Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Suit Rescue

Small, gray, wool and impeccably styled, it was a suit from the 80's approximately the size of my niece.  The price was too good to ignore. I bought it and later made the niece try it on. She was in raptures. Her main concern was the length of the sleeves. Mine was that the skirt was too tight around her middle. Both of us thought that there were only one or two stains, and that they would come out when I soaked the suit in cold water.

The first soaking produced grimy gray water. The second produced water the color of weak coffee.

I used the waistband of the skirt to lengthen the jacket sleeves, and noticed yellowish stains on one sleeve. I released the darts in the skirt front and added another inch to the waist and hips by letting out the side seams. Because Petersham ribbon (stretchable grosgrain) is so hard to find, I used a woven braid to face the waist, and added a button tab at the back, made from the last bit of the former waistband.

It was all done except for the final pressing with steam and pressing cloth. I do this in front of a window, There is an abundance of natural light, and this showed more yellowish stains. All the stains I noticed, I scrubbed with plain cold water. So far, all have come out.
Granted, the stains were faint and could only be noticed in strong light, but having seen them, I couldn't ignore them.

And this makes me wonder what in the world the cleaners of that suit did. If anyone had soaked the stained area in water before sending it through the dry cleaner, none of these stains would  have hung around.