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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.

15 Comments

  1. Reply

    poppykettle

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

    • Reply

      Maddie Flanigan

      I am very good at correlations, aren’t I?

  2. Reply

    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. Reply

    Sewing Princess

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

  4. Reply

    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. Reply

    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. Reply

    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. Reply

    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. Reply

    Tessa Gonzales

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

    • Reply

      Maddie Flanigan

      Dignified, yes, and also confident!

  9. Reply

    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. Reply

    Miss Crayola Creepy

    A couple of years ago I added gray streaks to my hair! I love gray hair!

  11. Reply

    Latrice Smith

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

  12. Reply

    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…

    • Reply

      Maddie Flanigan

      Thanks Amy! I’m headed on over to check it out!

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