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Gores, Gussets.. Gussets, Gores..

Gores and Gusset: Or gussets and gore?Gores and Gusset: Or gussets and gore?
After dfr made her very successful denim corset, I realized that the too-tightly-woven-for-jeans non-stretch denim sitting in my stash would work wonderfully for corsetry. I'd gotten it during a sale, so of course I had no way of knowing what the denim would actually be like-- they almost always take pictures completely flat, and only show scale if it's a print. They had a whole host of heavyweight non-stretch denim that was on sale, all with nearly identical pictures. I'd selected two, theoretically the same denim but in different colors, not that that was visible on the site. While they are somewhat different colors, the actual difference was that one was a much tighter weave than the other. For jeans, I prefer some stretch to denim; mostly I go after heavyweight denims with lycra, but I've had some success with less tightly woven denims.

So, denim corsetry. I've started a mockup of my new altered version of my self-drafted pattern that doesn't quite fit. But then I decided to get a subscription to Foundations Revealed, and so I've been working on some of those techniques. Like the gussets and gores. Or gores and gussets. The article says that gores are the pieces set into a slit in a piece of fabric, and gussets are the ones that are set in between two panels. Talking about it in the PR chat last night, though, everyone else thought that it was the other way around. When I ask Google, the main results I come up with are late 1800s and early 1900s supreme court cases dealing with shoe patents. And no, those don't answer my question. Then there's the What is a Gusset? Fashion Incubator entry, which makes some mention of the difference between gussets and godets (apparently godets are more decorative rather than functional) but doesn't seem to define gusset in any way that I can solidly distinguish from gores.

But anyways, the Foundations Revealed article is on "wrinkle free" gores and gussets. I used the front two panels and the gore and gusset pieces from the 1878 patent they used in the examples. I'm starting to believe that "wrinkle free" gores (or whichever ones are inserted into a slit rather than in between two panels) are a physical impossibility; you have to sew it to a tip, and then turn it inside.. how does this work? It doesn't seem physically possible. The standard method seems to be to embroider around the bottom of the gore (gusset?) in order to hide the wrinkling that occurs. With some coercive ironing, I managed to get it fairly straight, but you can see that it's still not quite right, and that's using just denim. There's no way I'd attempt it with, say, silk layered onto a strength layer. Maybe I'm being too picky, is it "too" picky to want professional looking results? Well, I suppose that if what the professionals do is embroider the bottom of the gore to hide imperfections, that's what should be done.. but it's making my brain hurt as I ponder whether this is a work-around or an actual technique, and whether those can actually be the same thing.
I may try doing that corset in denim, as well. It's an interesting and very pretty pattern, despite all of the infuriating gores/gussets. If my head explodes, you'll know why.



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sewing gussets

Whatever they are called, you can finesse the finicky triangular point by sewing a piece of light interfacing on the RIGHT side of the denim (sew with small stitches up to the point of the V, pivot, and sew back down). Then cut up to the last stitch in the V, turn, and press. Baste the reinforced B onto your gusset or gore piece and topstitch. It will lie flat.

gusset vs gore

Being a bit low-tech here, but in Waugh the small triangles going into panels are called gores, and in the Tudor Tailor, the squares and diamonds going into seams under the arms of shirts and smocks are called gussets ... Cutting out a new smock and Simplicity is calling the underarm square a gusset also (not that Simp is by any means a reliable source! LOL) so I am going to agree with the FR article. Also, on my Butterick pattern I used for the denim corset in question (ty for link love too!) they are called gussets, and there is a seam directly below them.

Regardless of what they are/were actually called, we're still trying to fit triangles either into a slit cut into fabric or into a seam. Have you tried handsewing the little buggers in?


There seems to be no question of the fact that hand basting is required!

I still kinda think of gussets as something totally separate-- like you said, the bits under the arms of period clothing so that your arms aren't glued to your sides, and those are usually square too, not triangular.
I'd been assuming that gores could be between panels; otherwise how could it be the Silverado bust gore corset? And Rev was pretty sure that gores were the ones on seams.

