Dear Eunice Farmer: My granddaughter is having her First Communion this spring and will also be a junior bridesmaid in her aunt's wedding. Can you suggest a pattern that would be suitable for both occasions? -- Laura C.
Dear Laura: I have selected McCall's 2521, size 3-14. It has several variations and beautiful detail for the back, which is important when walking down the aisle. The length can vary from ballerina length to full length. Other options are sleeveless or short sleeves. The fabric choice is up to you, but a Communion dress is usually white. You can choose eyelet, embroidered organza, taffeta, Dupioni silk, etc. It is a beautiful pattern that is perfect for both occasions.
Cover the swimsuit
Dear Eunice Farmer: I am going on a cruise in a few weeks and want to make a skirt to wear over my swimsuit. You wrote about one last year that is easy to make, but unfortunately I didn't save your column. Help! -- Katie V.
Dear Katie: The skirt you are referring to is called a Pareo. It is a rectangular piece of fabric about 2 yards long and 45 inches wide. It simply wraps around you like a sarong. Tie the ends at the side or center front, and -- voila -- you have a stunning coverup.
Be sure to choose very lightweight fabric -- cotton, poly, etc. It must be drapeable and not bulky. There is no fitting required because of the wrap look. Simply finish the edges with a very narrow, rolled hem or a narrow, serged edge.
The double-breasted look
Dear Eunice Farmer: I just love your help in selecting patterns and the fabrics you recommend -- you help us more than you know!
I have been looking at double-breasted jackets for a change. What is your opinion about them? Are they flattering? -- Sherrie P.
Dear Sherrie: I think they are gorgeous if you are tall and very slender; otherwise, I would avoid them. First, they add "pounds" to your figure by giving it a much wider look. (The extra bulk of the double fronts is the culprit.) We are all so accustomed to wearing jackets unbuttoned; with a double-breasted jacket, it will always be buttoned. There are so many choices out there that I would probably avoid the double-breasted look for most of our figures.
I accidentally cut my good measuring tape into two pieces. Luckily, I had another good tape, but I find myself using the 24-inch tape more often than the longer length. If you have older tapes, try cutting them into smaller lengths, and you'll see how much easier it is to work with these short lengths.
Send your sewing tips to Eunice Farmer, Box 31729, St. Louis, MO 63131.