Dear Vicki: I like to sew a bit and want to make something really young and interesting to wear to work; so nothing with cleavage. I work out and would like to show that I am trim and toned.

Please choose something sleeveless, because I have never even tried to put in sleeves, maybe later. Thanks. – Kara R.

Dear Kara: I am suggesting McCall’s 6243.

One view has a wacky zipper detail wrapping around the dress diagonally; the other view has a seaming detail.

So choose the one that suits your office situation, but either one should be simple to make and to fit your body.


Dear Vicki: I make lots of pants, and I have a pattern that fits me great, so I can just zip through construction in no time.

But when I press the crease in my pants, the crease seems to come up into the end of my darts, causing a pucker at the end and just looks strange.

Also, why do I need to use a press cloth? I can’t see what I am doing. Thanks for the advice. – Maxie G.

Dear Maxie: You are pressing the crease up too far; the crease should not interfere with the darts.

Stop pressing at crotch level. Yes, you need a press cloth, mostly to prevent shine from the hot metal burnishing the fibers of your fabric.

My favorite press cloth is a piece of silk organza. You can see through it and it lets steam pass through easily. Buy a third of a yard and cut it in half so you will have two press cloths – 13-inch-by-22-inch rectangles.

That is a nice, easy-to-use size, and you will have a spare for that inevitable time when you can’t find the first one.


Each week I share a reader’s tip and thank him or her with a set of 100 fine English hand-sewing needles.

This week’s tip is from Cynthia Cunningham, of Rockhill, Mo. She writes:

“My tip is that I chose all different interesting buttons out of my mother’s button box for a blouse, and every time I wear it, people talk about what a great designer look it is.”