Little Shrunken Sweater Vest

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Happy Monday! Especially to those who are lucky enough to have the day off today! This sweater vest was picked up in the sales a few years ago, and I loved it, but it was too long and a little too roomy to look proportioned well over layers. Every time I wore it, it kept wishing it was just a little shorter and a little more fitted. It’s probably been about 2 years since I last reached for it, for this very reason.

Normally, if a knit is a little too big, I’ll carefully encourage shrinking with a little extra dryer action after washing. I hadn’t tried shrinking this particular knit because the weave is loose and I was afraid its texture would change too much. But while unpacking, I re-discovered it and figured it was worth the shot of attempting to shrink, since it was just sitting unworn anyway.

I washed it on gentle in a mesh garment wash bag, and then popped it in the dryer on medium heat for short spurts of time, checking on it often. When I felt it had enough, I let it air dry the rest of the time on a drying rack. Amazingly, it shrank up perfectly, the weave remained nice and soft, and I’ve been happy to finally put it use.

— Details —

Sweater Vest Theory (old) (similar & similar)
Shirt Banana Republic
Jeans Rag & Bone
Shoes Kate Spade (also like these)
HandbagSophie Hulme partially thanks to Shopbop
Watch Larsson & Jennings
BraceletBanana Republic (more colorsthis season’s version)
Brooch – ASOS (old) (similar)
Rings Catbird, vintage, & Vrai & Oro

— Altered —

Sweater Vest has been shrunk

11 Comments

  • I know this is a bit of an older post but your my goto on alteration advice. Anyway, there is a cashmere poncho that I’m interested in, but I know I’d have to shrink it to fit. Is shrinking cashmere a bad idea?

    • Hi Angela! My cashmere often shrinks just by washing it, even if I didn’t intend it to. I wash my cashmere in a mesh wash bag, on either the gentle or “hand wash” cycle of my washer, then allow it to air dry flat on a mesh drying rack. More often than not, it comes out a little smaller on the first wash than when it went in, so I’d say it’s an option for the poncho. I’d be hesitant to put it in a dryer in an attempt to shrink it just because it’s probably cut in a very fluid and intentioned way for the proper drape, and I’d be afraid it would shrink in the wrong directions.

      If the poncho only needs to be taken up a little bit, then it may do so just by washing. If it needs a pretty extensive change in size, then you may need to find a tailor who will work with knits (I’ve had tailors tell me they can/will, but I’ve never had a knit taken in, so I can’t vouch for how well this could work).

      Also…I’m assuming the poncho is a cashmere knit, like a sweater, and not a structured cashmere like a blazer or coat. If the poncho is constructed more like a coat, then a tailor is your best bet.

      I hope that helps! =)

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