Sunday, January 27, 2008

The Incredible Shrinking Dress

It was one of those rare finds, a dress that not only looked good, but was affordable. Well, it would look good once I took it in, since it was a few sizes too big. But I have a great imagination, and when I finally got the dress home and re-sewed the seams to take in the necessary inches, it fit me great. As a bonus, it felt good, too. The first day I wore it, I got at least five compliments. It definitely worth the time and trouble to take it in, because comfortable as well as cute is a rare combination.
We would have lived happily ever after, too, if I hadn't washed it.
I know, I know, it's my own fault for not reading the care label. But, see, the thing is, I 100 %, absolutely, positively, cannot stand clothing tags touching my skin. It doesn't matter if they're sewn in the neck, side, or waistline of clothing, if they're touching my skin, they're evil. So I always cut them off. Thus, I sealed the fate of the wonderful dress. It shrank.
When I discovered the laundry room disaster, I was next to desperate. I do have other clothes, it's true, but not all of them are cute and comfortable. So I carried this broom-handle skinny strip of fabric around the house, searching for some way of making it normal sized again. I tried a folding chair, I tried the back of the rocking chair, I tried pulling and stretching it with my hands, but it shriveled back to impossibly small as soon as I let go.
ARGH! If I'd only left it big before I washed it, it would probably have fit me just right once it was washed. But how's a girl to know?
I finally tugged it over the back of an upholstered chair. It didn't all fit on there, the shoulders weren't wide enough, but it was all I had and I left it overnight to dry.
The next day, voila! The skirt was wide enough again, wide enough for this woman to wear with a little bit of swish to spare! But wait... what's this? Two bumps right at hip height where the chair ended and the dress continued on. Great. Just where I don't need extra inches.
Next time I go to the fabric store, I'll just have to look for some fabric to match. I can cut some strips and sew them into the sides. After all, cute and comfortable don't come along every day.

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