Blouse adapts to the occasion

By EUNICE FARMER Special to the Times
Published May 31, 2007

Q: Please suggest a new style pattern for a blouse. I want it to be simple but capable of being dressy or casual.

A: I have selected Vogue 2945 right, all sizes included. It features a beautiful, flattering neckline and has long or three-quarter-length sleeves. It would be lovely for something casual and can also be very dressy, depending on your choice of fabric.

Update for summer

Q: I never have time to make an entire new wardrobe each season. Is there anything I can do to update the wardrobe I already have?

A: It's easier than you think. Check your wardrobe for what can be worn this season, then add a few pieces to update it and to give you a new look.

Try a skirt for the summer. Use a soft fabric, make it longer and use a print. You can add a new camisole to be worn under jackets. Blouses have a completely new look: Instead of "tuck in, " the new ones are worn over your skirt or pants. Add some feminine details, such as a gathered cap on the sleeves. Lace for the summer is great.

This week's winner

Each week, a reader wins a prize for sending in a helpful sewing hint. This week's winner is Sue Porter of Albuquerque, N.M. She will receive a collection of 100 hand-sewing needles from England. Her tip:

"Pattern instructions sometimes direct the seamstress to 'slip stitch' opening edges together (for a sash), or 'slip stitch' pressed edge over seam (for collars or cuffs). Make this task easier and more accurate with a guide of machine-basting along the seam lines where they are to be joined."

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 get 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.