Question: I have a beautiful piece of patterned brocade to make a cocktail jacket. Because of the pattern, I don't want to use decorative buttons; they would detract from the design of the fabric. What can I use? _ Peggy B.
Answer: A new look in jackets is perfect for you; it has a concealed fly-front closing. The buttons are under the facing on a separate strip of fabric that is held in place with top stitching on the jacket. If you wish, you could use a single decorative button at the neckline.
Look for Kwik-Sew 2670, sizes XS to XL. The pattern comes in a short or tunic length and can be worn with pants or a skirt.
Darts that don't pucker
Question: I am just learning to sew and hate the way my darts look in the front and back of my skirts. There is a pucker at the end of the darts. _ Marion N.
Answer: Darts are an aid to a better fit, so the front darts must be very small, about 1/4-inch deep, and tapering to a long, narrow point that you can press flat. The darts in the back of skirts and pants are slightly longer, but they should be about the same width.
The puckers are caused from a dart that is too wide. It's always better to use two darts that are narrow instead of one deep dart.
Professional pocket flaps
Question: I hope you can help me with a tailoring problem. Ready-to-wear pocket flaps are always nice and flat, but mine are thick and lumpy-looking. What is the secret? _ Barb L.
Answer: Instead of using two layers of heavy fabric for the flaps, use a lining fabric for the facing of the flap. You can also cut it on the bias to eliminate even more bulk. When tailoring any part of a garment, it's important to remember to eliminate any excess bulk by grading your seams, pressing faced edges open before pressing together.
If lessons aren't available in your area, purchase some of the fine books on tailoring. You want a professional-looking garment when you are finished. Nothing is worse than a "loving hands of home" look.
Tip of the week
Winner of the lighted seam ripper and needle threader, for the sewing tip of the week, is Theresa Zickus of Elgin, Ill. Her tip:
"As a single parent with a full-time job, I devote much of my free time to quilting and sewing and am always looking for genuine timesaving techniques. I really love the new temporary adhesive sprays designed for quilt basting and appliques. They are great for small projects and also for emergency hem repairs."
Readers: You can also use this spray to hold scout badges and emblems in place before stitching.
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.
1999, Cowles Syndicate Inc.