Dear Vicki: Summer is coming, and I would like to make a swim diaper cover for my baby. She is a little fancy girl, so it has to be decorated but easy for her momma to make. Thanks for your inspiration; I like knowing I'm not a nut for wanting to sew some of my own things.
-- Sally J.
Dear Sally: Kwik Sew 102 is an adorable pattern for your little girl to toddle around in, and it has very cute appliques for little boys too. For your girl, you probably will want to make the ruffled version, and this is a good time to use your serger to edge the ruffles. But if you don't have a serger or don't feel confident using it, then this is a great time to use the rolled hemmer foot on your sewing machine. Practice with the foot before starting on the real thing. Another finish would be to press 1/4 inch and stitch close to the fold, trim as close to the stitch as possible, then press under 1/8 inch and stitch again on top of the first stitching, and you will form a tiny, very neat finish.
Dear Vicki: I am short and must take up the hems in everything I wear. I have often wondered how to neatly get rid of all the extra fullness when I turn up the hems on skirts and dresses. I have tried making little tucks, but they look lumpy and crude. You probably know a better way; please clue me in.
-- Barbara P.
Dear Barbara: One pretty slick way to ease in the extra is to trim off the excess hem, and as you zig-zag the edge, insert a length of dental floss or double sewing thread and stitch over this at the same time. Now you can gently draw on this extra thread and ease the excess until it lies smoothly against your skirt, not lumpy at all! Finally, go ahead and sew the hem in place.
This week's reader's tip is from Barre Hall in Ogdensburg:
"Two days before the wedding I needed to fit a size 16 lady into a size 14 dress. My solution: I got a yard of similar fabric, cut and hemmed a rectangle the length of the zipper to cover that area beneath the zipper. Then I made tiny fabric loops and stitched them on each side of the back and laced the dress together, then covered the top with a fabric bow. She looked lovely and she could breathe."