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HIDING THE SPARE TIRE

Dear Eunice Farmer: I'm not overweight, but I have a little roll of fat above my waist. Is there a jacket style that will camouflage it? -- Joan P.

Dear Joan: Instead of overfitting your jackets, choose a straighter, less-fitted design. Another good look for you is the blouson blouse or jacket. Butterick 5632, sized 6-22, is a perfect design. As you can see, it has a slight blouson look above the waist.

Working with suede

Dear Eunice Farmer: I would like to edge a jacket with suede instead of a fold-over braid. Does it need to be cut on the bias as with woven fabrics? Please give me simple instructions. -- Sandra R.

Dear Sandra: Use Ultra-Light, the lighter-weight version of Ultra-Suede. It's much easier to apply than real suede skins. Because it has a cross-grain stretch, you may cut a strip about 1 1/2 inches wide (very inexpensive trim for an expensive fabric, as you can purchase it by the inch).

Do not stitch and turn your facing. Instead, with the facing pinned to the garment, machine-stitch through all layers 3/4 inch from the cut edge. Trim off your seam allowance. Place a strip of Ultra-Suede so that the right side of the suede touches the right side of the garment, then machine-stitch 3/8 inch from the cut edge.

Fold the Ultra-Suede strip to the wrong side of the garment. Machine-stitch in the "ditch" between the garment and the suede, as close to the suede as possible. This will catch in the suede on both sides. From the wrong side of the garment, cut the excess suede as close as possible to the machine stitching.

Tip of the week

To repair a tear in lace, place a piece of soft tissue underneath the tear. Machine-stitch in the direction of the threads or pattern. After you are done stitching, wash the lace. The tissue will dissolve, leaving the thread in place. Like magic, you can never see the tear or the mend!

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