1. Archive

Hey, you'll love this barn jacket

Question: My high school girls love what they call a "barn jacket." Can you recommend a pattern for this kind of jacket? I'd like to make some for fall. _ Julie B.

Answer: I have selected Kwik-Sew 2719, sizes XS to XL. This pattern has very classic lines with an interesting seam and pocket detail. It can be worn with skirts, jeans, pants, etc. Depending on where you live, you may make it unlined in wool, corduroy or a blend of fibers. If you can't find this Kwik-Sew pattern, send $10, which includes postage and handling, to Eunice Farmer, P.O. Box 31729, St. Louis, MO 63131. (I always recommend you support your local fabric store for all your sewing needs. The only exception would be in the case of unavailability.)

Chalk it up to experience

Question: The chalk I use for marking darts, pleats, etc., on my fabric often leaves greasy marks after my garment is pressed. This doesn't happen all the time, but frequently enough to cause concern. _ Marilyn P.

Answer: Apparently you have more than one marking chalk in your sewing basket. Looks like you have used WAX CHALK by mistake. Wax chalk should be used to mark only wool (the marks come out when pressed). These marks will usually disappear with professional dry cleaning.

To be on the safe side, use clay chalk only for your markings. Never use colored clay chalk on the right side of any fabric.

Don't get too adventurous

Question: Why is there always a seam at the center back of a jacket? If the jacket is cut with a straight seam, can't the seam be eliminated? _ June W.

Answer: Many different opinions are raised about this seam issue. Many think the center back is not only a stabilizing feature, but gives more stability to the garment. You may eliminate the seam if you are using a print that could be distorted with the seam.

Many jackets are shaped slightly, giving a closer fit (always found on tailored, classic menswear). If the seam is curved, you must use it as the garment was meant to fit. Rules are meant to be broken occasionally, but I suggest following the pattern's design.

Stretch & Sew patterns

Question: Many years ago I was inspired to sew because of Stretch & Sew patterns and instructions for knits. I loved it, but I went back to work and gave up sewing. Now I would like to start again but find there are no Stretch & Sew stores near where I live. Where can I buy those wonderful patterns? _ Sandy L.

Answer: Stretch & Sew patterns are available in many fabric stores. Call the company at (800) 547-7717 to receive a free catalog of patterns, or browse the catalog online at The surge of interest in knits and simple garments makes this is a good time for everyone to return to sewing.

Your garments will look professional with a serger, a wonderful machine for knits, finishing seams and many other features.

Tip of the week

Winner of the lighted seam ripper and needle threader for this week's sewing tip is Regina Savako of Beverly Hills. Her tip:

"Use plastic wrap on your sewing machine table to prevent slippery material from sliding off while sewing at the 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.

1999, Cowles Syndicate Inc.