Dear Vicki: I used to love jumpsuits, and I would like to make one again. But I am having trouble finding one. I would like to use it as a swimsuit cover-up, so it has to be really easy to get on and off. I know I could go to a store and look at pattern books, but I love to have you do it for me! – Pam P.

Dear Pam: I found a very versatile pattern for you: Simplicity 1355. Here you can see one view, but there are many. The one pictured is more for day wear, barbecues, etc. One view has a drawstring top, and that would work really well for your swimsuit cover-up. Go look up the pattern, because it has lots of very different looks.


Dear Vicki: I read with interest about the New York wrap pattern that Eunice traced off. I ordered one and whipped it up and wore it during this last crazy winter with pleasure. Give her my thanks! I am planning to make one for summer evenings and wonder how you would recommend me to finish the edges. I have a serger, but when I tried it, the result was pretty cheesy. Got any ideas? Thanks. – Mildred P.

Dear Mildred: What a neat idea. I have spent a couple of days looking over summer fabrics in the store with a new vision. For those of you who don’t remember, this is a ruana type of wrap made of wool that my mother purchased at a great price in New York and later copied for all of us to make. It is very simple, with an edging or binding all around it. So when using a summer type of fabric, you might want to edge it with fancy, decorative serger threads (be sure to wrap the edges with a water-soluble stabilizer before stitching).

If you are binding with a bias fabric strip, make it narrow and buy a special foot to “stitch in the ditch” to finish. Because the bias can’t ravel, you can just trim off the excess on the back side. Even georgettes will look great – so much more fun than sweaters. Eunice’s pattern tracing is $10. If you want one, just send me a check (Vicki Farmer Ellis, P.O. Box 220463, St. Louis, MO 63122).


This week reader’s tip is from Denise Bach, of Odenton, Md.

She writes:

“Helpful hint: Do you ever drop pins or needles and have a hard time picking them up? I tied a comfortable length of string to a magnet, and it easily picks up the pins.”