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Sew Simple: A winter coat for little granddaughter

Dear Vicki: I have a granddaughter! I know I will want to make little winter coats for her to wear to church and special occasions just like the ones I made for her mother. I foolishly did not save the patterns! Can you find me a very formal little coat pattern for a nice wool – a velvet collar would be nice, too. Thanks for your help. – Tommene G.

Dear Tommene: My mom made these for me, my sisters and my daughters, so I know just what you want. Vogue 9043 has lots of options. It can be a long formal coat, a jacket or the little church coat you are looking for. It can be a single- or double-breasted style. The back is very flared, and it has darling puffed sleeves that are so easy to put in. Classic patterns like this are not always available, so get it now for when you are ready.

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Here is a good one from my mother, with a bit of editing to make it relevant for today.

Dear Eunice: When I buy a pattern the same size as my blouses, it is often too tight across the shoulders and so on. What can I do to get a better fit? Thanks. – Geneva C.

Dear Geneva: You must remember that patterns are simply a basic guide for you to follow. You must measure each piece to be sure there is at least some ease. You must alter all patterns to fit your body; there are no patterns that will fit every person without alterations.

Carefully measure the pattern in all areas and compare with your body measurements or a similar garment that has a fit you like, then add the “ease” necessary.

If you are a beginner or using a very precious fabric, then I always suggest you make a muslin first. Then you can see what changes you must make before cutting. It is worth the extra time!

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This week’s reader’s tip is from Dorothy Varle, of Spring Brook:

“I press fusible Pellon to the wrong side of fabric scraps. With pinking shears I cut strips 2 inches wide and 7 inches long. Then I loop a piece of yarn through the fabric a ½ inch from the top and tie it into a tassel. I sometimes buy holiday fabric for this. These make nice bookmarks. I give them to friends and to my local library.”Vicki Farmer Ellis is the daughter of recognized authority on sewing Eunice Farmer.