My robe is more wrinkled than I am
June 25, 2012 12:53 PM   Subscribe

I just finished sewing a kimono-style bathrobe out of 100% woven cotton fabric. When it came out of the dryer, the belt, bottom hem, and front band were wrinkled enough that I had to iron them. Ironing a bathrobe is not what I signed up for! Short of taking the robe apart to put interfacing in to prevent wrinkles, is there anything I can do? In case it matters, I have a HE front-loading washer and the matching dryer; the robe was washed in warm water and dried on normal heat, then removed immediately. The fabric was washed once before being cut, and I was scrupulous about laying the pieces out on the grain.
posted by DrGail to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Let it dry outside of the dryer...?
posted by batmonkey at 12:58 PM on June 25, 2012

If the thread is 100% cotton, the thread might have shrunk in the washing. This is normal and sometimes using a blended thread works best. I suggest line drying and extend the hem with your fingers so you stretch the thread as well. In the future you can also adjust the tightness of the thread when sewing to give it some room to shrink. Happy sewing!
posted by i_wear_boots at 1:26 PM on June 25, 2012

Well, provided the ironing unpuckered it enough, maybe add a sturdy trim (like cotton/poly velveteen ribbon? warning: think about colorfastness ) on the surface instead of sewing facings. Might add enough heft that a hard shake and tweak right when the dryer cycle is done would be enough to relax the wrinkles out.

Or, yeah, hang dry, but I could see not wanting your robe to have a crispy crunchy finish.
posted by Rube R. Nekker at 2:04 PM on June 25, 2012

Interfacing won't prevent wrinkling in this garment. I suggest you starch the wrinkled areas and iron them into submission (use LOTS of spray starch). Then, wash it on your delicate or handwash setting, on warm, without other clothing. Hang it to dry after you tumble it a little to remove some of the water. Then, if wrinkles still appear, repeat. Heavy starch on cotton will have the effect of training the fibers, but you have to avoid squashing it in the wash. I have cotton and linen caftans that I dry clean to avoid these problems, even though the fabric is washable. You have to distinguish between a fiber that is washable and the effects of washing the garment on the structure of the garment.
posted by Jenna Brown at 2:33 PM on June 25, 2012 [1 favorite]

Sometimes this technique works for me when a hem keeps wrinkling: Sew one or a few rows of stitching parallel to the hem, along the bottom. It weighs down the fabric a bit. Bonus is, it usually just looks like a design choice.
posted by annsunny at 4:19 PM on June 25, 2012

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