Dear Heloise:

How can I get the musty odor out of a needlepoint chair cover?

Olga Annas

Palm Springs, Fla.

First, don't do anything that will harm the needlepoint. If you can remove it without hurting the piece, that's probably what you should do. You can then tell if the musty odor is coming from the needlepoint or the chair itself. You might consider replacing the padding that is under the needlepoint.

For the needlepoint itself, you can try sprinkling baking soda on the BACK of it; let it sit for a while, then shake it to remove the soda. Hopefully, this will remove some of the odor.

Also, airing it outside might take out some of the musty smell.

When all else fails, take it to a very reputable dry cleaner. Check your yellow pages for those that deal with custom dry cleaning.

Dear Heloise:

Centering the top sheet on any size bed is easily done with an indelible pen. Place a dot in the center of the bottom hem, and do the same on the underside of the top hem so it will not show when folded down.

Sidney C. Peterman

Dover, N.H.

Dear Heloise:

When I'm cooking, I tuck a dish towel into the waistband of my trousers to serve as an apron.

It's very handy and easy to change or remove.

Ronald C. Henarie

San Antonio

My daddy, Mike Cruse, always did this when he helped with kitchen cleanup. As a child, I thought it was a man's apron.

Dear Heloise:

Dry cleaners sometime stuff the sleeves of ladies' suits with tissue paper to help keep the shape of the sleeve.

I instead use plastic bags collected from years of dry cleaning to stuff the sleeves. They are easier to work with than tissue paper, and you can hook an end over the hanger to keep it in place. This works well when one has a crowded closet and suit sleeves get creased.

Vivian Labadie

Costa Mesa, Calif.

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