You can have anything you want in life if you dress for it.”- says Edith Head, and there is no other statement that we believe more. Dresses are a staple piece in your wardrobe and are made to emphasize your elegance during any occasion. No matter the style of the dress, it flatters your look and conceals any imperfections. But what happens when you have noticed damaged seams, lost a button, or just want to give a fresher look to your dress? We are here to share all the tricks and secrets that will fix your dress and gift a newer addition to your wardrobe. Read on to find out the best practices of professionals on how to repair a dress.

Whether you have an emergency taking place on your dress or just decided to add a spark to your already-worn dress, you are in the right place. Below we’ll share the steps to several alterations and give you some inspiration for a newer look.

Fix a Broken Zipper

Let’s start with relatively easy tasks for anyone to perform. It is a widespread incident for a zipper to break, get stuck, teeth to split, etc. Also, it is relatively easy to fix this dress issue. First off, try to find what’s the real problem behind the zip failure to act accordingly. Pay attention to the zip stopper, the base element, is it attached to its place? If not, carefully remove it so that the zipper adjusts to the teeth again. Afterwards, sew the base again so that the zipper stays intact and performs its functions again!

Make a Dress Smaller

Have you lost some weight so that your dresses don’t suit you at the moment? Or did it happen that the perfect dress was sold out in your size and you chose a larger one? In any case, we have a task to make a dress smaller, and we will teach you how to perform it perfectly.

Start with measurements and gathering a few items that you are going to need. Find and keep nearby scissors, sewing machine, pins, marking tool(to be erased after alterations), tape for measurements and an iron. Then measure your hips, bust and waist, so that the dress corresponds to your numbers perfectly. Afterwards, measure the dress in the same spots. Pro Tip: you can put on the dress and mark the areas to perfectly see the locations that need change. Finally, do the math, subtract your measurements from the dress’s measurements to see how much you will cut.

Female dressmaker measuring length on dress on mannequin

Now, you can proceed to alter the dress. Start by turning the dress inside out and mark the exact measurements that you got from subtracting. Pay attention to the dress’s natural flow; we make it smaller, not altering the whole look. Take your sewing pins and insert them in the new markings. Now sew along the marked lines from both sides. And voila, you have the perfectly sized dress for you!

Make a Dress Larger

Adversely to the previous step, now we are going to learn how to make a dress larger. Again, you are going to need some supplies for the dress alterations. Gather your measuring tape, marking pen, seam ripper and sewing machine. First and foremost, keep in mind that not every dress can be made bigger. You might need to purchase extra materials for your dress to make it larger. Some exceptions are wedding dresses and evening gowns that have extra material in the seams for alterations.

After you have sorted out the extra material matter, let’s start the process itself. Repeat the steps we have already discussed above, take your measurements and turn the dress inside out. Once again, carefully check the extra space you have for alterations. After you make the calculations of the dress, don’t forget to multiply those by two to correspond to your measurements. Then, when you adjust to the size larger, divide by two to get the additions of each side.

Now, let’s get the process started. Remove the seams with the ripper and pay attention not to damage the fabric. After you have let out the extra fabric you can now sew and finish the process. If not, you will need to carefully decide the places for the extra fabric and sew the materials.

Make a Dress Shorter

Is it the summer season or have you just decided to make your dress more flattering? It doesn’t take much effort to make a dress shorter, but it certainly does make a big difference. There are so many options to transform an old skirt into a brand new one just by removing some of its lengths.

Again, grab your supplies, iron, measuring tape, marking chalk and prepare the skirt. Put on the skirt and decide on the length that’s both comfortable and beautiful. Mark it with chalk and put it on a flat surface to start. Remove the initial seams and decide on the new one in accordance with your markings. Then press and sew your new hem. To make that portion stay intact, iron the surface and sew the new line. Put it on and admire the results you have.

Alter the Neckline

If you have a dress with a high neckline that you would like to change, just keep reading. Start by deciding the new location of the neckline and mark it. Also, check it while wearing to avoid any mistakes. After, fix the new neckline with interfacing to guide you through the process. Next, machine lace with the stitching face-down and start trimming the new neck to complete the look. Voila, you have a dress with a brand new neckline designed by you.

Add a Slit to a Skirt

The final elegant touch we suggest integrating into your dress is to add a slit to the skirt. Decide on the length of the slit to make your skirt both sophisticated and sexy at the same time. So, to show a little leg we are going to need scissors, needles, pins, ironing board and iron. Let’s proceed!

First off, mark the top of the slit while wearing the skirt, to better understand the look you are aiming for. After measuring, take your chalk, mark the precise areas, and add the pins to start sewing. Next, remove the seams of the skirt to sew the new ones to match the new slit. After carefully sewing along the line and then the sides, iron your skirt from the inside to fix the fabric positions. Put it on and see your stunning work!


Who said that a damaged or old-fashioned dress cannot be fixed? There are great ways to breathe new life into old dresses and transform those into something stunning. A new dress gives you confidence, and the ability to conquer the world. Just pair it with the right accessories, makeup, and hair, and shine on with your new outfit. Proudly wear what you have made or fixed, as you have put lots of effort into making the piece. We hope you enjoyed our helpful guide and will also enjoy the process.

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