Dear Eunice Farmer: So many of the girls today are wearing the spaghetti-strap slip dresses over T-shirts. I think they look silly, but who can guess the taste of teens? They are much too expensive for a "fad" look. Can you help with a pattern suggestion? -- Joan P.
Dear Joan: I can give you a suggestion that my granddaughters love: Butterick 3493, sized 6-18. You can select the length you wish; most young girls prefer the long length.
You can also wear the dress as a slip with one of the sheer-sleeved dresses over it as a double dress. This is a great way to use the very popular sheers that are available in all types of fabrics, from polyesters to silks and rayons.
A bust dilemma
Dear Eunice Farmer: My daughter is so small in the bust that she is embarrassed when wearing one of the fitted slip dresses. We have tried all of the bra cups, but they are much too large and don't look natural. Please help. -- Diane D.
Dear Diane: Your daughter isn't alone in this problem; many young ladies need assistance. My only suggestion is to try using the smallest shoulder pads. They have a little shaping and might give her the look she desires.
How to add sleeves
Dear Eunice Farmer: It seems that all the patterns I really like are sleeveless. I'm not young enough for this look. Can I simply add sleeves from another pattern? -- Cynthia B.
Dear Cynthia: It's not quite as simple as it sounds. First, you must line up your dress pattern with the one that has sleeves, matching the center front and back. Second, cut the armhole from the pattern with the sleeves; then the sleeves should fit perfectly.
Sometimes, you can interchange a sleeve pattern from the same company with the same shoulder line with good results. Always be sure you don't add a standard set-in sleeve to a pattern with a drop shoulder; the armhole must have the right shape!