- "Gaaaah! I just threw the Sportsgirl 40's Floral Dress (100% viscose) in the washing machine and it came out all horribly shrunken, like a tight top, or a dress for a four year old! Why oh why did this happen?"
the solution is to relax. the clothing's fibers that is - a little bit of fabric softener, baby shampoo, or conditioner (all those things that usually clog the breathability of athletic apparel) added to water. give your poor, tragic garment a quick bath and a good stretch. with synthetics like rayon/viscose, it may be a little tougher to stretch than cotton and wool because the cloth fibers have a tendency to bunch up tightly - what i thought was weight gain was due partly to eating too much, but also my trendy h&m clothes shrinking in the humidity of hong kong. while it may be traumatic to see when first emerging from the wash, your favorite clothes can stretch out to the right size over time through natural wear...so relax and try to stretch the garment to a wearable size.
if you've learned your mistake too well and are afraid to re-immerse, stretching vis a vis a cooler iron works. and yes, using your body as an iron to stretch works too.
however, sometimes in a moment of madness, we think we can get away with washing silk...if you want to stretch gently, lay the garment down on a piece of paper with an outline of the proper size drawn upon it. then, you can use weights to slowly pull the garment to the desired dimensions.