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Why some garments can't be washed

Question: I have always had good luck washing and lightly pressing silk blouses. I bought a silk blouse and the directions for care say "dry clean only." Why can't I wash it? _ Emily B.

Answer: The care directions for not only silk, but cotton and rayon as well, say "dry clean only." This protects the manufacturer because the notions (such as interfacings) have not been preshrunk and washing could be disastrous. It's always best to follow the care instructions on ready-to-wear.

When we make a garment of silk, cotton or rayon, we can safely wash it when we have taken the proper precautions to preshrink every part of the garment.

Dressy teen outfit

Question: On our family vacation this summer, we will be spending some time in a nice resort. We don't want to get too involved with dressy clothes but want a little something special. What would you suggest for a 13-year-old who is hard to please? _ Susan W.

Answer: This was an easy question because I have a 13-year-old granddaughter who is almost impossible to please. It's easier to make something after you've gone shopping for ready-to-wear and get a clue to what she likes.

Butterick 4416, size 7-14, is a winner because so many versions can be made from this simple pattern. It is a simple slip dress, which teens love. It also features a culotte and a jumper that buttons down the front, and it can be made just about any length. Many young ladies prefer a very long or a very short length _ never in between!

Be sure to select a soft, drapeable fabric to flatter the flared skirt. It can be worn without a shirt or blouse.

Winner of the week

Winner of the lighted seam ripper and needle threader, for the sewing tip of the week, is Jo Ann Selander of Wheaton, Ill. Her tip:

"To remove the adhesive from fusible interfacing accidentally fused to the right side of your garment, take a piece of brown paper with no printing and place it over the adhesive. With a fairly hot iron and no steam, press over the adhesive for a short time. The adhesive will stick to the paper. Repeat several times, using clean paper each time. Short, frequent pressing works best."

You, too, could win a lighted seam ripper and needle threader. Send your sewing tips to Eunice Farmer, Box 31729, St. Louis, MO 63131. If she selects your tidbit for publication, you'll receive this sewing notion.

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.

1997 by Cowles Syndicate Inc.