I acquired someone else’s half-finished skirt project out of a bag of scraps and put in the remaining touches, and it looked very good – apart from a crease down one side where it had been scrumpled up in the bag.

So when I was steaming the creases out of some other clothes I took the opportunity to run the steamer down one side of the skirt. To my horror, instead of smoothing out, it got worse: that area of fabric appears to have stretched under the steam (presumably shrunk; but stretched is what it looks like) and instead of draping in a smooth line the side and front hem of the skirt are now lumpy, with a bulge sticking out of one side where the crease was. (To add insult to injury, the steam only hit one side of the crease, so it actually stands out more than before!)

The fabric seems to be some kind of heavy knit, presumably artificial fibre from the way it reacted. Is there any way of rescuing this, either by soaking it and hoping its own weight will flatten it out, or by undoing the hem and seams on that side and letting the cloth drop to its new size before sewing it up again? or by some other means? Will it simply even itself out with washing?

The print is sufficiently ‘busy’ that the defect is not immediately noticeable and the skirt is still werable, but it isn’t nearly so nice as it was – and on the first day of wearing, too.

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