Sew Simple / By Vicki Farmer Ellis - The Buffalo News

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Sew Simple / By Vicki Farmer Ellis

Dear Vicki: I will be making my daughter’s wedding dress, and she has looked at many dresses – both patterns and ready-made – but keeps coming back to this picture.

She likes the bodice with the gathering under the bosom area, but without the middle ruching or pleating. Since the wedding will be on a beach, she doesn’t want a lot of fullness in the skirt. What she loves is the beading on the dress. Could you help me find a pattern? And do you have ideas on accomplishing the beading? – Gina J.

Dear Gina: I have searched and really like Vogue 2979 for your bodice. Since it has sleeves and you want sleeveless, just remember to cut the armholes up higher. Choose a different skirt if this is too full. The beading is not difficult, but it does take time. So find a craft or bead store and get started. You might have to search art design books to find the pattern to follow for the beading, but I suspect the beading on this dress might be following the design on an underlying piece of lace.


Dear Vicki: I feel frustrated – I just washed a piece of fabric because I was told that I should prewash it if I wanted to wash the garment after making it. But when I opened the washer, the fabric was a mess – all raveled and twisted around the agitator. I even had to get scissors to cut it off. The material is so twisted up that I don’t see how to use it. So why did I wash it, and what would you do? – Cindy C.

Dear Cindy: I agree you should treat the fabric in advance if you plan to wash it later. I think your problem would go away if you had serged or zig-zagged the cut edges before washing. Now you will have to let the fabric line-dry, then trim the edges, finish them and then wash or wet the fabric and dry it before sewing.


This week’s reader’s tip is from Anne Easson of New Orleans. She writes:

“If you are sewing a zipper into a garment made with flimsy, lightweight fabric, be sure to fuse a strip of interfacing to the zipper area before sewing it in. This gives weight to the seam and helps keep the seam from buckling.”


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