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Sew Simple by Vicki Farmer Ellis: An easy pattern for a reversible skirt

Dear Vicki: When traveling in Europe this summer I bought the neatest skirt. It is a wrap that is totally reversible. The band and skirt are four different fabrics, so you have a very new skirt every time you wear it. Help me find a pattern so I can make more of them. – Patty R.

Dear Patty: I found this pattern by Indygo Junction – 1114 Sidekick Wrap Skirt – and I think it will be exactly the skirt you are looking for. Just cut each piece out of two different fabrics and sew side seams, and then sew right sides together and turn right sides out. You will need a separating zipper to sew the yoke onto the skirt so that you can not only reverse the inside but also the yoke and skirt. And every time it will be a new look. If you can’t find the pattern at a local shop, then send me a check for $15.50 (Vicki Farmer Ellis, P.O. Box 220463, St. Louis, MO 63122), and I will send it to you. Or the pattern can be purchased online at www.indygojunction.com. This pattern can be made in three different lengths and has instructions for refashioning a pair of jeans into a skirt.

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Dear Vicki: I have so much trouble sewing my seams perfectly straight. Am I too picky, or is something wrong with my machine? My stitching seems to drift and wobble. Here is a picture so you can help me improve please. – Maggie K.

Dear Maggie: I have a feeling you have a sewing machine with a free arm and it’s not a big enough platform to support your sewing. Check with your local shop to buy a table that fits the free arm to give you a nice large flat surface, or have one made. If you already have a table, then possibly you are simply not holding your fabric and directing it with enough authority. Hold it in front and in back, and encourage smooth, even feeding. Practice with scraps before stitching your seams. Another thing to consider is the needle. Some sewers don’t change needles often enough So if you are going to be picky, then be picky about your needle. Buy the best and change it often.

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This week’s reader’s tip is from Linda Crow of St. Louis:

“I cut my sweat headbands in back and put Velcro on the ends. This way I can adjust the tightness and also I can use cute cotton prints that are not stretchy. They make great gifts, and you don’t need to have exact head measurements.”