A News Cafe Archive

I have been writing columns for A News Cafe since it’s inception in 2007. Some of the columns are about current fashion as shown on the runways from style.com and some are informational, like how to do an alteration. The first post is about altering lace wedding gowns…Enjoy!

Lace Wedding Dress Alterations
Tuesday, February 12, 2013
I mentioned in my last article that I have received questions about altering lace wedding gowns. With the 2013 wedding season quickly approaching, I wanted to start answering them so you have enough time to do the work. One question I received: what to do with the lace if you are taking in a dress? […]

Wedding Gown Alterations
Monday, December 24, 2012
One of the first articles I wrote for anewscafe.com was about “Do It Yourself” wedding dress alterations. I wrote it in 2008, and every once in a while, I go through the archives to remind myself what I have written so I don’t repeat myself. (Yes, I’m THAT age.) Anyway, I still get questions from […]

Tips for Last Minute Brides
Tuesday, December 04, 2012
Bridal season starts in January so I’m starting a series of articles on altering wedding gowns. I get calls all the time asking if I can do alterations on gowns for the next month or even the next weekend. “Last minute brides” are a problem with other alterationists I talk with, too, but we expect […]

Summer Fashion (or how to look cool and polished in 100+ degree weather)
Monday, July 09, 2012
I always chuckle when summer catalogs arrive in the mail from the East Coast. You know the ones: Jjill, LLBean, and Land’s End (just to name a few). They always show fun-loving young couples walking on the beach in long pants and sweaters or lounging on a sailboat with windbreakers. Don’t get me wrong — […]

Finding a Wedding Dress to Fit Your Budget
Friday, March 23, 2012
We are all pinching pennies these days. Maybe a wage earner has lost a job, or in the case of the younger generation, hasn’t been able to find a job yet. Increased costs for health care and gas and unexpected traumas can leave families strapped for cash, or worse. What do you do when you […]

January Closet Cleaning
Thursday, January 05, 2012
I don’t know about you, but I get into a real cleaning mode during January. Something about the new year, a fresh start, etc. Or maybe it starts with putting away all the Christmas decorations, cleaning up after company leaves, and putting away all the pots and pans and serving dishes that we only use […]

Holiday Dressing for Cocktail Hour or Casual Gathering
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Ready for holiday dressing? No, I don’t mean the kind that goes inside a turkey! The weather has changed here in Northern California (finally) and it’s time to start thinking about what to wear for the holiday season. Maybe you have a formal fundraiser dinner that you attend every year. Or perhaps you need a cocktail […]

How Fitting is Your Fit? Part Two: Pants Fit Continued
Thursday, November 03, 2011
In Part One of our fitting series, I covered probably more than you wanted to know about pant length. Length is the easiest alteration to contend with. What about the real fit of the pant ~ the waist, seat, and crotch? Have you ever had a problem with the length of the crotch? Again, I’ll […]

How Fitting is Your Fit? Part One: Pants Fit
Friday, October 21, 2011
Have you ever bought a new outfit and thought it looked great in the fitting room, only to get it home and find that it wasn’t quite right? Something was a little off. Was it the lighting? The color? Your mood? You know there is something wrong; you’re just not sure what it is. It […]

What’s Up for Fall?
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
The fall fashion trends from London and Milan are actually rather friendly for our North State weather and fashion sensibility. Even Yanks such as Michael Kors, Calvin Klein, and Vera Wang are showing oversized parkas and fake furs, 1960s-inspired clothing, and women’s tuxes. That means Target and Macy’s will be showing their versions as well, […]

Dressing in an Altered State, Part Two
Thursday, April 14, 2011
In Part One, we discussed altering pants for weight loss. I hope you were able to use the information to extend your pant wardrobe until you finish losing the weight you want. Simple shirts and blouses can be altered easily, too, for a small weight loss. Try on the shirt and have […]

Dressing in an Altered State, Part One
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
You finally got with the program. You’re watching what you eat and joined a gym. The scale is slowly going down until suddenly, you put on your favorite work outfit and it’s sagging. Or worse, your coworkers comment on the loose butt or sagging shoulders. Generally speaking, losing 10 to 15 pounds can result in dropping […]

