Helpful Hints #3: Night of the Live Stitches

Sorry about the skipped post last week. I have been knitting Christmas stuff already, so my Webkinz patterns are taking a backseat to all that. Next week, I promise I will have a pattern. For now, here’s a helpful hint about gathered skirts. When you finish the skirt to any of Topsy’s adorable dresses, you see DO NOT BIND OFF in bold letters. Why? We’re done with these stitches, so are they live or dead? What do we do with them now?

Bwah ha ha ha!

Fortunately, just as a silver dagger will kill a vampire, a tapestry needle will take care of these live stitches once and for all.

Here’s what the skirt looks like while it’s still on the needles:

As you can see, I’ve already broken off the yarn, threaded it into the tapestry needle, and started to work the needle into the “live” stitches. You may want to do this a few at a time so you don’t drop any. Here’s a shot in the middle of the process:

Once you have all the stitches off the knitting needle, it’s time to pull, but not too far. Measure around the waist of your animal and gather the skirt until it matches that measurement. You may have to even it out a bit as they have a tendency to get bunched up.

Here’s what the finished skirt will look like:

As you can see, the skirt tends to curve around the top, making it hard to measure, so a flexible tape measure is a must!

Now that you have the gathered skirt, the next step is attaching it to the bodice (vest part) of the dress. Some of my patterns say to make the skirt first, but most say to make the bodice before the skirt. Either way, you need both parts here, and the side seams on the bodice must be sewn together before you can attach the skirt. In this case, it was a halter dress, so the bodice was all one piece to begin with.

The most important rule to remember when sewing the skirt to the bodice is to pin everything in place first. That way you can turn it inside out a few times to make sure you didn’t get anything backwards before you have to go through the work of sewing it. The second most important thing to remember is that in most of my patterns, the skirt has about twice as many stitches as the bodice, so you should pick up about 2 “loops” from the skirt for every stitch you pick up on the bodice. The process looks somewhat like this:

So there you have it, the last stage in making a gathered skirt. Happy Night of the Live Stitches!







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