A first sewing project that looks first class

Published May 10, 2007

Q: I'm in my 20s, and some of my friends are beginning to make some of their own clothes. They have offered to help me. I am interested, but need assistance selecting a pattern. It needs to be easy to make. I could use a dress that could be worn daytime or evening.

A: I have selected Butterick 4976, sizes 8-22, for several reasons. First, it is very simple, with flattering lines, and it's very wearable for daytime or after 5. It's perfect for accessorizing, has three-quarter-length sleeves you can shorten them if you wish and a lovely skirt.

Select a soft fabric that will drape beautifully. You can always change the waist belt to a different color for more options. This is a young, fresh look you'll love.

Pockets minus pucker

Q: I have been making my own pants for years, and am happy with most of the results. The exception is that when I add pockets to the side seams, they always gape open, no matter what I do. Please help.

A: A simple solution is to fit your pants with the pockets basted closed. Now try on your pants, and I think you will find that you have fitted them too tight. Add additional width to the side seams before you apply the pockets, and I can guarantee they will remain nice and flat.

This week's winner

Each week, a reader wins a prize for sending in a helpful sewing hint. This week's winner is Ann Marie Carpenter of Spring Hill. She will receive a collection of 100 hand-sewing needles from England. Her tip:

"I have found many uses for clear plastic hanging shoe bags. They are great for collections of many items used in sewing and knitting. We can quickly identify the items in a limited amount of space!"

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

Eunice Farmer is a nationally recognized authority on sewing. She is an author, teacher, lecturer and fashion reporter, and she owns her own fabric boutique and sewing school in St. Louis.