OK I could have/should have been doing other things no doubt, but I had this experiment in mind. I had a vintage Swedish cardigan that was too big. I had bought it for a friend. I took it back--not being an Indian giver-honest! It was too big for her.
So I took off the fasteners
turned it inside out
and took measurements for all the important parameters. Length, width, sleeve length, cuff. Using a washing machine to intentionally shrink things can be like using the tardis---decades, even centures away from where you want to be.
I stitiched the placket together--just rough basting with a wool that I hoped would give at the same rate as surrounding fabric--to avoid twisting or uneven fulling in the machine.
And then into my faithful washing machine with a bit of Dr. Bronner's Hemp soap for luck and/or to persuade the fibres to open up.
No doubt you've already sussed that it was a success or I would not be recording it here.
I tried it on right from the washer (good spin cycle means it was not soggy but definitely damp). Perfect fit. So then the dilemma--do I wear it until it dries on me (Are you old enough to remember water buffalo sandals and wearing them in the bath tub to get the right fit?)
Instead I opted for towels on my faithful dummy and silent partner, Diana. (Thanks Jackie G.)
Now when it's dry I'll decide about fasteners, whether or not to knit a baffle as on my Norway cardigan (to fill in that inevitable gap where the steaking of the original design left a gap between fasteners. Hmm. Just realised I should have put a 'this is a craft-geek post' alert at the beginning. Too late now.
And biggest decision of all--do I offer it again to my friend or keep it for myself? Ooh my conscience is pinging already.