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DRESSY, WITH SLEEVES

Dear Eunice Farmer: We are going on a cruise. I don't often wear dressy clothes but need something fairly dressy for the evening functions. It will be very cool in the evenings, and I need sleeves! -- Carolyn B.

Dear Carolyn: I have selected Butterick 6269 sized 8-24. The jacket is simple, with a very narrow mandarin-type neckline and a semi-fitted jacket in three lengths. I have selected the longer -- but not longest -- length. If your fabric is dressy, I would eliminate the pocket. It definitely has an Oriental flair, so a silky print or solid color would be perfect. It can be worn with pants or skirts, also in any length. You can actually plan your entire wardrobe around this jacket. I can also visualize this jacket in a georgette print over solid-colored shell and pants. It's a simple pattern, easy to make and has guaranteed great results!

A list of suggestions

Dear Sewing Friends: If you've done a lot of machine embroidery for the holidays, as I have done, I would like to share a few of my discoveries that will help me in the future. I hope these tips will help some of you also!

If you have trouble with thread breaking, it is probably due to the heavily embroidered pattern where the thread is stitching over other stitches many, many times. Be sure you have a new machine needle and replace it often!

When you are using a "sticky stabilizer," run your fingers up and down the machine needle often to prevent sticky buildup that can also cause your thread to break, or rub the needle with alcohol on a cotton ball.

If your machine needle slips out while machine stitching, again it is due to heavy embroidery and stress on the needle making so many stitches over the same spot. Make it a habit to tighten the needle every once in a while.

If you are stitching names on knits, it helps to place a clear stabilizer over your work as an additional topping. This prevents the stitches from slipping in the vertical knit and distorting them.

Yes, you can use regular sewing thread, but if you want beautiful results, use embroidery threads such as Madeira, Sulky, Mettler and Isacord.

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