Over the 4th of July holiday, I worked up the courage to to hack into one of my fave summer shifts to make it more bike-able. The dress is straight, and the fabric a sturdy woven cotton with no spandex. Getting on and off the bike and pedaling were all problematic.
I opened the side seam 9 inches from the hemline, and added a 9″ zipper and a stretch panel in coordinating fabric.
Success! I can unzip the pleat and have room for pedaling a bike, and then close the pleat up the rest of the day.
The steps I took in order:
- Open side seam to 9 inches from the hemline.
- Sew in 9″ zipper.
- With zipper open, pin triangle insert in place behind zipper, lining up fabric edges.
- Topstitch insert in place through all layers.
From the inside, the pleat looks like this closed.
(The pleat insert fabric is intentionally shorter than the rest of the hemline to keep the insert from peeking out from under the hem when the pleat is zipped shut. )
Ready for pedaling
Ready for the office.
I’ve biked in the dress a couple of times since installing the pleat, and it works just as I’d hoped. There are a few other dresses and skirts in my closet that probably should get the zipper-pleat treatment.
A breeze crosses the porch
Bicycle spokes spin ’round
Jacket’s on, I’m out the door
Tonight I’m gonna burn this town down
And the girls in their summer clothes
In the cool of the evening light
The girls in their summer clothes
Pass me by