Dear Readers:

Here is some great information from our friends at the International Fabricare Institute. This question and answer come from the publication Fabricare.

Question: "Some of my laundered shirts have puckers on the collar and cuffs. What is the reason?"

Answer: "Sometimes the collar and cuffs of shirts become distorted and bubbled after laundering. The fabric becomes rippled and puckered from one seam edge to another. Collars and cuffs usually have a fused interfacing to give them shape and body. In this case, the interfacing has shrunk more than the other fabric, making the face fabric larger than the interfacing. In some cases the collar and cuffs can be stretched and pressed flat, but this is a temporary restoration. The manufacturer must select an interfacing that has compatible shrinkage with the face fabric."

So, if your shirts have puckered collars or cuffs, it's not your fault!

Many thanks to our friends at IFI for their great information and for letting us share it with our readers.

Dear Heloise:

When I open my Christmas cards, I save all of the envelopes, making sure each has the address on it. Then, when Christmas is over, I address my Christmas-card envelopes for next year, using this year's envelopes to go by. I put these in a place where I can have them at my fingertips for next year. It then takes just a few minutes to make changes or add new ones to the list. I go shopping the day after Christmas and make sure that I buy Christmas cards when they are at half-price. It's a joy to get those cards out the first of December and know that the cards are ready to go.

Sue Shell Chrisco, via e-mail

Buying holiday cards on sale is the smart way to save. Can you believe that the holiday season is right around the corner?

Keep in mind that thieves are busier during the holidays. So don't leave packages in clear view in your vehicle. Also, don't place your purse or valuables in the trunk in a busy parking lot and then go back into the store. Thieves can open a trunk in a few seconds!

Send a money- or time-saving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Tex. 78279-5000, fax it to 210-HELOISE or e-mail it to Please include your city and state when faxing or using e-mail. I can't answer your letter personally but will use the best hints received in my column.(c)2002, King Features Syndicate