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Dear Eunice Farmer: My lifestyle doesn't require extremely dressy clothes, but I do need a simple yet dressy two-piece dress for special occasions. Help!

-- Sallie G.

Dear Sallie: I have selected Kwik-Sew 3131, sized x-small to x-large. It features a simple sleeveless dress with a darling short jacket edged with the very new flounce at the front as well as at the sleeves. Choose a soft drapable fabric. The dress can do double duty when worn with a sweater for a more casual look.

ewing over pins

Dear Eunice Farmer: My mother says it's all right to sew over pins that you have used to pin the seam lines together.

-- Anne M.

Dear Anne: Sewing over pins was never a good idea. I always advise removing the pins as you come to them. The new sewing machines are so much more finely constructed that they aren't the workhorses of the past. Also, pins can snag your fabric. The pins can also break if they are caught as you machine stitch your seams. They are far more accurate for holding the fabric in place than basting, but please remove them before you stitch over them.

Synthetic leathers

Dear Eunice Farmer: There are so many choices of synthetic leathers and suedes on the market, I am tempted to try working with them. What is most likely to look like the "real thing"?

-- Polly S.

Dear Polly: It's a good idea to visualize the skins of real animals: They are shaped in various widths and lengths. In synthetic suedes and leathers, they come in 45-inch to 60-inch widths.

For real skins, you will find yokes, pieced hems and pants with several seams to achieve the length. If you want your garment to look like the "real thing," you must add yokes, seams, etc., for the width and length. The seams will look like design details; they are usually top- stitched.

Hint of the week

Elaine Kloc of West Seneca writes: "I keep a bottle with a cap on top near my ironing board filled with water for my steam iron. It's handy, convenient and won't spill like a cup or glass when I pour it into my iron."

Send your sewing tips to Eunice Farmer, Box 31729, St. Louis, MO 63131.

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