What i Heart (Or Admire): White (Or Grey) Hair

white hair

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.

So thanks grey haired ladies. Thanks for reminding me to just let things be.

tags: What I Heart Now Comments: 15

  1. poppykettle

    hehe. you come up with the most awesome of correlations. Love it.

  2. caro

    I’m certain I read that same article or at least one very similar in Vogue! It was really great- I’m slowing convincing my mother to embrace her grey.

  3. Sewing Princess

    I hope one day I’ll be able to embrace grey… For now I’ll follow your ironing advice 😉

  4. Daisy Donut

    I shall definitely try your pressing technique next time I come across this. I am embracing my grey, although I prefer to call it silver :-)

  5. Carlee McTavish

    I wish I could say that when a garment is taking shape that I have the willpower to be patient. I don’t haha!

  6. sallieforrer

    Great tip! I never thought that fabric needed time to “take shape” although if I think about it, it definitely makes sense. Also, love the grey haired ladies! I HOPE I go grey as I age!

  7. Ginger

    I love white hair! I always wanted to dye my hair white like Storm from X-Men, hahaha, but the chemicals you need to use to remove that much color from your hair are harsh! I hope I’ll be a silver foxette when I’m older!

  8. Tessa Gonzales

    I really, really want to have silver/grey hair when I get older. I just think it looks so dignified.

  9. Angela

    I will remember this the next time I am ironing seams. Leave it be like your grey hair. (Luckily I haven’t been blessed with too many yet.) Good advice.

  10. Latrice Smith

    Were you using a clapper while pressing your seams? Those things are so great.

  11. Amy

    Maddie, check out this feature on closet visit with Cathy Cooper – http://cargocollective.com/closetvisit/Cathy-Cooper – it remains one of my faves. I love her style and that HAIR. So glorious and natural. … I’ve never worked with taffeta but I had a similar thing with cashmere recently. I tried to let it be…


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