The distinction seems to be pretty recent; in the patent, they're all described as gores, and the article says because they were "lacking our current distinctions." I just seem to be lacking our current distinctions myself. Last week I would have said that gussets are four-sided and gores are three-sided. And that gussets allow for freedom of movement rather than shaping. The "what is a gusset?" entry on F-I seemed to promote the freedom of movement theory as well, they also suggest that gussets are sewn in on all sides, which doesn't fit with the corsetry gussets-vs-gores definitions.

Fitting them into a seam isn't difficult. I'd done that before, and it doesn't defy any laws of physics, you just have to press the seam open instead of to the side like you normally do on a corset. It's the ones in the slits that boggle my brain.

Gores, gussets, and godets

According to all I've ever learned: gores might be described as panels, as in a 6-gore or 12-gore skirt, and are generally included to add fullness, so they would be between seams. Gussets are added to aid in movement such as the underarm of a closely fitted raglan sleeve. Generally a slit in the fabric must be created for this. Godets are a wedge added to create fullness.

If your books define these in different terms then they may come from a period long gone and would be beyond my knowledge.

I came across this how-to-sew question last year when making my ottoman covers. I decided to make a small dart at the point which would eliminate having to turn under the point. After a short dart it is easy to turn under. I placed the wedge/godet under the opening and topstitched. For a more professional look you will need to finish the edges of the wedge. I just pinked them.

Here is my blog entry regarding this. Note that I called the wedge a godet, which does follow what I said above about godets. LOL.


It sounded like the distinction was recent

But of course, "recent" in this case, would mean "sometime after the patent was issued in 1878."
It's not a book that had the on a seam/not on a seam distinction, it was an article on Foundations Revealed. I suppose it could be a purely corsetry distinction... but it just seems off.
I can't add a dart to the pattern without totally changing it


Just a test

Test 2

How about this time?


Woohoo, Gloria re-figured out how to log in! Congrats!

Yay, Yay

(It just takes some of us longer to catch on.)

Maggie, the dart begins at the point, not beyond it. By sewing a small dart, it eliminates the need to turn under the point. Anyway, I mentioned it in case it would trigger an idea as to how you might find a way which is easier for you to do. And if you find it, let me know, please. Smile

Then I'm just confused!

Well in that case I'm just lose, 'cause I can't figure out what you mean by sewing a small dart into it to eliminate turning under the point. The dart is sewn right sides together, so the point has to be turned around somehow, since the whole of the gore piece has to be on the inside. You mean basically creating a seam at the point, so it's more like inserting it between panels than in the middle? I think that would create exactly what I'm having trouble getting around-- underneath the gore is supposed to be smooth and without wrinkles or lines or anything, that's why I think it defies physics.


Physics is not my favorite subject You are correct in that it would not be as smooth or without lines, as there would be a dart. Practice a few ways of doing it on scrap, easy-to-manipulate fabric and perhaps an idea will come to you as to how to make all of this easier for you.

Hopefully someone else who has accomplished this feat without getting a headache will respond. I too would like to know if there are any tricks to this, because obviously, it has been done by others.

I think that may be what they did, actually

Hrm.. thinking about the method, I think that what the process actually does is create a tiny dart that can be mostly smoothed out through coercive ironing. Of course, it's not being used on easy-to-manipulate fabric, it's being used on corsetry fabrics.
And I'm not sure that it *has* been done by others. The fabric they set the gore into on the example was black, so it's pretty much impossible to see if there's a bit of a wrinkle. And most corsets with set-into-a-slit-in-a-panel gores have embroidery at the bottom that will hide the wrinkle. That may be just how it's dealt with. A nd come to think of it, the impossibility of bringing it completely to the back may be what causes some of the shaping to work correctly-- pulling the gore forward to giving a rounder shape.

/me stares at the front and back of her gores and ponders

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