Dear Marylou: Do broomstick skirts still exist? In case you don't know what I'm talking about, these skirts got their name because they were wound and tied to broomsticks after washing in order to "set" the pleats. They were especially popular in Arizona and the Southwest. H.I., Denver, Colo.
Dear H.I.: Sandy Starkman, who designed the mushroom-pleated skirt now sweeping into fashion, swears that the women in India who hand-pleated his designs didn't go near a broomstick, but the effect is much the same. You can get his crinkly cotton voile skirts in the 19-inch length illustrated here for about $50, or a 32-inch ankle length for about $75. The washing instructions recommend using cold water, wringing by hand, allowing to drip dry in the wrung position and then wringing again and storing in the wrung position.
The same blue and green Batik print used in the skirt is repeated in the cotton knit T-shirt (about $45) and the woven cotton poplin blazer (about $70), resulting in print triplets. The skirts and T-shirts come in small, medium and large. The blazer comes in petite as well. For retail outlets, write to Sandy Starkman, 1410 Broadway, Suite 801, New York, N.Y. 10018.
Dear Marylou: During a recent vacation in my husband's small, laundry-less hometown, I washed and ironed his best dress shirt. I also scorched the tips of the white collar. Is there a product that will remove scorch marks? J.J., Kansas City, Mo.
Dear J.J.: The people at Rit believe their Rust Remover will do the job. It's worth a try. But if the spots still show, you might want to cover the scorch marks with metal collar trips. You can give the shirt a western spin with sterling silver collar tips hand-made by the Navajo Indians. They attach to the collar points with wedge backs and are priced at $39 a pair in the current Sundance catalog, 780 West Layton Ave., Salt Lake City, Utah, 84104.
Dear Marylou: I've been making my own tights with great results, but I'm finding it more and more difficult to locate proper fabrics. Do you know a source for stretch velvet? I'm also looking for a dressy stretch lace not the type used in lingerie. C.A., Younkers, N.Y.
Dear C.A.: Two types of stretch velvet one with shorter pile and one with a longer, shinier pile are available at Jehlor Fantasy Fabrics, 730 Andover Park West, Seattle, Wash., 98188. Both fabrics are made of polyester, nylon and spandex and priced at $46 a yard in 60-inch widths. Samples are $2. Jehlor also stocks stretch laces and stretch cotton/Lycra in both solids and prints, and will send samples for $2. This source also has the pleated charmeuse designer Mary McFadden made famous under the name Marii pleating.
Dear Marylou: In a recent Clotheslines, E.O. of Mayfield Heights, Ohio, was having difficulty trying to find Wingback earrings. I am a goldsmith of 40 years, and some time ago I made earrings that fit comfortably into the ear without using posts or screwbacks. They would be perfect for E.O. If you will send me her address I will be happy to help her. A.J.B., Troy, Mich.
Dear A.J.B.: I only have E.O.'s initials, but I can hope she's reading this and will write directly to you if she's interested. That's Alexander J. Bongiorno, 2803 West Big Beaver, Somerset Mall, Troy, Mich., 48084-3201.
Marylou welcomes questions for use in this column, but regrets 1/2 she cannot answer mail personally. Send your questions to Clotheslines, The Evening Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, Md. 21278.