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Use ribbon for sash on flower-girl dress

Dear Vicki: Help! I need a quick pattern to make flower-girl dresses for a 2-year-old and 5-year-old for a wedding this month. So sleeveless and no ruffles or collars; just easy, quick and cute. Thank you.

-- Cindy S.

Dear Cindy: I found an adorable Butterick pattern for you; number 5458 is just darling and is everything you asked for. Use ribbons for the sashes, and make the dresses out of pique so that they look summery and crisp, and they won't need a lining or anything to make them stand out.

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Dear Vicki: What is the difference between lining and underlining? Are either really important in a skirt or dress, or are they just for show? Thanks for the advice.

-- Mary K.

Dear Mary: Underlining is used as one with the fabric -- that is, it will be in the seams and darts, and you must carefully baste the fashion fabric and the underlining together before beginning to sew. Underlining can be batiste or organza or even regular lining fabric. Its purpose is to stabilize the fashion fabric, which may not be strong enough or heavy enough for the style you plan on using it for.

For example, if you love a lightweight challis and want to make a jacket, then you will need to underline it, or the jacket will look and act like a blouse. Underlining doesn't mean you won't be using a lining also.

Lining is constructed separately from the garment and is used to make a garment look neat on the inside and be easier to put on and take off. It also can eliminate the need for facings in the construction of sheath dresses and reduce wrinkling in skirts and slacks. Lining certainly adds to the appearance and durability of a finished garment.

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This week's reader's tip is from Miller Cook, D.V.M. He writes:

"I have repaired the arm cuffs of my snowsuit and sweat shirts with the legs of socks when the feet have worn out."

Vicki Farmer Ellis, P.O. Box 220463, St. Louis, MO 63122, or e-mail info@eunicefarmerfabrics.com.

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