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Dear Eunice Farmer: I'm getting married for the second time, and I want to wear a dressy cocktail suit. Please help me choose a pattern and fabric for a late-spring wedding. -- Karen P.

Dear Karen: I have selected Kwik-Sew pattern 2916, size XS to XL (all sizes included in pattern). This pattern features a short jacket with a tie closing and includes a simple chemise dress. (You might want to choose a different dress, or a skirt with a camisole -- there are many options.)

I personally love silk matka (a textured silk that comes in gorgeous colors) or a four-ply silk crepe. There are also many rayons and polyesters that can be used for this pattern; be sure the fabric has enough body for a jacket. If your fabric is very lightweight, you can apply a fusible interfacing to the entire jacket. Spring fabrics should be available now. You'll have more choices if you look early, so don't wait until the last minute.

The best feature of this pattern is that you can wear it over and over for other occasions simply by shortening the skirt.

The value of sketches

Dear Eunice Farmer: So many patterns use photographs in dark colors. It is very difficult to see what the design lines are, which is important when considering making a garment that will be flattering. Why don't all patterns use sketches, so that the design is clear? -- Martha C.

Dear Martha: Sketches are often unrealistic because they don't use body measurements; instead, they elongate the sketch to give a much more slender, taller body. I agree that when a pattern is photographed and the fabric is dark, it is impossible to determine what the design lines are. Fortunately, most patterns have a small sketch of the front and back featured on the back of the envelope, so you can see exactly how the pattern is constructed.

A Communion veil

Dear Eunice Farmer: My granddaughter has asked me to make her a Communion veil. I am a so-so sewer. Is there a pattern available for young girls? I know it's early, but I'll need as much time as possible. -- Barbara S.

Dear Barbara: I have received many requests for a veil pattern for young girls. You will find several variations in Butterick 5972. It features different lengths and several headpiece designs. Actually, they are very easy to make -- the veiling doesn't even need to be hemmed. The success is in the trim you use.

Sewing tip

A computer mouse pad is great for keeping the sewing-machine foot pedal from sliding around.

Write to Eunice Farmer, Box 31729, St. Louis, MO 63131.

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