Dear Eunice Farmer: Some of the most interesting dresses I have seen for spring are made with two or more contrasting fabrics. I don't have the courage to do this on my own. Can you suggest a pattern that will work? - Florence C.
Dear Florence: I have selected Butterick 6762 sized from 8 to 18. This is a Richard Warren design and would be wonderful made out of companion fabrics, adding a third color for accenting the details. There is a choice of skirts. In fact, you could make two skirts to go with the jacket-top and have an extended wardrobe for spring.Dear Eunice Farmer: I love your short, clear answers to our sewing problems. I simply can't get into those long, wordy books! My current problem is the sleeves of a jacket that are much too wide for me. How can I change them without ripping them out and starting again? - Dorris K.
Dear Doris: I am assuming you mean that they are too wide at the wrist. If this is the case, I have a simple solution that I have recommended with success many times. Simply fold the finished cuff over at the side, to form a fake vent. Baste in place and press firmly. You might also want to hand stitch this fold permanently in place from the inside.
For a finished look to your new sleeve, add one to three buttons, depending on the size. Voila, you will have a couture look!
Dear Eunice Farmer: Lately I have seen the word "Ramie" on blouses in the stores. It looks like linen, but what is this fabric and will we be getting it in fabric stores? - Jessie.
Dear Jessie: Ramie is a stem fiber like linen and is usually grown in China. It is the strongest and most durable of all vegetable fibers, with only half the weight of linen. Its incredible strength is due to the length of the fiber. Ramie is often mixed with other fibers because of its strength, luster and affinity for dyes. Up until now, it has been somewhat of a mystery fabric; however, you will be seeing more and more of this in the future. Eventually we will have it in fabric shops. Just remember the name and don't be afraid to work with it.