Dear Eunice Farmer: I live in California and will be performing in a concert late this summer. Can you suggest a simple, sophisticated dress that isn't too bare to be acceptable? -- Kim W.
Dear Kim: Different parts of the country seem to have different dress codes. Here's a suggestion from my two teen granddaughters: Butterick 5584, sized 8-24. This new design has flattering lines for most figures.
I suggest linen, a linen-cotton combination, rayon or a blend of fibers. Be sure that the fabric isn't too stiff; you want a drapeable fabric for the lovely lines of the dress. You may select any length. Long seems to be preferred today.
What's best for a liner?
Dear Eunice Farmer: What is your favorite lining fabric for skirts, dresses and jackets? I get so confused at the fabric stores. -- Fran B.
Dear Fran: My favorite lining is China silk. I love the feel next to my skin. It's lightweight, but it does add a few dollars to the cost of your garment. My second favorite is Ambiance, a rayon bemberg. It has the same hand as the China silk and works perfectly for any garment. My least favorite is polyester lining. It is stiff, hot and, in my opinion, should only be used for polyester fabrics.
If you intend to wash your garment, pre-wash the lining. They all seem to shrink.
The right buttons
Dear Eunice Farmer: Whenever I make a jacket and find a wonderful button, they don't come in smaller sizes for the sleeves. What can I do? -- Holly R.
Dear Holly: Classic-type buttons, which you find on tailored blazers, usually always come in two or more sizes. Fashion buttons often aren't available in smaller sizes.
Many designer jackets use the same size buttons on the sleeves; but instead of three or four, there are only one or two because of the size. Take your cue from the designers: When choosing great-looking buttons, add fewer on the sleeve!