Learn how to make a dress fit tighter with this sewing tutorial. This alteration is a great way to make a loose dress fitted.
I love finding a fantastic dress with it’s own unique details. I was given this white and tan striped linen dress from my grandma that was a little too big for me. It was also a loose styled that I didn’t want to wear.
I learned this alteration technique in a tailor shop, and it’s a technique that I use over and over again. It’s a little more involved than just sewing the sides, but it produces a really great result.
This tutorial is not a way to take in a dress multiple sizes. It’s a way to take in a dress a little bit so that is more fitted.
I don’t recommend trying to take an item of clothing in too much because it changes to style lines and placement of the seams. Somethings don’t look good when taken in too much.
I love the stripes of this beautiful fabric and all the button details. It’s a really fun dress that I wanted to make work for my style and lifestyle.
Do you love to sew? Try one of these fun sewing projects:
- Sewing and alterations you can do yourself
- Dress upcycle and refashion projects
- How to upcycle for kids
- How to alter shoulders on a blouse
- How to add back darts to a dress
- How to cinch a dress
How to Make a Dress Fit Tighter
1. Carefully cut off the sleeves. Mark the sides with safety pins to see how uch you want the dress taken in.
I wanted to keep the skirt flared so I only pinned under the arms and at the waist. Below the waist I was going to taper out to the dress hem. Mark where you want the sleeve seam to be on the shoulder.
2. Draw a line between the marks on the side seams. Make sure the line is smooth between all the marks so you might have to adjust the marks slightly. Sew on the lines to create new side seams and trim the seam allowance to 5/8 inch.
3. Finish the seams raw edges with a zigzag stitch or a serger and iron the seam open.
4. Cut a new armhole with the mark at the top of the shoulder and create a new curve. I cut on the black dots.
5. Check width of sleeve to the new armhole. I had to take in my sleeves about half the amount as my sides. Trim the seam allowance to 5/8 inch and finish the edges with a zigzag stitch or a serger. Iron the seams open.
6. Sew the sleeves into the new armhole. Finish the edges with a zigzag stitch or a serger.
7. Press the seam allowance towards the sleeve.
You finished! You now have a new dress!
If you make something using this sewing project, I’d love to see! Please share it on social media with the hashtag #heatherhandmade and tag me!