Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Finding Godets

Well, these are probably gussets, but I like the word godet better.

Thanks to a suggestion from Terri K and help from my sewing sista's at ASG retreat this past weekend, my Stella top is finally finished and even wearable. I started this a while back, very soon after TWS issued this new pattern. My first attempt led to some frustration as the hips were entirely too tight. I probably should have made a muslin, but maybe I would not have added the gussets. And I like the gussets.
gusset over hip

In order to insert gussets, I opened up the side seams (which had been serged). Then I tried on the top to see how far they wanted to gape at the hip. This gave me a fair idea how big the gussets needed to be. Then I cut two rectangles of fabric on the bias and slipped them under the openings in the side. Next I just top-stitched them in place.

June at retreat was able to see that one gusset looked pretty good and the other was wonky. Wonky in a bad way. So I removed the wonky piece, placed that rectangle over the good gusset, and traced the correct placement with chalk. Then I just slipped the wonky gusset back under the opening at the hip, aligning the chalk marks with the seams and top-stitched it back on. This process took lots of careful pressing along the way, but that's the gist of it.

Friends at the retreat pointed out that the gussets actually mimic the neckline on this top and so the gussets are a nice design detail. Of course, I worried that the gussets would simply scream "My hips are too big so I had to add some fabric here." But I don't think that happened in the end.

TSW gallery piece

It is still a bit funky. You can see that in the gallery pieces at TSW web site. The grain line on the front of the shirt is just slightly on the bias, but I'm sure it is intentional. This gives the shirt a little kick at the front and (with my bias gussets) at the side. I think I like it.


  1. How great is that Martha! When I made the suggestion it was with the thought that the godets would be both functional and a design element that mimic the cowl . You sure made it work beautifully.

  2. I agree, the gussets look great and echo the design!

  3. Thanks, Terri. You have such a good eye for design detail, as well as the ensemble. I had to actually see it to realize the design aspect!

  4. I realize I'm commenting on this three months late, but _Oh_! Why didn't I think of the topstitching method? (OK, because I'm a beginner, that's why.)

    I tried to add gussets to the Sewing Workshop Cowl Top, which appears to be the ancestor of the Stella top. They worked OK in silk crepe, in part because silk crepe obeys the iron. But they fought me tooth and nail in a slippery press-resistant rayon, until I gave up and now I have to tuck the second blouse in.

    But I was trying to stitch the two seams for the gusset as regular right-sides-together seams, stitching into the corner; if I'd used your trick of putting the extra fabric in place and topstitching, I expect I'd be able to wear that blouse out.

    Now I know. Thank you.