Sew Simple / By Vicki Farmer Ellis - The Buffalo News

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Sew Simple / By Vicki Farmer Ellis

Dear Readers: This is in addition to last week’s column about the mother-of-the-groom outfit. Now, the dress underneath is probably going to be Vogue 1154 from designers Badgley Mischka, but I have an alternative (next week). This dress has a truly wonderful skirt; the arrangement of pleats and the narrow pegged hem make a fullness that will mask the fullness of your body underneath. If you attach this skirt onto any bodice, you will be amazed at how flattering it is. It hides tummy problems and saddlebag thighs – this is a real miracle. It is a bit short, so be sure you check before cutting. You really have to mark carefully and fold in all the pleats correctly.

I would never consider the bodice except that I already have made the lace jacket to wear over and cover my arms. Don’t be afraid to use boning in the bodice; it is really simple and makes such a difference in your appearance. With boning, you won’t be feeling like the bodice might slip. Spiral steel boning sounds archaic, but it is the most flexible and comfortable. You might have to order it online. Go to Dragontown Corset Supply at, and you can order exact lengths. I use the v-inch width with the tips attached already.


Dear Vicki: I am really enjoying sewing home projects, such as curtains and pillows. The question I have for you is about the corners of pillows. After the pillow has been stuffed, my nice square corners look poked out, skinny and homemade. What am I doing wrong? - Toni L.

Dear Toni: This is a common problem in sewing corners. On your next pillow, try to make the seam in two steps. First sew the seams straight off and begin again without pivoting. Now start 1 inch from the corner and stop three stitches from the corner, turn and sew diagonally across the corner, and then sew another 1 inch. You should now be able to trim and fold the remainder of the seam allowances into the corner to make it sharp and square. You will want to test this method first on every different fabric, because the size of the fibers and firmness of the fabric may work better with two, three or more diagonal stitches to turn the square.

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