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Dear Eunice Farmer: I've seen so many sheer coverups to wear over bare tops and would like to make one. Can you help with a pattern?

-- Kelli P.

Dear Kelli: I rarely repeat a pattern, but this is such a great look for summer that I will share it with you again. Kwik-Sew 3221, sized x-small to x-large, is the answer. It is loose-fitting; you can finish the edges with a narrow self-binding; and you can wear it over pants or skirts.

The pattern also features a version that is elasticized at the waist for a blouson effect. I know you will find it perfect for this year's fashion.

Boiled wool

Dear Eunice Farmer: I tried to copy "boiled wool," which is so expensive, and boiled my wool according to instructions I found in a magazine. It turned out beautifully, but now I don't know how to use this very heavy fabric.

-- Marcie W.
Dear Marcie: Boiled wool, which became so popular in Austria and Switzerland, is basically used as a single-layer fabric because of its density. You can use any pattern in this fashion; simply avoid facings and turning up hems, etc. You can finish the seams by binding them with a bias lining fabric; however, it won't ravel, so a finish is not necessary.

For the outer cut edges, most of these jackets are finished with a wool braid in a matching or contrasting color.

Twisted thread

Dear Eunice Farmer: I love to do hand sewing and hope you can help me with a long-standing problem. How in the world do I keep my thread from twisting and knotting?

-- Thelma D.
Dear Thelma: I can pass two ideas on to you that have always helped me: First, I always run my thread through beeswax. This coats the thread slightly and keeps it from twisting. Another problem we all have is using a thread that is too long. It's best to use a much shorter thread for hand sewing.

Hint of the week

Angelina Ditillo of Waterbury, Conn., writes: "I direct a flashlight right at the edge of my sewing-machine needle. This way, I always get the needle threaded on my first try."

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

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