How to Make a Skirt Waist Smaller

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Things You'll Need

  • Straight pins

  • Sewing machine and thread

Altering a waist is a simple as sewing a seam.

Taking a skirt to a tailor to make the waist smaller can be an expensive proposition. However, some alterations are not difficult and can be done at home with a minimum amount of experience. Making a skirt waist smaller is a task that can be accomplished by even a novice seamstress.


Step 1

Determine the amount of waistline to alter by turning the garment inside out and putting it on.

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Step 2

Starting at the top of the waist, fasten the skirt down the side seams with straight pins to the desired fit; then, carefully take off the garment without disturbing the pins.

Step 3

Sew a straight stitch with your sewing machine on the inside of the straight pins to secure the seams on both sides of your garment. Reinforce the alteration by sewing a 1/4-inch width in reverse at the top and bottom of the new seam.


Leave the original seam in tact in case you need to increase the waistline in the future.


Skirts with a constructed waistband need to be disassembled before they can be altered. Therefore, they are better altered by an experience tailor.


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