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SQUEEZED BY THE CLOSING OF SMALL FABRIC SHOPS

Dear Eunice Farmer: We had several lovely fabric shops in my area that carried beautiful and unusual fabrics. Now, they are out of business, and only the chain stores remain. They offer a limited selection of fabrics and don't offer help with my sewing problems.
-- Joanne S.
Dear Joanne: This is a problem across the country. Independent fabric stores were in business because they had a great love for beautiful fabrics and were totally dedicated to their customers. They usually offered sewing classes and were very knowledgeable about sewing techniques. You could always count on help to create professional results.

It's up to all of you, my readers, to go to your independent fabric store today, buy something and support them. If you do, they won't go out of business. But you must help them. They will willingly carry the latest sewing notions, interfacings and all the things that make sewing fun and worthwhile.

And, while I'm on my soap box, I'll tell you about what's happening in the pattern business. There are a group of fledgling pattern companies that are struggling to bring you more innovative, unusual and contemporary designs. Today's pattern is the Japonesque Top by the Sewing Workshop, sizes 8-18. Yes, I've made several of these. I've even used two right fronts and created a great-looking, unlined jacket.

In need of a fit

Dear Eunice Farmer: I am very short-waisted, but I have hips. Can you give me a pattern number that does not require a lot of adjustments?
-- Anita R.
Dear Anita: Most patterns show a line at the bodice that you either shorten or lengthen. Please remember that everyone has to make some adjustments. Patterns are fairly standard in their measurement, we aren't! This is one of the joys of sewing -- making clothes that fit us individually!

Often the pattern you select will answer most of your problems because of the design. In other words, don't wear tuck-in blouses -- it's hard to disguise a short waist. Instead, choose an overblouse type shirt or jacket that is slightly fitted, and it will magically give you the illusion of a longer waistline.

Sewing tip

I use my hanging thread rack for keeping spools of thread. If the dowels are too short for larger spools, simply cut some ordinary plastic drinking straws about 1 inch longer than the height of the thread cone and slip one over each dowel. It works perfectly.

Send your sewing tips to Eunice Farmer, Box 31729, St. Louis, Mo. 63131.

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