One of my friend’s little girls just turned 1 year old. Since her mom refers to her as her little monkey, I thought I would make her a simple little dress with a monkey embroidered on the front. This also gave me the opportunity to try gathers again.
To start, I was only going to make one dress, but after cutting out the dress with the stripes running horizontally, I realized that I had cut the dress out against the stretch of the fabric. Because I had plenty fabric and it is just as easy to make two as one, I decided to make a second dress, the vertical stripe one, with the stretch.
For the gathered skirt, I tried the floss method of gathering as suggested to me the last time I made one of these little dresses. It worked great. I zig-zagged the floss to the top of the skirt and pulled. The floss made it easy to control the gathers and keep them evenly spaced. One thing that made it easier with the floss was that I could pin the starting and stopping points of the floss in place when I had the gathers that I wanted. Then I could even out my gathers without losing them on the ends.
I did learn two things though. One, have the starting and stopping points of the floss as close together as possible. On the first skirt, I started and stopped the floss a couple of inches apart. When it came time to sew the skirt to the top, I had to gather the two inches by hand. On the second skirt, I left no space and it gathered right together. Second, keep the floss close to the top on the skirt. On the first one, I sewed the floss lower on the fabric. Then when it was time to sew the top on, I sewed even lower and lost about 1/2 inch on the length of the skirt. I know that does not seem like much, but it is when the skirt is already so small. It also just seemed to gather better when the floss was closer to the top of the second skirt. You may have noticed that there are more gathers on the vertical striped skirt than the horizontal one. This is because I used more fabric in the vertical striped skirt. I learned a lot while making of these dresses, and I figure if I make about 15 more, I will get the whole gathering thing down.
I planned for my friend’s daughter to wear the dresses this spring when the weather is a little warmer, so I hope the size is right . I am excited to see the little monkey in her little monkey dresses.