When it comes to dresses, absolutely anything can go wrong. It could be right from when you bought it, or on the D day. Whatever way it happens, it is essential to know just what to do. For one, this is good news. Compared to the fact that your bridesmaid dress could have come in a smaller size. This still puts you on the side of possible adjustments. Having a dress that is a size/sizes larger would mean there is still much room for alterations and adjustments. If it comes in too small, making alterations to the dress would take more time and effort. Also would most likely cost a lot more if you are getting a professional to handle it.

Now, your bridesmaid dress came in a few sizes too big. It could be at a particular part like the bust or hip; it could be generally oversize. Whatever the case may be, it is essential you know just how to fix it and what would be required of you. Here is a helpful guide to take you through altering your bridesmaid dress that came in too big. From minor adjustment to an overall alteration we have got just what you need.

Why Did My Bridesmaid Dress Come In Too Big?

There are three reasons why your bridesmaid dress could have come in too big, and two of these reasons have nothing to do with whoever made the dress.

Body Type and Fitting issues

Dresses can come a tad bit too big when they are bought right off the store. This means you saw a model dress, liked it, and bought it. While it might come in your size, the chances are that certain parts of the dress might be too big or not just fitting correctly. This is most common to the bust, hip, and waist area, sometimes even the neckline. Making alterations to dresses like this is not so complicated. They usually require you to take in the affected part by a few inches. In some cases, it could even be done with safety pins. Especially when there is no time to make alterations with a sewing machine.

Measurements done too early

Your bridesmaid dress could also come out too big if it has been long you took the measurements for the dress. Or probably you had lost some weight between the time you went for your last fitting and when the dress arrived. You might require minor adjustments most of the time since you might have lost just a few pounds. However, it is possible that you went through a complete change in body size. This would require significant alterations and would be best to be handled by an expert or professional.

tailor is taking measurements

Wrong Measurements

The last reason is if your tailor goes wrong with a measurement. While your frequent fitting visits should have cleared this out, it remains possible that something could have gone wrong somewhere, leaving a part of the dress or the entire dress bigger than you.

However, it turns out there are specific quick hand alterations and adjustments that you can personally make to these dresses. It will require you to take them to a professional to handle it for you in some cases. If you happen to have a little bit of tailoring knowledge or expertise, even some significant alteration can be done by yourself. Making alterations and adjustments to an oversize bridesmaid gown is not as hard as it seems when you know just what to do and how to do it. That is why we have prepared this helpful guide on altering a bridesmaid dress that is too big.

So, How to Alter a Bridesmaid Dress That Is Too Big?

Different parts make up the bridesmaid dress. From the bust to the hip, each part is altered differently. And it all starts with knowing how much difference is there between your size and the size of the gown.

Altering the Length

Although not so common, the chances are that your dress is bigger in size and length. When this happens, there are three ways to make due correction

Wear Higher Heels

This is by far the oldest trick in the book. Wearing higher heels takes you inches taller and just enough to have your bridesmaid dress at the perfect length. If this doesn’t work, you can try the other two methods.

Adjust The Hem Using Duct Tape

This might sound funny, but it works pretty well. You can use duct tape or a particular type of tape used to tailor clothes to adjust the hem length. You could also opt for hemming glue. This is much more effective and gives a clean job. All you have to do is measure your height, minus it from the dress’s overall size starting from the bottom. Fold in the extra inches and hold it with hemming glue or duct tape. One major setback to this method is that it does not work for lengths more extensive by many inches as it could leave a bulging look and affect the style or fitting.

Create a New Hemline

The third one is by far the most effective and opted for by tailoring experts and professionals. This is because it can make adjustments to clothes with extra long lengths without leaving the bulging feel. This method involves creating a new hemline by cutting off the extra inches of the old one. Certain clothing materials, especially with bridesmaid dresses that come with a specially designed hem, are the best method to alter the length. It helps attain the right size and retains the beautiful piece at the end of the dress.

While these three meths should get you through the alterations, the chances are that you will still require a professional’s help, especially for complex alterations like in method 3.

Adjusting the Bust

Bridesmaid and bridal dresses need to have a perfectly fitting bust. Having a dress that comes but too big around the bust ruins the entire beauty of the dress. Therefore, it is vital to get the bust right as it is one of the most critical parts of a bridesmaid’s dress. Sometimes, just a few here and there need to be held to bring out the perfect shape and style.

Most times, this can be done with the help of a safety pin. Hold in the dress in the front area but away from the front and back view. You can hold it around the armpits so that area stays covered. If the holding has to be done more to the center, it is advisable to hold it in down at the back than at the front and let your hair do the magic of keeping it hidden (if you are leaving your hair to flow, of course)

While most bust alteration issues can be handled with safety pins, sometimes, it could need a little bit of trimming and darting here and there to fit correctly. Be careful of the measurements, so you don’t cut it as much as it becomes too small. A tight bust is not comfortable in any way and is as well, not healthy, so it’s essential to pay proper attention to the adjustments being made.

Measure out the bust-length you need, minus it from the size you have, divide it by four and trim out from all four sides, leaving the joining allowance. Then join back, and you have your perfectly fitting bust.

There are, however, some cases where the bust is cut and sewn in a unique or custom style. This means it cannot be adjusted like the typical dress bust and needs more expertise. Even more, being that the bust is a delicate part of the dress and minor mistakes can ruin the dress completely. It is crucial to take it to a professional to help make the bust’s adjustments and alterations.

Altering the Waist

As simple as the waist may be, it is one part that brings out the beauty and shape of the dress and can also be easily altered in several ways.

Use Safety Pins or Needles and Thread.

Unlike the bust, the waist is not as complicated and can easily be held using safety pins. You could even mark out the excesses and sew them in with a needle and thread if you are not too comfortable with having a hand in your dress. This method is also highly effective for adjusting the hip as well.

Trim Out the Excesses and Join Them Back

As much as the waist is easy to alter, it is also an obvious area and can show bulging if too much excess is held. One way to fix this is to measure your current waist-length. Then measure the gown’s waist-length, minus it to get the extras, and divide it by four as done with the bust. Leaving joining allowance, remove the excess from the four different parts, and then join it back.

Like the bust, there are also unique or custom styles with the waist cut and measured in another way. This would require the help of a professional to make a proper alternation to the dress. This method can be used to alter the hip as well.

Use a Belt

Although this cannot work for every bridesmaid dress, it is one of the most economical and efficient solutions to a bigger waist in a dress. Get a belt that complements the dress and wrap it around, and you have got yourself the right fit!

Altering The Necklines

Necklines remain the most delicate part of the dress. They determine if you can wear it or not and how the dress itself comes out after being worn. As simple as a neckline can look, things could go wrong, especially if you’re not a professional. The most advisable thing to do when your bridesmaid dress comes out too big is to get it down to an expert tailor or a professional at alterations.


Making alterations to your bridesmaid dress should be much easier to get done with this here guide. While it covers how to make alterations to specific parts, it also helps make general adjustments as they make up the entire dress. Nonetheless, do well to contact a professional or expert tailor to help make alterations to your bride maid dresses fast and efficiently!

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