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Simple elegance never goes out of style

Question: My twin girls like to wear simple skirts to parties, most of which are informal. Have any ideas? _ Karen W.

Answer: Young ladies seem to love the long taffeta skirts that are prominent in stores now. They are very easy to make and to fit. I suggest Kwik-Sew 2847, sized XS to XL, for a flattering 8-gore skirt. If you want an elastic waistband in stead of the fitted band, allow an extra 2 inches at the waistline. You must also add width to the seams (instead of curving them in, make a straight line) to give you the extra "ease" you need for the elastic at the waist. Be sure you have enough fabric to slide over the hips.

These taffeta skirts can be worn with sweaters for a casual look, or you can wear a dressy camisole for a more formal occasion.

Dripping iron

Question: No matter how hard I try, I can't seem to prevent water from dripping out of my steam iron when I press. What is the secret? _ Susan T.

Answer: First, be sure you don't have the iron setting on "steam." If the iron is on a synthetic setting, it will drip. Your iron must be set on high heat for the water to turn into steam. When you turn your iron on, be sure you give it time to heat before beginning to press. Always check by testing the iron on a scrap of your fabric before you begin, because some fabrics can't take high heat.

This week's winner

Each week, a reader wins a McCall's pattern of his or her choice for sending in a helpful sewing hint. This week's winner is Virginia Tulley of Briar Hill, N.Y.:

"I use my kitchen table to "tie off' and pin a quilt around the edges. I have no room for a quilt frame. When the quilt falls over the sides of the table, it is assured to have the right tension to be smooth. Less back strain, too!"

You, too, could win a current McCall's pattern of your choice. Send your sewing tips to Eunice Farmer, Box 31729, St. Louis, MO 63131. If she selects your tidbit for publication, you'll receive this prize.

Eunice Farmer is a nationally recognized authority on sewing.

King Features Syndicate

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