Buyer Beware!

If you saw this dress on a website described with a twirly skirt what would you think was under it?

       Well one unsuspecting/trusting client wanted a twirly silk summer dress that would highlight her small waist and cover her thighs so she ordered a size 2 from J. Peterman. When it arrived she found she could not get the lining down over her hips never mind the rest of her for the lining was pencil thin and tapered. While the waist was 24 inches, the hips were 34 and I was asked to do something drastic.

The woman’s daughter brought the dress to me saying that she had some sisters who were into crafts in a big way (something I love to hear!) and they suggested that I insert “those triangle thingies” to make the lining wider. “Oh, you mean godets” I said and began describing how they would work.

Then the daughter said to go ahead and it had to be done by Friday…isn’t this always the way, bring me something out of the ordinary and give me 2 days to do it….yes those triangle thingies must be pretty easy to come by and insert.

I manage to get to JoAnn’s and but some soft lining for the godets.I could have bought something crisp and nasty like what was there already but who needs wings sticking out screaming “Grandma added these at the last minute”. You can click on the following photos that show the steps I used:


First I measure what I am up against. The silk chiffon overskirt is 60 inches wide so I need to add about 16 inches total to make the lining wider but not too wide.

  I draw out the length (27 inches) and width (2 times 8inches) I need along with 1/2 inch seam allowances. Then the edges are all serged before insertion. The straight of grain runs down the center so the sides are slightly biased.

   Now unto the pinning after opening the side seams all the way to about 2 inches from the waist and pressing flat.


Pin one side and then the other making sure they meet at the top as close as you can. If they don’t you can fix it later with hand stitches or machine depending how meticulous/fussy you are.


Stitched and flipped and pressed…now all I need is a small hem.

   Yea! happy days….we are in business and the client will be so happy to have extra room and twirl in her dress.

Can this technique be used for other things?…yes certainly once a student aged 7 that I taught made a plain blue wool skirt to enter in the local county fair and I suggested she add a satin godet to the center back seam and then a satin bow at the top. Guess what? She won the blue ribbon and I was so pleased to go and take photos of it.

Have a great rest of the week and may no triangle thingies cross your path!

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2 Responses to Buyer Beware!

  1. Alethia says:

    Thank God for godets!
    I just love it when customers come with “something so simple” and “it shouldn’t take you that long…” Yeah!
    I love this saying I heard, “Poor planning on your part, does not constitute an emergency on my part.”
    I hope you charged her well for rushing you. 🙂

  2. patsijean says:

    Was the lining size incorrect or did your client purchase the wrong dress size? When my measurements were exactly the same (1980’s), At 5’2″ and 103 pounds, I wore a size 6.

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