Off-the-rack dresses are designed with a one-size-fits-most template. Because no two bodies are exactly the same, people are often different sizes on the top and the bottom, causing off-the-rack dresses to fit awkwardly. While this issue can be fixed with tailoring, paying for that also can get expensive. You can fix minor issues with ill-fitting dresses yourself with basic sewing supplies and a mirror.
Things You'll Need
- Full-length mirror
- Coordinating thread
- Sewing machine
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Wash and dry your dress according to the manufacturer’s directions, or dry clean if recommended. Iron if necessary to remove wrinkles.
Turn your dress inside out. Try it on in front of a mirror. Identify any areas where it is a bit big on the top.
Start at the top shoulder area of the dress. Pull the dress up and away from your body. Pin any excess fabric of the dress close to the body, toward your shoulders, until it fits your shoulders the way you want it to.
Move to the sleeves of your dress. Pull on the bottom seam, on the underside of the sleeve. Pin any excess fabric of the sleeve close to the arm until it fits they way you want it to.
Move to the side seams of your dress. Pull the side seams out and away from your body. Pin any excess fabric and pin it close to your body until if fits they way you want it to.
Remove the dress very carefully to avoid sticking yourself with the pins. Lay the dress on a flat surface and thread your sewing machine.
Sew through the areas you pinned at the shoulders, making a new seam through the pins. Move to the underside of the sleeve and sew through the area you pinned, making a new seam through the area you pinned. Move to the side seams and sew through the pinned area there, making new seams all the way through.
Remove the pins. Try your dress on to make sure it fits the way you want it to, then make any adjustments if necessary. Cut off all excess fabric from your seams, leaving only a quarter-inch below your new seams. Turn your dress inside out, and it is ready to wear.