So you buy your daughter a beautiful new princess dress that you can't seem to get her out of even for bed, and the first time she wears it she spills food on the front. Now what? Or what happens, after lots of playtime and wear, her favorite dress has a flower or bow fall off or the hem rips and frays? If your girls are anything like mine there might be some tears. Happily, a lot of these issues are very fixable, and you can be the hero of the day.
Washing Your Costume: Most costumes are not made to be washed in a machine. In general costumes are created to be used once or twice a year if that. Because of that manufacturers try to make them inexpensively so people are willing to buy them even if they won't use them often. This means that fabrics are often used that can not be washed in a machine, and trims and flowers are hot glued on instead of being sewn.
First check the label on your dress to see what the washing instructions are. If it says hand wash you will normally need to wash it by hand with a little bit of soap in the sink. Sometimes, if the fabrics are sturdy and the sewing has been done well I will wash them in the machine. I always make sure first that the trims are all sewn on. I then turn the dress inside out to make sure the fragile outside fabrics and trims don't get caught on anything and torn. Then I wash them on a gentle cycle.
I typically try to avoid drying costumes in the dryer because heat can damage some of the fabrics and trims.
*We do carry costumes that are machine washable on our website. If this is important to you, look for dresses that say Machine Washable in the description.
De-Wrinkle/Ironing Your Costume: When you get a costume out of the bag for the first time it will likely be wrinkled. Heat can be a problem for some costume fabrics. Make sure to read the care label on your costume before you try to iron it or put it in the dryer.
In general, when I am de-wrinkling a costume I start out with the dryer. Put the costume in the dryer and start out with a time of 15-20 seconds. If it needs more time, which it often will, continue with short 20 second dryer times until the dress is looking fluffy and unwrinkled. Be very careful not to let the dress get too hot because the dryer heat can melt some of the fabrics and trims.
If you choose to use an iron start at a low heat setting and increase the heat if you need to. Most costumes are made with polyester so I start a little below that setting on my iron. I start ironing on a bottom layer of the dress or in the back somewhere so that if the iron hurts the fabric it will be in a place where the problem is less obvious. Use the lowest heat setting that will work, and use caution not to get the fabric too hot.
If you have a steamer they work great for de-wrinkleing costumes. Just be cautious around trims if they are hot glued on instead of being sewn.
*I regularly use a dryer and iron with many of my girls costumes and they work very well, but we can't guarantee that they will work on all of yours. I am sharing my favorite tips in hopes that it will help you out as you care for your princess costumes.
Common Repairs for your Costume: Some of the most common problems that people have with their costumes are trims/flowers falling off, rips in the seams, or rips in the hem. Here are our suggestions for fixing these problems.
We hope that give you some general help with your most common costume repairs, and if you have any questions, comments or suggestions you can email us or leave a comment below.
- Trims/Flowers - If you have a needle and thread and some very basic sewing skills, trims can be easily sewn back on firmly in place. If you do not have these and you have a hot glue gun, you can glue trims in place with hot glue. It will make the dress harder to wash and you will want to be careful not to damage your fabrics with the heat, but it is a solution that works.
- Ripped Seams - If you have a sewing machine these are a fairly easy fix. Just attach the right sides together. Start your seem about 1/2 inch before the ripped seam. Back stitch twice to make sure the stitches do not unravel. Then sew forward to about 1/2 inch after the end of the rip. Back stitch twice again at the end. If you do not have a sewing machine you can use a needle and thread to hand sew. Use knots at the beginning and the end of the seam to keep the stitches from unraveling. If you do not have either a sewing machine or needle and thread than you can hot glue the seam closed. Again this can make the dress harder to wash and is not the ideal solution.
- Sometimes costumes have a serged seam on the bottom instead of a hem. These tend to fray easier than a traditional hem. If you do not have a serger you can still fix the hem. Just use the zig zag setting on your sewing machine to set the stitch to wide. Then zig zag the hem of the dress, and it will work similarly to a serged hem.
*Hot glue guns can cause burns and should be used by adults with caution. I've burned myself so I know:)
Labels: DIY, princess costumes, princess toys, things to do with my princess