The first time we went to Ireland was in 2005. On our first day we ended up making an unscheduled stop in the village of Lahinch, owing to our having accidentally picked up a hitchhiker.* While in Lahinch, we watched completely insane surfers braving the frigid Christmastime ocean, hit a nice little bookstore, had a tasty lunch, and visited a clothing boutique where Matt spent a startling sum of money on an outfit for me.
Most of the clothes I have shrunk out of in the long, exhaustive process of weight loss have gone to the thrift store because alterations are expensive to have done and nerve-wracking to do. (For me, at least.) So far it’s been cheaper and easier to replace clothes via the thrift store. But this top and the skirt that goes with it have significantly more sentimental value than your average clearance-rack spring frock.
An advantage to trying to downsize this shirt is the fact that it is a simple, flat knit tee without any complicating darts or other shaping. So I crossed my fingers and re-read Kathleen Frances’s excellent tutorial on resizing sweaters over at Grosgrain Fabulous.
I followed her directions, putting the shirt on inside out and pinning as close to my body as I wanted it to fit. I used safety pins so that I wouldn’t end up with any new piercings in the process of getting the shirt off, but they were fiddly and difficult and I ended up cussing just as much as if I had been poked.
While I was at it I also shortened the sleeves quite a bit. Back in 2005 I liked my sleeves to hit my knuckles. These days I am most at home in a 3/4 sleeve.
Holy crap — I didn’t ruin my beloved €60 shirt! Success!
* Something not covered in our guidebooks was this tidbit: when someone in Ireland, walking along the side of the road, points down at the centerline (or where a centerline would be if this were the US and they believed in wasting money on such things when anyone with a driver’s license ought to have the brains to stay on his own side of the bloody road) it does not mean that they want to cross the road — it means that they want a ride. We stopped to let a fellow cross and were pretty startled when the guy opened the back door of our rental, shoved our luggage aside, and made himself at home. He was a drunken geologist on holiday and he wanted us to take him to Lahinch (which was the very next town on the highway) so that he could “have a lie down at me brother’s place for a bit”.