.   
   What's the difference? According to Wise Geek:
A godet is an extra panel of fabric inserted into a skirt or dress which causes it to flare. Flouncy, springy patterns often use godets, which also allow more freedom of movement on the part of the wearer. People who are seeking out flared skirts may want to look for godet patterns, as should people who want a wider range of motion in a skirt. Any type of fabric can be used in a godet skirt, although some fabrics may perform better than others.

A related concept is the gore, a triangular piece of fabric which fluffs out a skirt and makes it more flowing. A flare starts close to the top of a skirt, and is often used in patterns such as a-line skirts. Unlike a gore, a godet is inserted in the bottom of a skirt, starting at least halfway down the skirt and sometimes further. This means that the top of the skirt hugs the hips, and the godets cause the skirt to flare out as it reaches the knees or calves.  

I decided that I wanted to try my hand at one of these skirts.  I found a pattern with gores and godets for my first try.  I didn't want to try creating the pattern while trying to learn a new sewing technique.  I ended up sewing a skirt with 8 gores.  I had some pink and purple striped cotton fabric in my stash that I originally had planned on using for a peasant blouse.  I decided to use it for the skirt and buy a coordinating purple for the inserts.  
The main skirt pieces could have been sewn together to make an a-line skirt with princess seams.  
I think this opens up a world of possibilities for the thrify/restyle sewer.  You could take a skirt found at a thrift store and simply open the seams partially up the skirt and add inserts in a coordinating fabric. 
Notice how much fullness is added to the skirt once I added the gores.  This will make a very full skirt so be sure to choose fabrics that lend themselves to swirls and swishes.  I made a technical mistake here.  My striped fabric is very soft but my purple gore fabric is not as soft. So, this has made my skirt hang a little funny since my fabrics don't drape to the same degree.  I am hoping that after I wash it, it will be a little softer and swishier. 

 I'm still kinda on the fence with my thoughts on this completed project.  I feel like I learned a ton sewing this skirt.  But there are definitely things I would change for me next time.  I think for my figure, it would be more flattering if my main skirt was a little straighter and then I inserted godets halfway down instead of gores at the waistband.   Also, I would choose cotton fabrics more similar in weight.   This skirt is no where near as cute as my inspiration piece and I am feeling a little disappointed.  However, it is still a decent skirt;  and I will definitely wear it at least a few times.  And, as I wrote earlier, I learned a ton with this project. I love learning and I'm sure my next attempt will turn out even better.


Lindsay Mecham Hyatt said...

It's cute, but I think you should try it again with different fabrics since you aren't too satisfied with this go around. I like your idea of sewing the godets lower into the skirt than at the waist band. It would be a little flippier, and very form flattering.

Overall though, i LOVE this skirt pattern. Would it be possible to make a maternity skirt using the same pattern? i need to figure out something for Easter...

Jen said...

Very cute idea! I think having the godets lower would be more spunky.

PS. You're so brave to try this new stuff!


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