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Daisies, linen and box pleats for bicycling

August 5, 2018

I was so excited when I brought this 1960s daisy dress home from the vintage clothing store in August 2015, that I mentioned it in my blog right away.

vintage-dress-green-daisies RSR

For two summers I wore the dress as-is and loved its style.  But bicycling in it was a no-go, because the dress is narrow and straight with no stretch and no pleat for getting on and off the bike and for pedaling.  I loved the dress too much to change it.

Eventually my desire to wear it on my bike commute won out.  I formed a bold plan to add box pleats, and worked up the courage to make the first cut.  I measured and sliced the skirt where four pleats would go.  I was lucky to find some fabric for the pleats that was a near exact match of the creamy white color in the dress.

The result:  Ta-da!

vintage-dress-green-daisies pleats added RSR

The next morning as I was preparing to wear the modified dress for the first time, I took a mirror selfie, BHM (before hair and makeup).

Mirror selfie BHM RSR

On its first outing with the box pleats, I bicycled a total of 14 commute + errand miles.  The skirt was perfect, in roominess, length and drape.

After that first wearing, I decided the top of the pleats should be reinforced to prevent inevitable strain and fraying in the corners.  So I added little tabs.

pleat tabs RSR

This project was an unqualified success.  The person most surprised is me.  I feared I was going to ruin the lovely dress for good.  But no, I’ll be using the box pleat ‘hack’ again sometime when I need to convert another dress for bike-ability.  I want to post a set of instructions, but I feel like I need to try it again a time or two before telling others how to do it.  Stay tuned.


And their love that was more than the clothes that they wore,
Could be seen in the gleam of an eye…



From → Bicycling, Music, Sewing

  1. Nice job on the re-fashion!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s always scary to cut into something that is already perfect! You did a great job! It looks like it was born that way! 😁👍

    Liked by 1 person

  3. badfinger20 permalink

    You always have a song I’ve never heard…thanks

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Love it! What a great way to make this more wearable. I think the refashion looks much better, too.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you, each of you, for the compliments on this dress modification! I’m still so surprised (and relieved) it worked.


  6. Very well done!!
    Check out what im doing with vintage clothings…i hope to get you inspired!!


  7. That dress is adorable on you, and the pleats are such perfection that the original weeps for what she was missing. Currently jamming to Daisy Jane. Can’t believe I had forgotten about that song.


    • Aw, thanks! I seriously didn’t want to do a thing to the dress, but it is much easier to wear now, and I’m happy (and relieved) with the result. 🙂 If it weren’t for Youtube, that song would be a long forgotten one for me too.


  8. I like the dress better with the pleats, actually. They work perfectly and add interest to a garment that was basically just a sheath. Nice job.


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