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Bride's mother seeks flattering pattern

Question: I am going to be the mother of the bride early this fall and naturally want to look great. I am very overweight; can you suggest a pattern that would be flattering _ or at least hide a multitude of sins? _ Marge P.

Answer: I have several ideas that will help camouflage your figure flaws. First, choose a flattering color. Remember, the mothers do not necessarily have to wear the obvious pastels. For an early fall wedding, I suggest one of the darker jewel tones or deep blue-greens.

Second, choose a beautiful neckline to call attention to your face. Large, dramatic earrings work wonders. Be sure your fabric is soft and flowing, not stiff and structured.

I have selected Butterick 4784, sizes 14W to 30W. It features a loose-fitting tunic in two layers, soft, long sleeves and a short skirt. The skirt length is optional. If you decide to make it floor-length, be sure to add a deep slit for walking ease. It has an elastic waist, and best of all, it is designed with a bust dart that flatters the larger figure.

You can also add a pair of pants and wear this outfit for more casual events after the wedding. I hope you like my choice.

Great gifts for Mom

Mother's Day is just around the corner _ a perfect day to remember this special person with a gift she'll love every day of her life. I'm referring to a new sewing machine, serger or embroidery machine.

Visit her favorite fabric store and check all the models available. A knowledgeable person will tell you which make and model is best suited for the sewing she will do. Be sure the store offers unlimited lessons; a sewing machine is only as valuable as the knowledge you have to use it.

Your fabric store is a great place to find many new notion items that make sewing easier and more fun. And today's well-illustrated books are a great gift for her sewing library.

A gift certificate is always welcome. She can go overboard on something she has had her eye on but feels would be too extravagant. A sewing machine cabinet, new chair and a great iron are also items to consider. Surprise this special person with one of these thoughtful gifts.

Week's winning tip

The winner of the lighted seam ripper and needle threader for the sewing tip of the week is Patricia Allen of Depew, N.Y. Her tip:

"In a house with small children, here's my safety tip: When you have broken needles, store them in an empty film canister. I keep one in my embroidery basket and one near my machine."

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.