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.
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!
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).
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.
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…