Bridesmaid gown is adapted with ease

By EUNICE FARMER, Special to The Times
Published February 1, 2007

Q: My daughter and her fiance have decided to get married this summer. Her attendants want simple gowns that are relatively inexpensive and want me to make them. I know all girls decide to go on a diet before such a big event. How can I alter the gowns slightly at the last minute? Also, can the bridesmaids' gowns be the same design as the bride's?

A: Kwik-Sew 3401, sizes X-small to X-large, is a perfect selection for several reasons. Yes, the same pattern is perfect for the bridesmaids, but without the train. The bride's gown can be embellished with lace or jeweled trim. The simple design is elegant and flatters most figures. The side seams can be taken in at the last minute for alterations. If you can't find Kwik-Sew patterns in your area, you may order them by calling direct, toll-free 1-888-594-5739.

Washing instructions

Q: I bought two silk blouses for the fall, and both of them say "dry clean only." I have washed silk before successfully. Why can't I wash ready-made silks?

A: When you make your own clothes, you have prewashed all notions and linings. When you purchase a garment, they are usually not prewashed, and it could end in disaster. When you purchase clothes, it's always best to follow the manufacturer's instructions.

This week's winner

Each week, a reader wins a prize for sending in a helpful sewing hint. This week's winner is Virginia Paolino of Naugatuck, Conn. She will receive a collection of 100 hand-sewing needles from England. Her tip:

"One of the most frequently used tools in my sewing supplies is a pair of long, needle-nose eyebrow tweezers. I keep one with my hand sewing to pick threads off without damaging the fabric. I also have one next to my sewing machine to help pull the thread through when threading the machine needle. You'll be surprised how often you will use it!"

You, too, could win a collection of hand-sewing needles. Send your sewing tips to Eunice Farmer, Box 31729, St. Louis, MO 63131, or e-mail info@eunicefarmerfabrics.com If she selects your tidbit for publication, you'll receive this prize.

Eunice Farmer is a nationally recognized authority on sewing.