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Shrinking Capris

Category Alterations
While you may be able to shrink capris that are too large, your best bet might be to take them in. This is a page about shrinking capris.


Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

November 8, 2012

My question is how to shrink my capris, they are a size 14 and I wear a size 12.

By Kamryn


November 13, 20120 found this helpful
Best Answer

Two things you can do-one is shrink them in the washer by using a hot wash (like the towels and bed linens cycle).


Put the pants on inside out and use safety pins to take them in where needed to achieve the fit you prefer. Then take the pants off and turn them right side out, try them on to be sure that's the right fit.

Next, baste where you've safety pin fitted the capri pants, remove the safety pins, and try them on again-still right? Great, now use a sewing machine to stitch over the basting.

(If not right, start from the beginning and try again. You may want to enlist the assistance of a friend to get the fit right)

If you don't have a sewing machine you can do the stitching by hand by taking much shorter stitches than the basting stitch you used to baste the alteration in with.

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

September 30, 2006

Any suggestions on the best way to shrink a pair of capri pants that are approximately one size too large. They are 45% cotton/55% linen. Will they shrink more evenly washed in hot water and then dried in dryer or if washed in cold water and dried on high heat in the dryer? Does anyone have experience with this? Does hot water or high heat cause more shrinkage? Since they are capris, I am not concerned about the possible change in length. I cannot alter them and they are not worth taking to someone who does alterations but I do like them. Thanks for any comments or suggestions.


Summergirl from VA


Shrinking Clothing

If the fabric was pre-shrunk before being made into the garment, as most better clothing is, there will be little or no shrinkage. Being in the laundry and dry-cleaning business for more than 30 years, I am talking from experience. Shrinkage is caused by three factors - moisture - heat - and friction. Your best chance at shrinking your capris would be to wash in hot water (moisture and heat) and dry in a HOT dryer (heat and friction). If they don't shrink, try wearing a belt with them. (06/23/2006)

By Paulette

Shrinking Clothing

The problem is, that even if they were not preshrunk, you have no way of knowing if they will shrink evenly. Make sure that you don't mind them being ruined before you start to experiment. I'd try just the hot water first, then if that's not enough try the hot water and hot dryer. If that's not enough, try boiling them for a while in a large pot, and so on.


Good luck. (06/27/2006)

By susan

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