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Start the year with projects new and old

As we begin the new year, I want to thank the many, many of you who have written letters with questions, tips and suggestions. Unfortunately, I cannot reply individually, but I try to answer letters that touch upon the most common interests.

This is your column. Please contribute to it by writing to me. I read every single letter. I hope the new year will give you renewed enthusiasm for sewing. So many creative ideas are available. Begin with a project that will add to your wardrobe and give it new life.

If you have unfinished projects (and who doesn't?), finish them first so that you can be ahead of the game and start sewing for spring and summer. It's always fun to be ready when the new season begins instead of always lagging behind. Happy sewing!

A classic spring suit

I would like to make a spring suit. I wear classic clothes but need an updated pattern. Thanks for all your help in the past.

I have found a perfect pattern for your spring suit. It features a classic notched collar, has the great feature of princess lines _ which makes fitting easier _ and has a new sleeve design. I also love the very new skirt with the flared detail at the hem.

I know you will be pleased with Vogue 2833, sizes 6-22, designed by Donna Karan. A wonderful tweedy look in the new spring colors would be a perfect fabric choice.

Ease for straight skirts

I never know how much ease to add or allow for when making a straight skirt. Is there a rule for this?

It actually depends on your body. Usually, 2 to 4 inches works. However, baste your side seams, sit down with the skirt on, and if it pulls across the hips, you must allow extra fabric for the size of your thighs. The right size also avoids wrinkles.

This week's winner

Each week, a reader wins a prize for sending in a helpful hint. This week's winner is Margaret Post of Franklin, N.J. She will receive a thumb pincushion. Her tip: "With the increasing use of tissues, pretty handkerchiefs have become almost obsolete. Sew two together on three sides, stuff as you would for any pillow, and voila _ you have a beautiful reversible boudoir pillow."

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

Eunice Farmer is a nationally recognized authority on sewing.

King Features Syndicate