Teens will love making, and wearing this simple design

Published1/19/2008 12:46 AM

Q. My daughter and three of her friends are preteens. They want to make something simple to wear during spring break, when we all will be going to a resort where it's warm. Can you help with a pattern they will love?

Marty F.


A. I have selected Kwik-Sew 2939, sized extra-small to extra-large. It's a two-piece that can be paired with other selections of fabrics and would be perfect for the kind of vacation you are referring to. They can actually make it for themselves with your help. It's lots of fun to make and even more fun to wear!

Q. I have a favorite pattern but am wondering how I can change a V neckline to one that is cut higher.

Barb B.

A. Place a piece of white paper under your pattern and join it with transparent tape. Mark the center front outline higher, curving it to the shoulder for a continuous line of stitching. Don't forget to change the facing also. I always suggest you try the facing on first. If that is perfect, you can go ahead with your stitching. If it needs to be adjusted, be sure to change the actual pattern as well. Once you have the neckline you love, keep your pattern for future garments.

Q. I recently retired and have gone back to my "first love" -- sewing! There are so many new techniques, new fabrics, etc. I am confused half of the time. What is a microfiber?

Connie G.

A. Microfiber is a very fine fiber that is often combined with cotton, rayon, acrylic, linen, wool, etc. It is a synthetic fiber; treat it with care. Don't press it with a hot iron; in fact, it usually isn't necessary to press it at all. It gives your fabric some body without bulk, and you will find it in most ready-to-wear fabrics combined with just about any other fiber.

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When you aren't sure of the fabric content, it's always best to pre-test it before making your garment.

Helpful sewing hints

Each week, a reader wins a prize for sending in a helpful sewing hint. This week's winner is Nancy Taylor of Tampa, Fla. She will receive a collection of 100 hand-sewing needles from England. From the finest of fabrics to the heaviest, you will have the right needle at hand! Her tip: "When sewing, keep a lint roller next to your sewing machine. It is there to catch loose threads and pins. Also keep a magnet nearby to catch loose pins."

© 2008, Cowles Syndicate Inc.

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