Make your dress that is too short fit better with one of these two great sewing tutorials. Learn how to make a dress longer with lace or with fabric.
If you are like me you don’t long wearing dresses that are too short. I’m taller than average and have a really hard time finding dresses at a length that I like. I’ve learned how to make a dress longer so that I can wear any dress instead of only maxi dresses, and there’s two different techniques so you can do the same thing!
If your dress needs more alterations so that you’ll actually wear the dress, you can also: make a dress longer, add sleeves to a dress, add back darts to a dress, raise the neckline, and line a lace dress.
How to Make a Dress Longer with Lace
Find lace fabric that matches or coordinates the best. Focus on color, weight, and type of fabric. I chose a red embroidered lace that was almost the same color.
If your lace has a nice edge then you can leave it as-is. If your lace is embroidered and doesn’t have a nice edge then you need to carefully trim around the design for a beautiful edge.
Cut a rectangle of lace that is the length you want by the same width as the skirt/lining hem. If you want a gathered look then multiply the width by 1.5.
Sew the rectangle into a tube by sewing the short edge together. You can sew a French seam for the best look with lace.
My lace was sheer so I made the same tube out of nude colored lining fabric. I sewed a rolled hem on the bottom and serged the top of the tube.
Pin the lace tube and the lining tube to the lining or hem of the dress. The lace should be pinned to the right side of the lining or the dress so that it will be on the outside.
This is what is looks like after sewing. I sewed my new lace to the lining of the dress.
Adding the lace at the bottom made it stand out as looking different from the other lace. I added another layer of lace in between the top two layers of lace. If you don’t have a tiered dress you can add lace to the sleeves, you can add lace to the waist, you can add another layer under the layer you added. It’s best when adding fabric to a dress to put it in two or three places so it makes sense.
How to Make a Dress Longer with Fabric
If you dress doesn’t make sense to add lace to it then you can add fabric. Find fabric that matches or coordinates, has a similar weight, and is a similar type of fabric. I found a simple white stretch fabric that matched the lining of the white dress.
Cut it into a long rectangle. The width should be the measurement of the hem of the dress. The height should be double the height you need to make the dress long enough.
Sew the two short edges of the rectangle together to form a tube.
Fold the tube up longwise with wrong sides together. Match up the two raw edges. Divide the tube into four equal sections.
Divide the hem of the dress into four equal sections. Match up each section of the tube with each section of the dress. Pin them together and sew the tube onto the dress. Finish the raw edges.
I ended up sewing my tube to the lining since my dress had a high-low hem.
If you make something using this tutorial, I’d love to see! Please share it on social media with the hashtag #heatherhandmade and tag me!