White and grey hair. It’s not something I want to do – I like my red hair – but it’s something I came to admire it through dun, dun, dun… sewing!
My red taffeta dress was coming along nicely. I researched the fabric, bought the right supplies, and started sewing just as the textbooks and blogs told me to. My backstitches were perfect and my stitches were straight. Then I started pressing. Oh no! My seams would not lie flat! When I first pressed them open, they folded back and laid as flat as a pancake, but shortly after, they started to “close.” I pressed them one more time and the same thing happened. I stepped back, not daring to overwork the silk taffeta, and walked to my contemplating spot – my kitchen counter (contemplating spot? You know, that spot everyone has in their apartment or house where they ruminate – a bed, the living room, a toilet!). I flipped though a magazine and came across an article about women embracing their grey hair. Leave your hair its natural hue was the message. We all look the best as we are – unchanged – and we grow into what we’re supposed to be.
“Just leave the seams as they are, let them be,” is what I thought, “the stitches need to marinate just like chicken.” And that’s what I did. I hung my work in progress on my dress form and went to bed. The next morning, I gave the seam allowances one more light pressing, and five minutes after, they were still flat. Yes!
I don’t know if this trick works for you but this it does for me. I didn’t learn it from a textbook – I learned it by pressing too many seams. I press once, then let the seam be for 24 to 48 hours, and then press it one more time. Right after a seam is sewn, the fabric is fresh, unformed, and needs time to take shape. It’s just like hanging a circle skirt for 24-48 hours – there’s a duration of time that is needed to let things hang.