Dear Vicki: I need some new clothes, and I need to tell you that I have let myself become huge. My size is a problem with most all patterns, mostly because I hate elastic waist pants and skirts. Please find me a pants pattern that has a real waistband and zipper so it looks like regular clothes, just bigger. I’d like the short pants that have been around for a while.– Maggie K.

Dear Maggie: Butterick pattern company hears you. They have a wonderful pattern maker, Connie Crawford, who has been drafting patterns, teaching for a lifetime and specializing in plus-size everything. Her pants pattern is Butterick 5222 and is, amazingly enough, fitted for ready-to-wear sizes. This may help you figure out which size to try first. So often when you go by your body measurements you still need to know what design ease has been built into the way it will work for you personally. By that I mean some of us want body skimming and some of us want to disguise our shape. The pattern ranges from very small size 3 to size 6X, so she covers almost all of us.


Dear Vicki: How can I fix moth holes in my beautiful cashmere sweaters? Heartbroken. – Kristi P.

Dear Kristie: It’s really maddening when you find the holes. If the problem is on a sleeve or near the hem, you could darn the holes with yarn or even threads. If it is on the front, consider embroidering a design right over the holes.

But maybe you really can’t save this one. Here are some ideas for preventing moths from feasting on your sweaters. If you see moths, there still might be time, because it’s the larvae that eat your clothing. So quickly go through the closet and put the clothes in the freezer or outside, if it is cold enough to freeze the eggs. Vacuum carefully. Moths hide behind baseboards, on the bottoms of shelves, etc. Cedar shavings, lavender, thyme and whole cloves are all time-honored repellents. Keeping clothing clean is essential. If you can wash your sweaters, put a bit of vinegar in the water. Pet beds are breeding grounds, so clean them carefully. Mothballs don’t help unless you seal the container so that the fumes accumulate and kill. It’s pretty hard to get rid of that odor later, and mothballs are made of toxic chemicals, so that’s a concern too.


Dear Readers: For those of you who ordered the free idea sheet from Clover for the ruffled apron, it is currently out of print. I will still send it to you, but we all have to be patient.