Absentmindedly I tossed this dress into the wash with a load of colors, on the cold gentle cycle. Out came a tiny dress for a shorter stick version of myself. Turns out it is one of those awful super-shrinky rayon dresses from a prior decade.
I didn’t take a picture of the shrunken dress, so you’ll have to imagine the dress in this picture not draping freely from the dress form, but instead fitting snugly with open gaps between the buttons down the front. The sleeves were skin-tight on my arms. It was bad.
My only options I thought, were to put it in the donation box, or repurpose it into another garment. Then I found this unshrinking method that uses hair conditioner. This blog gave super easy instructions: Almostherealthing.com I checked a couple of other sites to compare, and they were mostly consistent on the method:
In a tub or pan, combine warm water and hair conditioner, in a ratio of 1 quart of water to 1 tsp. conditioner. Soak the garment in the solution for about 10 minutes. Remove the garment and blot with a towel to remove dripping water, then stretch and reshape and dry. Repeat if necessary for more stretching.
I didn’t have hair conditioner on hand for the unshrinking project. Dollar Store to the rescue!
I was dubious. But…wow, it really worked! The unshrinking was easy and inexpensive. It’s truly regrettable that I didn’t take a ‘before’ picture of the dress in its shrunken state, for dramatic comparison purposes.
Here is the dress after unshrinking and drying. I’ve had the dress for years. For ‘vintage’ events, such as WWII or 1940s themed occasions, it is my go-to garment. It’s super comfortable and bike-able. It goes well with a straw sun hat. I’m glad to have it back.
I’m wearing the dress in this shadow picture, taken at the end of a vintage homes bicycle tour.
About that $1 bottle of conditioner…
Now that I have a nearly-full 32oz bottle of hair conditioner on hand. I need to figure out what to do with it. Here are some ideas. 20 Genius Uses for Hair Conditioner This article makes hair conditioner seem like WD-40 for the body. I’ll certainly be giving some of the suggestions a try.