I would have never known otherwise.
Best way to shrink a sweater? I've got a BR sweater that was given to me that's a little big, but still fits fine as is. I'm thinking about soaking it in hot water to shrink it, but I'm not sure if it's been pre-shrunk or if it will shrink uniformly. Arm length is fine, as is the hem length and it drapes nicely so it's not too obvious it's big. Only really noticeable part about it is the neck is rather large. Am I more likely to screw something up by trying to shrink it or would it work?
In my experience, sweaters usually tend to shrink in length and not in width. If the shoulders fit well, I would just take it to a tailor or knitwear specialist and see what they can do. I doubt they will be able to alter the neck size though.
Keep drying the garment and checking every minutes. You can try longer periods of drying or a higher heat if it looks like your garment is shrinking slowly. I noticed along the way that it was only shrinking in width, not much in length, hurray! Once your garment has shrunk to the size you are happy with, take it out. As you can see with the sweater I shrank, it now fits me. Thank you so much Emileigh for this wonderful, helpful post.
Is anyone else out there courageous enough to try out this tutorial? I know I am going to try it out as soon as I can! Brigid is the Copy Editor, and Advertising manager of the blog.
She also happens to be the middle sister of the trio, a role which she thoroughly enjoys. When she is not blogging, she fills her time by sewing her own wardrobe of vintage inspired and historical garments; studying fashion, history, or some random fact about the world; and cooking up some new or old dish in the kitchen. We enjoy your comments so much!
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I am amazed with your results! That sweater now looks fantastic on you. I would have never known otherwise. I am curious to try this. I have a few sweaters I wish were just a smidgen tighter to have more of a vintage look.
Thank you for the post! This is brilliant, Emileigh! What a beautiful fit. Thanks for this excellent tip! Let the garment air-dry if it shrank to an acceptable size. Fill a large cooking pot with 2 gallons of hot water and place it on the stove. Use enough hot water for the sweatshirt to move freely. Rinse the garment in warm water until it is wet throughout. Wring out the excess water and place the sweatshirt in the pot. Heat the water on the stove to boiling; the water must be hotter than degrees Fahrenheit to disrupt the polymer bonds in polyester and make them shrink.
Boil the sweatshirt for 15 to 20 minutes. Use tongs and heat-resistant rubber gloves to periodically check the progression of the sweatshirt's shrinkage. Carefully transfer the sweatshirt from the pot to a sink or tub and let it cool for 10 minutes. Use rubber gloves to wring out the excess water and then load it in the dryer with your preferred fabric softener. Dry the sweatshirt on the dryer's highest temperature setting.
Remove the sweatshirt from the dryer after 20 minutes and inspect it for shrinkage. Dry for an additional 20 minutes to shrink more or let it air-dry if the desired size has been achieved.
P.S.: On the other hand, wool and some other natural fibers do shrink, even after the fabric is fully relaxed. Although it is not exactly shrinking, but felting. Buy a cotton sweater that is not pre-shrunk or pre-washed. While any cotton garment will shrink at least a little as a result of this process, a garment that has not been previously shrunk will shrink a lot. To shrink a cotton sweater, first wash the sweater in the washing machine with hot water. After washing, put the sweater in the dryer on the highest heat setting. The combination of heat from both washing and drying causes the sweater to shrink very quickly.