Murphy’s Law states that “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong,” and this saying most certainly applies to little girls getting ready for big events. You can take the utmost care to store her flower girl dress in a sealed garment bag, help her zip it on very carefully, etc., but she may still find an opportunity to ensnare it on a branch and rip it. Or, it could be you who unwittingly spills your morning coffee on the dress.
No matter what kind of formal event your child has coming up, be it a wedding or pageant, fabric protection is a major key to success. In this post, we’ll share some of our clothing protection tips as well as nifty hacks and alteration ideas for when things DO go wrong… As they often will!
1. Steam and iron the dress minimally.
Excessive heat treatment can damage the fabric of your child’s dress, but it can be necessary sometimes. Steam your child’s dress prior to her event to get it to its tip-top shape, making sure to use the right heat setting for the type of fabric you’re steaming.
2. Apply hairspray and makeup before donning the dress.
The particles from beauty products can stain or damage her dress. For the sake of fabric protection, either apply them before donning the dress or cloak her in a plastic cape before applying them.
3. Help her with her shoes.
If your daughter is wearing a heavy or floor-length dress, you can help prevent falls and fabric tears by putting her shoes on for her rather than let her do it herself.
Rip and Tear Hacks
1. Use fabric glue or tape for tiny tears.
No time to sew that last-minute tear? Small tears (smaller than the nail of your pinky) can be fixed with fabric tape or fabric glue such as Liquid Stitch. Another practical use for fabric tape is for DIY dress alterations such as pinching tulle together.
2. Learn some mending techniques.
Even if all your fabric protection efforts have failed, you don’t have to worry as long as you have some sewing techniques in your back pocket! We highly recommend that you learn some mending techniques to use in case of emergency. The technique to use will depend on the fabric type and location of the tear.
3. Pop buttons back in with safety pins.
Broken buttons and zippers can put a damper on your child’s special day. To temporarily replace a detached button, thread a safety pin through the holes, poke the other end through the fabric, then bend it in the back to secure it.
1. Stock up on easy household stain removal supplies.
Fabric protection doesn’t have to be expensive. A lot of the tools that will help you get your fabric back to like-new condition can be found at home! If you don’t already have these multipurpose stain-fighters, we recommend stocking up on some:
- Hydrogen peroxide for grass, wine stains, blood stains, and plenty others.
- Table salt as the first-response solution for wine spills.
- Talcum powder or baby powder as a first-response solution for oil stains.
- Rubbing alcohol for ink stains.
- Shaving cream will help lift a makeup stain. Apply before laundering the garment.
- Dish detergent or Coca-Cola for grease stains.
2. Cover stains creatively.
When fabric protection fails - and it sometimes will - covering up a stain creatively is a great way to make something positive out of a seemingly negative situation. When you and your little girl put your creative hats on, and the end result will be unique and no less glamorous than the original dress. Things to try:
- Add a (flower) decal: You’ll notice that on many of the dresses in our shop, there are lots of decals on the bodice and skirt. On these dresses, you can cover up a stain inconspicuously by simply adding a similar decal over the stain.
- Decorate with sequins, beads or crystals: Arrange them in a pleasing pattern or shape to upgrade the dress. Take caution before throwing the garment in the wash after the alterations, though, as the fabric may need additional protection.
- Add a pocket: This one works best for simpler dresses such as those without tulle. If the stain is in a location where a pocket might be appropriate, try adding one on in a similar fabric to the dress. What child doesn’t want more pockets on her dress?
Browse Glamorous + Affordable Sara Dresses
Dressing children for formal occasions is difficult for many reasons: you want to make all of their dress-up dreams come true, but you also know that your child will quickly grow out of her dress so you can’t splurge as much as you may like to. What’s more, you have to put so much energy into fabric protection and maintenance thanks to her abundance of energy and curiosity.
While there’s no way to guarantee that a dress won’t run into some stains or tears, Sara Dresses can definitely help you find a dress that balances budget with child satisfaction. We carry designer dresses for every season and event, each one brimming with cuteness and character. There’s even a sale section filled with beautiful dresses at unbelievable prices. Look for the dress of her dreams today and make sure to use our fabric protection tips to keep the dress pristine for her special day!