By now I know this sewing series will be a very labor intensive one. There is a reason for separating the petticoats into each of their own posts. The hardest one is the first. Although the first one doesn’t suck up as much fabric as the rest of them do.
Before I started this project I had no idea what a godet was. I only knew they required godets from the many blog pictures of people who have made this dress as well. A godet is a triangle like shape that will help you to create bulk towards the bottom while keeping the top fairly thin. Which for this silhouette of the gown is exactly what you want to have. There are three layers of godets on mine. It wasn’t exactly that easy to see in any of the pictures how many they made, So I went with three. One for the bottom, the middle, and the top. The longest godet is at the top with the shortest at the bottom. Very easy to make.
When you finish your crinoline you will need to create a base for the godets to be sewn to. I used a very sturdy organza. I do not know the content of the organza, but my guess would have to be polyester. To create the base, I draped some fabric on top of the crinoline and bustle pad. Traced out where I want the linings to go. And then cut. These markings were transferred to wrapping paper for the patterning process. I added seam allowances at all sides. Then I made extra room at the bottom for some extra fluff. This was so it wouldn’t stick to the cage. To let the cage have some breathing room and for twirling purposes.
The base layer is cut short so the first of the many ruffles to come can be added to the bottom of this. I don’t remember exact yardages. But I do know that for all the petticoats I think I purchased somewhere around a 190 yards total, I started with 130, but I kept running out. And at that point I couldn’t be picky with my colors, that’s why I have some pinks and very dark blues. The dark green was intentional in this petticoat. As the purpose is to make it look like a waterfall, there will be some dark colors.
After you sew the ruffles on this you want to hem it. Don’t wait until the end because you think it will be easier. It won’t. You will only be kicking yourself for not thinking of this sooner. I did a narrow hem on my overlocker, but I left in the stitch finger. The organza was so fragile that when I accidentally stepped on the hems it fell right out. So I went back to the drawing board. I bought a narrow hem foot from a local store and got to work hemming the overlocked edges. For this process I added in fishing line in the hem. It was recommended for me to use 100 pound weight, I opted to use the 60 pound weight as the price was a lot nicer than the alternative.
For the first set of godets, decide how you want the shape to be, wide or not as wide. I went a little on the wide side. Here is a picture.
I decided I wanted the bottom layer to have 13 godets total. I cut out thirteen of my cheapest organza. Cut the triangles out on the straight of the grain with the tip all the way to the center. Don’t cut them out on the bias as this will completely ruin them. They won’t lay quite right and they will stretch in the wrong direction. Then overlock all the edges to make sure they are sturdier followed by sewing each of the edges together to create a circle. Sew up about half way to connect them. Then pin this equally around the whole base on the petticoat. You will need to hand sew these down to secured them and then sew them on by the machine to make them extra firm.
With this complete you can get started on adding the ruffle layer to this edge. To do so you need a long rectangle piece, all edges overlocked, and gathered down. Buy a ruffler foot. This will save you. Trust me. You are going to want to have one of these when you start this project. As about sixty percent of this project entails making ruffles. And it will be very tedious. I am warning you now. But the end result will be well worth it. Trust me. For the ruffle edge make this layer a variety of colors. You want them to cascade and blend when you twirl. (Side tangent: In the movie her petticoat does have a lot of white in it. My other layers are mainly white blended in with colors. This layer is just to ensure that you use all the odd colors that don’t quite match now.)
Once again hem this layer with the fishing line.
The second layer of godets go up about half way. They are longer than the bottom layer, but not long enough that the ruffles get mixed in with the lower set.
The ruffles for this will start about 3 inches higher than the others. This layer also has 11 godets. All overlocked and sewn together like before. The reason for 11 is because I was going down in odds. I did this because the images don’t really show how many godets there are. Which is fine. I can make this work. Same thing with the ruffles on this layer. Just keep following the same process. And don’t forget to hem. This layer will have more ruffles than the last. And the ruffle foot will still feel like it’s a pain to use. Mine caused me some issues, a lot of issues. But in the end I am so very lucky that I have it.
The final layer of godets have nine total. These are quite long, but not as long as I should have made them.
The bottom ruffle I think measured to 15 inches. Which is the longest lower layer ever in my opinion. But it works out, so I’m not upset. This layer goes to the hips, or a little above the hips. They are longer and less wide, but still wide enough for some twirling.
After this layer is hemmed we are almost done. The final step is to make the waistband. Which is relatively easy. Not much to it. You just cut out a rectangle. To find the measurements that you need just use this problem, Waist+1 inch seam allowance+2 or 3 inches for the overlap= The rectangle you should cut out.
My waist is 32 inches. 32+1+3=36. So my rectangle is 37 inches long and 3.5 inches wide. Fold each edge inward by a half inch and stitch down. Then stitch with right sides together to your petticoat. The petticoat should stay in that 32 inches, if you want it to overlap slightly you can sew this to the 33-inch mark. It can make the leeway a bit nice considering you will have a chemise, bloomers, corset, and a crinoline on underneath this. So that extra inch may be a good thing to have. You can add a button or skirt hooks. I will avoid either and go with safety pins for now. I am going to wait until the corset is finished.
Thank you for reading. If you have any questions do not hesitate to ask. Until next time, bye.