Trying to transition from summer to fall is always a challenge. Not because of the change of textures, the need for layers, or difference in color palette but because I am never ready to see the foliage wilt and the temperature drop. Fall is beautiful in a special way all its own but it is a precursor to the cold, and even more frustrating for me, the dry air and static.
I find what often draws me into this transition and brings me the joys of fall are the new colors. Often deeply saturated and rich, I cannot help but get interested. Then, my attention diverted, surprise, its cooler and its fall.
I love the saturated electric cobalt and emerald hues this season. They topped my “must have” list. So much so that I hastily bought these Steve Madden pumps an entire size too large. Thank you Dr Scholl’s massaging gel insoles (and your ability to stick to one another for stacking) and heel grippers. A little ingenuity and the electric cobalt suede is cozy and in place.
With the back-to-school season I also found myself recalling the favorite days of new school supplies and new classes. I thought of all the protractors, and rulers and geometry class. Which then reminded me I have been eyeing the geometric trend for a while and it’s about time I bought a few pieces. (Ok, all of this nostalgia happened in about twenty-seconds while shopping online, but it did occur.) I picked up this Maggie London dress and thought, “What a perfect streamlined and work appropriate look!” Thinking how striking the black and white would look with my new pop of saturated colorful pumps I was excited to dive into the newly emerging crisp air.
The outfit was a hit at the office. I got immediate compliments from my few female coworkers, and I was productive and direct in my tasks, as I felt confident walking through the halls.... That is, until, I realized the seam that ran below the back zipper, dividing the back of the dress in two halves was quickly coming undone. Unfortunately this realization came around noon when I noticed the cool draft of the new season on my rear, and upon examination in the restroom could see aforementioned rear through a two inch split. When exactly this occurred was a bit of concern as I had spent my morning sauntering around confidently.
After some searching, I was able to borrow a sewing kit. I took the dress off in the restroom and repaired the hole. When putting it back on I let out a frustrated and exasperated scream as a different five-inch spot of the seam came undone. I quickly explained to the other women in the restroom that I was ok despite my scream, and repeated the process of stitching my dress together again. Luckily the sewing kit had just enough white thread to secure the length of the dress. Crisis averted. However, my confidence was diminished as I spent the rest of the day hiding in my cubical attempting not to make any sudden or stretching motions.
This brings up a great lesson in sewing and wardrobe prep. ALWAYS CHECK THE SEAMS! Vintage and new this is often the first place a look unravels. In this case the designer (by flaw or oversight) used a straight single seam stitched on a neoprene like stretch material. The fabric had much give however the seam did not, and without reinforcement snapped leaving me ass-out at the office.
Not one to give up I am in the process of reinforcing all the seams in the dress. There are several options for fabric with stretch that I will mention. Take a look at a jersey seam in something you own. You will notice there is a stitch that appears to form triangles and criss crosses over itself. This is important to make sure that the edges do not unravel. This is also an option for seaming to ensure that the fabric does not stretch beyond the hold of a single piece of thread. Another option is to sew a separate fabric that does not stretch, or has equal elasticity to the thread, along the inside of the fabric at the seam to keep the stretch fabric from pulling the thread to its breaking point. This later technique was used along the length of the zipper in the back of the dress but not continued along the remaining bottom portion of the dress. I suspect this was left out in an attempt to keep the seam invisible, however, a more appropriate approach would have been to use a single back panel of fabric and not continue the seam the length of the dress, or to use a reinforcing stitch. In any case I would rather have a slightly visible seam than a very visible rear.
Hello fall. May your static be minor, and your cool breezes be appropriately placed.