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Looking for the perfect coverup?

Question: So many of the new blouses and dresses are featuring sleeves that are longer than your arm and are embellished heavily. It is impossible to wear a conventional jacket over these. What is your solution?

Answer: A perfect solution: Use one of the hottest coverups. It is a wrap, a cape, a ruana, etc., made out of a single layer of wool (no lining). I have selected McCall's 8936 because it has several versions and lengths. Included are the hooded wrap, one with slits for your arms like a cape, and more. You may finish the cut edges with a bias strip of your fabric, or enclose all the edges with a fold-over braid. The best part of the wrap is that it gives a layered look, perfect to wear over sweaters, jackets, etc. It's a wonderful accessory for travel. I have at least six of them _ casual fabric for daytime and dressy fabric for evening.

Here's the story on silk

Question: Please clear up a mystery for me. When I make a garment out of silk, I usually wash it with great results. When I purchase a garment made of silk, the care label always says "Dry clean only." What's the difference?

Answer: When we sew, we always preshrink any interfacings and other embellishments so we can wash with confidence. Ready-to-wear doesn't follow the same rules. Therefore, it could be a disaster if you washed the garment. It's best to carefully read the care labels.

This week's winner

Each week, a reader wins a prize for a helpful sewing hint. This week's winner is Barbara Qureshi of St. Louis. She will receive a thumb pincushion. Her tip:

"I do quite a bit of embroidery on fine fabrics, and I often find pulled threads on my fabric. I solved the problem by changing to a new needle at the beginning, and often in the middle, of my project."

You, too, could win a thumb pincushion. Send your sewing tips to Eunice Farmer, Box 31729, St. Louis, MO 63131. If she selects your tidbit, you'll receive this prize.

Eunice Farmer is a nationally recognized authority on sewing.

King Features Syndicate

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