I don’t get my clothes dry-cleaned unless I absolutely have to. I consider myself pretty savvy when it comes to looking after my clothes to I’ll often just hand wash delicate items to avoid having to go to the dry-cleaner. An exception to this was with the “Get Saucy With Me Frock” and the “Slippery Slop Slip” that my husband bought for me from Alannah Hill when he proposed. (He actually proposed in the Alannah Hill Store! It was very romantic, but I’ll save that story for another day.) This dress and the slip to go with it are incredibly special to me and I wasn’t game enough to hand wash them in case I ruined them. So off they went to the dry-cleaner. When I picked them up everything seemed fine, but I didn’t really look them over properly when I picked them up (rookie mistake!) It was only a while later that I noticed this:
Somehow the little plastic rings and sliders on the straps had broken off. One of them was still attached, but the plastic was so brittle that it disintegrated when I touched it. I’m not sure what caused it, though I suspect maybe the chemicals the cleaner used may have weakened the plastic. All I know is that it was in perfect condition when I took it to be cleaned (except for the champagne spilled down the front, that is). I felt I’d left it too late to go back and complain to the dry-cleaner and I don’t see what they could have done about it anyway. The damage was done and there was no way I would have trusted them to fix it.
Now that I’ve regained my composure after my initial despair, I’m going to fix it myself. This is pretty easy to do so I thought I’d share it with you, lovely reader!
Firstly you need a set of 2 rings and sliders that are the correct width for your straps. You can buy them from good haberdashery stores or if you’ve got an old bra that you’re about to turf, you can cut the rings and sliders off of it, especially if they are metal. I’ve had to fix a few straps like this before and I always replace broken plastic rings and sliders with metal ones. They are so much more durable (and you don’t have to worry about finding a perfect colour match).
Next you need to unpick the loop on the back of the dress.
Put one of the rings on the loop of fabric then sew the loop back onto the dress in the same way as it was previously attached.
Unpick the small loop at the end of the strap.
Thread one of the sliders on to the strap. This is how it looks from the outside of the strap, i.e. the side that doesn’t sit against your skin.
Making sure the strap isn’t twisted, thread its end through the ring.
This next bit is probably the fiddliest part, but it’s not too tricky, really. Pull out some of the strap that’s going through the slider so you have a nice loop. This makes it easier to do the next bit.
Take the end of the strap and thread it through the bar across the back of the slider, from top to bottom. Pin the end of the strap back on itself (with the raw edge of the strap folded over). Sew where you’ve pinned.
Pull the strap to tighten the loop and the first strap is fixed!
Repeat this process for the other strap and you’ll be all finished and able to wear your dress again.
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