Reaching Into the Past for Prom Outfit

Times Fashion Editor

Question: My daughter is interested in the Roaring '20s look, including headgear, for her junior-senior prom. I sew and could make both the dress and hat with the proper pattern, directions and recommended fabrics. Can you provide?--N.L.

Answer: The flapper look illustrated here would be ideal made up in chiffon, Charmeuse, organza or silk crepe de Chine. And you could make the headache band in the same fabric, decorated with seed pearls, rhinestones, sequins or a combination of all three. This is pattern 8721 from Past Patterns, 2017 Eastern, S.E., Grand Rapids, Mich. 49507. It's a duplicate of an original Roaring '20s dress and will fit bust sizes 34-36. The pattern is $7; add $1.75 for postage. This dress would look good in any color.

Q: My son, a student at Yale, bought several pairs of pants in New Haven., Conn., and did not have them hemmed. I can hem them when he comes home, but he would like to wear the pants before then. I know that he probably could use masking tape to hold up the hems temporarily, but is there a better solution? I do not want to have to pay alteration fees.--Z.B.

A: The smartest thing that your son could do would be to swap services with another Yalie--typing a term paper, for example, or another such exchange. If that doesn't seem practical, try sending him a product called Hem Tape. This double-sided tape can be applied in a second with no sewing and no ironing. Unlike masking tape it's transparent, so it will not show even on the wrong side. You can order the tape by writing to Imports by Clotilde, 237 S.W. 28th St., Fort Lauderdale, Fla. 33315. Five yards of 3/4-inch tape costs $1.99, and five yards of 1 1/2-inch tape costs $2.99. Add $1 for shipping and handling.

Q: I bought a dress that I plan to wear as my wedding dress, but later I would like to wear it as a cocktail dress at summer parties and the like. It is new but of the 1920s style, with a dropped waistline and cylindrical shape. I would like to add some beading to it after the wedding, but where can I purchase the beads? Also, if there are any "tricks" or special stitches I should know about, where do I get such information?--N.K.

A: You get the information at the same place you get the beads: Klein's Bead Box, 309 N. King's Road, Los Angeles 90048. This shop offers pearls ($2.25 to $10 a strand, with hundreds on each strand), Austrian crystals at 25 cents to $1.25 each and bugle beads at $3.50 to $5.50 a hank (one hank is 12 20-inch strands). The shop's Elaine Maloof will teach you how to apply the beads using three techniques, special needles and threads. She also does bead repair.

Q: I love my black wool pantsuit, but everything seems to stick to it--thread, dust, everything. I bought a can of Scotchgard, and that didn't help. It's not a cheap suit, but I hesitate to wear it because it attracts everything. Any suggestions?--M.H.

A: If it attracts men, perhaps you should patent the fabric. Otherwise, forget it. Fabrics such as flannels do pick up anything that gets near them, but that's just the nature of the fabric. And of course the lint shows more on dark shades such as black. Perhaps you're too fastidious. Simply brush yourself off every once in a while and relax. One other thought: Do you also suffer from static cling? Perhaps the static is attracting the threads, dust, etc. Try one of the anti-cling sprays and see if that helps.

Marylou Luther welcomes questions from readers. Mail to Clotheslines, Fashion85, The Times, Times Mirror Square, Los Angeles 90053.

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