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To make gathering easier and better-looking, use 2 rows of gathering stitches, as would be done on a full-size garment. Make the first row of stitching 3/8" from the edge and the second row of stitching just inside the ¼" seam line.
This is a place where pins are needed. Pull up the gathering stitches to fit and pin in place.
After the gathers are sewn into place, remove the first row of stitching, since it will be showing.
Encouraging Skirts to Drape
Often a skirt, cape or veil will just stick out stiffly, rather than falling into graceful folds. To solve this problem, put the garment on the doll. Tie a piece of ribbon or a strip of fabric around the part of the garment that needs fixing. Arrange the fabric folds in a pleasing way and steam it into place.