These directions are for a 6-panel godet skirt with a yoga style waistband or as the bottom of a dress (which is what I was making here). I have not included the directions for finishing the waist of the skirt which can be done in any method you see fit, but I have not added the proper seam allowances for inserting a zipper. So, if you want a fitted waistband with a zipper you will need to make those adaptations yourself.
1) First, you need to draft your pattern pieces. PANEL PIECES: Take the waist measurement, add 1-2 inches of ease, and add 12x seam allowance. Next divide this number by 6. (Again, this is for a 6-panel skirt, you can easily adjust the numbers for any number of panels just make sure you add 2x # of panels for seam allowance.)
Your equation is: (W + Ease + SA)/ 6 = this is the top of width of panel pieces.
For this dress, I needed to match the width of the bodice, so I took that number (25.5") and divided it by 6 to get 3.75"
The rest of the measurements for the panel piece are up to you. I prefer to make the bottom of the panel at least twice the width of the top. (for my example, I made the bottom 10" wide to get a fuller skirt) The length can also be whatever you decide. (I made mine 12" long)
GODET PIECES: The top of the godet needs to be 2x seam allowance. If you do not cut/ sew this precisely, you will need to do some fudging to fit the panels and godets together.
The length and bottom width of the godets is again up to you. For my example, I made the bottom width 6" and the length 6".
DRAWING THE PIECES: I use a quilting ruler to make sure the lines are straight and the angles are accurate. Draw the top line of the panel (or godet) at the correct length, marking the center of the line. Draw a line at a 90 degree angle down from the center of the top line to your desired length. Draw the bottom width so it is centered on your length line. Connect the top and bottom lines at the corners.
Now, round out the bottom width by marking the correct length all the way across.
2) Cut all of your pieces. You will need 6 panels and 6 godets. Make sure you cut accurately!
3) Finish the raw edges of all of the pieces. For the panels, only the side edges need to be finished, the godets need to have the top and sides finished.
4) Sew 1 godet to each panel piece, right sides together. Make sure your seam allowances are accurate, and match up the bottom curves. Also, sew all of the godets to the same side of the panels - otherwise you will need to rip some off and switch them over later!
5) Now you need to sew the panels together. This can be the tricky part, and this is why it is important to cut/ sew the SA accurately! Pin two panels right sides together so that there is 1 godet between them. Pin from the bottom to the top, matching the panel hem to the godet hem.
When you sew, sew the panel to the godet first, starting at the bottom and working to a point where the top of the godet is sewn to the other panel. If everything is perfect, your sewing line should make a perfect triangle point where it hits the line from the other side of the godet. (If it is not perfect, you will need to adjust the top of the ogdet over a bit so that the two lines meet.) Stop and backstitch at the intersection point.
I tried to do a close-up of this:
Then, fold in half, and line up the remaining portion of the two side panels. Start sewing them, together slightly over the top of the godet, keeping the same seam allowance. This will allow for anice point at the top of the godet.
I sew all of the panels together, except for the last seam - so that you are left with a flat piece to topstitch rather than a round piece.
6) Now you need to press all of the seams open, pressing the godets flat with their SA towards to panel pieces.
7) Topstitch all of the seams from top to bottom - including the godet seams.
Now, finish sewing the last two panels together, press the seams open and topstitch those seams. (Obviously, this can all be done at the same time, I just prefer to do the majority of the topstitching flat.)
8) Finish the skirt with your desired waistband style and hem. (I prefer a rolled hem as you will have a large curved hem with 12 seams once you are done.)