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Dear Vicki: I am going on a cruise in March, so I want to make something to wear to fancy dinners. I already have a fabric I have had for a couple of years. I just love it, but it is very, very sheer, almost not there. I am lost in finding a look and a pattern, so please find one for me. – Kara R.Dear Kara: You sent me a sample, so yes, I know how sheer your lovely fabri…

Flowers are for Valentine’s Day, but they’re also a sign that spring is ahead. This is just a sampling of some of the floral patterns coming soon or already available – just in case you want to get a jump start on your spring wardrobe.Double dipping: A sheath dress from Thalia Sodi combines two perennial favorites – floral and animal prints. Regularly priced $89.50…

Dear Vicki: I get so cold all winter. I wear turtlenecks and sweaters, and I want to have help picking a pattern for a very casual jacket that I can wear all day just to keep me warm. Thanks. – Violet H.Dear Violet: I just made a quilted vest myself using Butterick 5957. I took off the collar so that I can wear it with some of my shirts as well as any other sweater. Now …

Dear Vicki: A long time ago you wrote about a tiny shoulder bag for a grandmother living in a senior facility, just big enough for her room key. I didn’t have any interest at the time, but now I would love something like that for my cellphone, because I walk a lot and listen to books and podcasts, and I think it would be perfect. Can you repeat this pattern, please? – …

Dear Vicki: When I was a young child, my mother made a cloth book for me that helped me learn to tie my shoes and button my clothes. It also had snaps and zippers. Can you find something like that for me to make for my kids? Thanks. – Janey T.Dear Janey: I found something really new and different for you to make for your kids that I really love. It is from Indygo Junctio…

Winter is a time for making snow angels, drinking hot cocoa and unfortunately dealing with dry, acne-prone skin. Luckily, these five beauty products will help your skin looking refreshed and rejuvenated while battling the cold. Quench your skin's never ending thirst this winter with a little help from some friends: 1. Boscia Tsubaki Beauty Oil This light weight oil is per…

At an early age, I felt an undeniable urge to express myself. As a child I was painfully shy, so while speaking my thoughts was difficult, writing them down came quite naturally. In fact, it came so naturally that I found myself getting lost in each and every mark I made on paper. I left notebook after notebook brimming with carefully thought out comics, short stories …

Dear Readers: As promised last week, I am providing Meghan with another sewing project for her class:I have found Kwik Sew 3552, a nightshirt for you and your kids. This is a mother/daughter pattern, so you can sew right along with the class. This pattern is drafted to work for knits or soft woven fabric. It is part of the Kwik Sew learn-to-sew plan, and it is very easy. T…

Dear Vicki: Please suggest some small, clever sewing projects for my classes. They have made pillows and pull-on p.j. pants and now need to have more ideas. Thanks so much for your past suggestions. – Meghan P.Dear Meghan: For the next four weeks I will have some ideas for beginner sewer projects. This little bag is something your students might enjoy. They are so cute a…

Dear Vicki: I want to make a lot of simple tops this spring. Can you help me find a pattern? Here is my problem: I am very busty, and the pattern I have been using has huge darts that end up looking very pointy. I feel that the darts make my tops look homemade. How can I accommodate my body and still have a good look? Help. – Sonja S.Dear Sonja: I found Burda 6878 for yo…

Dear Vicki: Several months ago – in October, I think – you mentioned a jacket pattern that you really like. I wonder if you could say more about it and why you think it’s so good. Thanks. – Kelley G.Dear Kelley: The pattern you want is called A Little Somethin’ Jacket. I have made it over and over; it’s quick and can be made in an afternoon. In the summer you c…

Dear Vicki: I want to make bow ties for all of the men in my wedding. So please find me a pattern for real bow ties, not the fake ones that clip on. I love to sew and I am pretty good, so I would like these ties to be very sharp. Thanks. – Kristen M.Dear Kristen: McCall’s has a pattern with classic bow ties, cummerbunds, regular ties and pocket squares. Choose your fab…

Calling quilt-loversThe Buffalo History Museum has opened its new exhibit, “Quilts: Techniques and Styles.” The exhibit of more than 40 quilts runs through January 2017, with the quilt displays changing quarterly.Some highlights from the exhibit:• Visitors can explore the symbolism and meaning of the quilts via an interactive touchscreen display.• A Buffalo-made Vi…

Wine makes a popular present or hostess/host gift, but why stop there? You can dress up the bottle in a variety of styles, knowing that your selection is totally reusable. Pickings might be thin at this point in the holiday shopping season but, then again, you might catch a sale in your search for these or other whimsical wine bags (and maybe one or two to pack away for ne…