Dear Vicki: My New Year’s resolution is to use some of my stash fabrics. I love them all, so help me with a pattern that will use up lots of beautiful remnants. I need clothes, so no home-decorating or quilting projects. – Pat K.

Dear Pat: I think Indygo Junction’s Mismatched Medley is perfect for you. All of the fabrics in your collection can be mixed up and given a new life, and this might stimulate your creativity. There are many different ways to make this jacket: You can use your serger with pretty threads to add to the effect, or make it using only your sewing machine – it will be fun! The fit is easy. The pattern number is IJ 604, and, as always, look for it at a local shop, but if you can’t find it, send us a check for $10.25 (Vicki Farmer Ellis, P.O. Box 220463, St. Louis, MO 63122), which includes postage. Or go online to to purchase it.


Dear Vicki: I got into my saved fabrics to finally use a piece, and it is wrinkled and creased. I tried washing and pressing it, and I feel like it is junk now. I can’t just cut it into little pieces, because I want to make a pair of pants.

I am sending you a little piece so maybe you can help. Thanks. – Margaret P.

Dear Margaret: There is a secret in white vinegar that helps to relax fibers. I put some in a bowl and wetted a cloth and dabbed it on the sample. I let it sit for a little and pressed it, and honestly, like magic, your sample is flat and wrinkle-free. This amazing stuff also takes out the crease left from old hems and often the crease where fabric has been folded on the bolt.


Each week I share a reader’s tip. This one is from Kara Sindly, of Webster Groves, Mo.

She writes: “I am teaching my 6-year-old to sew, and to help her sew straight a little better, I put a strip of painters tape on my machine. It comes off easily and doesn’t leave any sticky residue on my precious machine.”