What to Wear in Unpredictable Weather? Layers
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Spring and early summer weather is unpredictable so it’s hard to know what to wear. The mornings can be cool and windy and by afternoon, it may be hot and dry. In Northern California, when we look outside and see sun, we think it’s short sleeve and sandal weather. However, when we actually step outdoors, […]

Summer Weddings — What to Wear?
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
I know, I know, it’s only March. So why should you start thinking about your summer wardrobe? Have you gained or lost weight since last summer? Is your wardrobe too casual or does it contain lots of “work wear”? Or is it time for something new? Do you have the appropriate color for the bridal […]

How to Find a Perfect Prom Dress Without Breaking the Bank
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
It’s time to start thinking about what your daughter will wear to the prom, unless you are one of those who likes to wait until the last minute, get something from the clearance rack and try to make it work. Everyone is trying to save money these days, but waiting for tat  special gown to […]

Hemming Chiffon
Monday, May 18, 2009
My teenage daughter chose a full-length chiffon gown for her prom. She is only 5’1″ tall, so of course we need to hem it. HELP! What is the best way to go about hemming chiffon and other slippery fabrics? First the bad news: chiffon has got to be the most difficult fabric to work with. […]

Patterns of Frustration
Wednesday, April 01, 2009
Q: I have sewn since I was a girl, starting in 4-H and continuing in home economics in high school. I used to be able to take a pattern and with very little tweaking, make it fit me. Nowadays, patterns need so much tweaking that I get frustrated and my undone garment sits dejectedly in […]

How to Pick a Wedding Gown
Tuesday, March 03, 2009
I just got engaged and now I have to plan a wedding. I’d like to start with the dress but I’m not sure where to begin. I’ve looked at a few bridal magazines and some online sites. The models look so perfect. How do I decide what will look best on me? Carla J. Las […]

Honey, the Closet Shrank My Suit!
Saturday, November 22, 2008
I have a suit that I bought several years ago from a local men’s shop. I don’t wear suits on a daily basis because our work is pretty casual, but I wanted a suit to use for special occasions. I have a wedding coming up that I would like to attend, but the suit seems […]

How to hem distressed jeans
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Question: I just bought a brand new pair of jeans for my daughter that in the “olden days” I would have tossed into the trash long ago. They are raggedy, holey and faded, but I guess that’s the style. My question is: how can they be hemmed and still keep that raggedy edge? Answer: I […]

Vintage garments: How to alter and care for them
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Q:  My grandmother died recently and left me all sorts of beautiful clothes and furs. She was much heavier than I am and a couple of inches shorter. Would it be worth having some of my favorite pieces altered? First, I’m sorry to hear about your loss – but your grandmother was lucky to have […]

Sew and Sew: Bugs, blood and vinegar
Thursday, June 26, 2008
Summer is here. Please clean your winter silks and woolens and store them safely away from bugs. Bugs like dark, warm places and they love to chew on natural fibers, especially the ones with perspiration and food residue. Yes, I know dry cleaning is expensive these days. But when you consider how much it costs […]

DIY wedding-dress alterations
Thursday, May 08, 2008
It’s officially Wedding Season and I am flooded with questions about alterations for the wedding gown as well as dresses for the bridesmaids, mothers of the bride and groom, and even guests. I’ll try to answer one or two more of them and then we’ll move on to other topics. My daughter is getting […]

Barbara Stone Q&A Expert Dressmaker & Alterationist: Wedding Gowns
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
With wedding season approaching, I’d like to talk about a couple of subjects that always seem to come up this time of year: alterations for the wedding party and preservation of the bride’s gown. Sarah M. of Lancaster, PA, asked a common question: When should I get my gown altered? The answer is to make […]

Barbara Stone Q&A Dressmaker & Alterationist
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Q: Can moth holes in my husband’s wool jacket be repaired? Diana M., Redding Moths and other fiber-eating critters are a big problem in the north state, and they like the best fabrics. Cashmere seems to be their favorite. Holes in wool garments can be repaired, but how well depends on the kind of weave […]

Barbara Stone Q&A Expert Dressmaker & Alterationist
Monday, December 03, 2007
I was first struck by Barbara’s skill, wit, tenacity and talent many years ago when I interviewed her for a story about her then home-based custom clothing designs. I reconnected with Barbara about eight months ago when she designed and created a beautiful raw silk pants suit for me to wear to my son’s June […]