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Dear Eunice Farmer: I'm a plus-size woman, but love to wear vests. I can't find a style that is flattering on my figure.

-- Neva P.

Dear Neva: I think Kwik-Sew 3257, sized 1x to 4x, will work perfectly. It features princess lines, which keeps it from looking so boxy. The V neckline gives you a longer look, and the tie front is flattering. When choosing your fabric, keep to colors that blend with your pants and skirts, and don't choose fabric that is stiff.

Replacing elastic

Dear Eunice Farmer: When elastic in pants and skirts stretches out after many wearings, is there an easy way to replace it?

-- Helen Z.
Dear Helen: Sorry, it depends on the construction that was used. If it was applied with several rows of machine stitching, you must rip the stitches and begin all over again. If it was applied in a casing, it will be much easier. Simply remove the old elastic through the casing. Often, the elastic used in ready-to-wear is not the same quality that we can find for replacement.

Stitching microfleece

Dear Eunice Farmer: I have had a very frustrating time working with microfleece. My sewing machine will not stitch evenly; it skips stitches. I have tried every type of needle, and finally placed a piece of tissue paper on top. What else can I do?

-- Gloria R.
Dear Gloria: Since the fleece fabrics are the easiest to work with, my first inclination would be to take your machine to your dealer and have it serviced. Something must be out of sync!

You should use a Microtex needle, size 80. If you can, reduce the pressure on your presser foot. And lastly, try using a walking foot. I hope the above suggestions work for you. The fleece fabrics can be used for so many types of clothing and crafts. You should have fun, not frustration, when working with it.

Hint of the week

Marianne of Glen Ellyn, Ill., writes: "Often when you use those blue temporary fabric markers, the color will reappear. To permanently remove them, mix 1/4 teaspoon baking soda with 1/4 cup water. Dab the blue mark with this mixture, and it will not reappear again."

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

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