The photo above is from November 2017 – I was pregnant and L.L. Bean was very kind to give me one of their sweaters to style in a larger size to accommodate my growing belly. I adore this sweater, and this past fall when I got it out it was way too big on me. I decided to shrink my sweater and I did so successfully!
Notice the before photos on the left – the sleeves are way too long, it’s baggy in the torso, and generally oversize but not in that cute/effortless way.
On the right – the shrunk version fits perfect in both sleeve length and torso, and I wear it all the time!
There’s many reasons to want to shrink a sweater. Maybe weight change, previously pregnant, the sweater never fit correctly, or you scored a great sweater second hand and you want to try to shrink it down a little bit. Whatever your reason, be VERY CAREFUL when doing so. This is just my experience shrinking a sweater but it can also go very badly so use caution and do not blame me if it doesn’t work out. 😀
So this sweater was 100% cotton, so I knew I’d be able to shrink it a little bit. I’m not sure how other blends do, so the internet may be some help on this topic.
I simply washed it on hot (then said a prayer), and then I put it in the dryer on high heat. I babysat the dryer as I did so, taking it out, putting it back in, repeating until I was happy with the size. It’s very important to be hands on in this process so you don’t shrink it too much. If you end up shrinking it too much there are products that can help reshape it back to normal and I also have a post on stretching out a sweater. Hopefully you’ll never get to that point!
BiancaJanuary 11, 2019 at 9:37 am (4 years ago)
Love this post! I tend to shrink men’s sweaters (men’s always have better cable knit and fair isles sweaters!) because they are always too baggy/sloppy!
thedressdecodedJanuary 14, 2019 at 6:24 pm (4 years ago)
I didn’t even think of that, that’s a great idea!