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Sew Simple / by Vicki Farmer Ellis

Dear Vicki: I want to make a super neat jacket for my son. He only has sweats and a blazer for dressing up, but I want him to have an outerwear jacket for going out to dinner, etc. Please make a suggestion. Thanks. - Vicki H.

Dear Vicki: I found a jacket that both of my sons approve of. It is Simplicity 1947. You could choose a wool melton, denim or a wide wale corduroy, and he will wear it for years! The sizes range from 34-inch chest to 52, so most sizes are covered. Don't forget to interface the front edges with a fusible interfacing before installing the zipper. And the entire shoulder area, front and back, needs a firm interfacing (hair canvas would be best).


Dear Vicki: How do I decide whether to make machine-stitched or bound buttonholes in the coat I am making for this winter?
I am good at making bound buttonholes, but don't know when the style really calls for them. Thanks for your opinion. - Carol P.

Dear Carol: Here is the answer, from Eunice: It depends on the type of jacket and on the fabric. If the garment is a shirt jacket or if the pattern calls for many small buttons, you might make machine buttonholes.
If you are making a designer-type coat or jacket, I think beautifully executed bound buttonholes are best.
Think about the details - are the bound buttonholes needed because they are signatures of fine tailoring? If you have the ability, then flaunt it. Fabrics that easily ravel require fusible interfacing before making either type.


Each week I share a reader's tip and send him or her a set of 100 fine English hand-sewing needles from John James as a thank you.
This week's tip is from Barbara Qureshi, of Chesterfield, Mo.
She writes:
"I do quite a bit of embroidery on fine fabrics, and sometimes find pulled threads in my fabric. I solved the problem by changing to a new needle at the beginning and often in the middle of my projects."

Please send your tips and questions to Vicki Farmer Ellis, P.O. Box 220463, St. Louis, MO 63122, or email