I once borrowed a dress for a formal occasion and also then establish the dress didn’t right me! ns couldn’t permanently transform a obtained dress, therefore I had to rig increase a short-lived hem. Fortunately, girlfriend can quickly learn just how to shorten a dress, even if it is you desire a permanent or short-term fix!

The best means to shorten a dress is to measure up a new length and also stitch a replacement hem either by hand or top top a sewing machine. Using hem tape or fabric glue will also create a permanently to reduce dress. Because that a temporarily shorter dress, using safety pins, a belt, or a knotting method will do the trick.

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In this article, you’ll uncover seven easy techniques for shortening a dress or skirt. You will also find tips for measuring skirt lengths. Finally, you’ll find details advice on just how to transform a bent hem, a high-low dress, and a dress with a ruffle.


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What size Skirt carry out You Want?

Before girlfriend shorten your dress, take it a minute to take into consideration what length of skirt you want.

If you have a friend or household member handy, measuring because that skirt length goes much more smoothly through a little help! that said, measuring yourself to uncover out what length of the skirt will certainly look good on friend is an easy process.

Start by detect your organic waist (the most narrow part of your torso). Relax her shoulders and plant your feet flat on the floor in a casual stance. Then ar the optimal of a measuring ice cream at your waist, and let the remainder that the tape autumn to the floor.

Look in a mirror to decision what length of skirt friend want. For example, mini skirts usually finish mid-thigh, midi skirts cave to her knees, and also tea-length skirts loss to a few inches above your ankle.

Ask your friend to measure up that length while girlfriend stand really still. This way, you will understand how plenty of inches lengthy your skirt requirements to hang effectively on your certain body type!

Of course, you likewise want to take into consideration what layout of the dress looks best with her body type. If you have actually a petite figure and also you look good in miniskirts, emphasis on wearing shorter dresses! girlfriend can discover even an extremely formal dresses in much shorter lengths to accentuate your figure.

If you’re tall, on the various other hand, long maxi dresses and also floor-length official gowns will work good for you! Pencil skirts look great on curvy bodies, and also a high-waist midi dress will set off an apple-shaped body.

Finally, acquire out the dress you want to shorten. Follow these basic steps to measure up the skirt to your preferred length:

Get ago into your organic stance and also ask her friend to aid again.Hold the tape measure at her waist.Ask her friend to mark the desired length with chalk on the skirt. Because that example, if you decided that a midi skirt have to be twenty inches lengthy to fall just over your knee, ask her friend to mark the twenty-inch suggest on the skirt.Repeat this procedure around the circumference of the skirt.Remove the skirt and draw a succinct chalk line connecting the chalk dots.

Alternatively, if you should measure the skirt through yourself, follow this steps:

Determine the wanted length of the skirt, as explained earlier.Measure the present length of the skirt.Subtract your wanted length indigenous the existing length. For example, if the skirt is now twenty-five inches long, but you require it at twenty inches, subtract twenty native twenty-five. This way you should remove five inches native the bottom the the skirt.Use a ruler, measure up tape, or sewing gauge to measure 5 inches indigenous the bottom that the skirt. Note this point with chalk.Continue approximately the circumference of the skirt.

Now the you have your wanted length sorted out and measured the dress to the length, you can get started on one of these easy techniques to shorten a dress!

How to Shorten a Dress: 7 straightforward Methods


You deserve to shorten a dress by cutting it and also sewing it right into a shorter length permanently or folding up the extra length and fastening that in several various ways.

These approaches work ideal if you take it a small time to carry out the measure up steps explained earlier. Otherwise, friend may finish up v a lopsided hem the veers up and down approximately you!

1. Hem by Hand

If you desire a truly classy hem, you have to put the in through hand. Tailors and even couture fashion designers use this method! Hemstitching by hand creates a succinct hem on the within of the dress and virtually invisible stitches on the outside.

Before friend do any kind of sewing, make sure you measure her skirt as described earlier.Measure another line 2 inches listed below your wanted length. Cut off any excess fabric past the 2 inches.Next, iron half an customs of towel toward the wrong next of the skirt. If you’re working through heat-sensitive fabric, friend can also hold this wrinkles in ar with pins or sewing clips instead of ironing.Next, use a tape measure or sewing gauge to measure up one and also a half inches increase from this brand-new fold.Fold the fabric up towards the wrong next again. This time, friend will have actually a one-and-a-half-inch deep fold v a neat, folded-over leaf on the inside from the first half-inch fold.If you can, steel the second fold.Pin the urgent edge through sewing pins, or clip into place making use of sewing clips.Cut around eighteen inches of sewing thread the matches the color of your dress. Subject a needle and tie a node at the finish of the thread.You deserve to use several various hemming stitches. A on slide stitch looks an excellent and is simple to make! To type this stitch, begin from the within of the fabric and also slide her needle into the peak of her folded-over hem.Pull the needle all the way through so the knot captures on the ago of the hem.Then poke the pointer of the needle v to check out it native the prior of the fabric. Really carefully sheet the tip of the needle over 2 or three threads in the fabric’s surface. Press the needle tip earlier down, for this reason it return to the within of the skirt, leaving a small stitch top top the outside of the fabric.Make a half-inch stitch along the height of the fold inside the skirt.Poke the pointer of the needle back to the surface of the dress and also ease the over 2 or 3 threads for another tiny stitch top top the exterior of the hem.Repeat this process around the hem a half-inch intervals, finishing through knotting off the thread in ~ the end!

You might want to exercise the hemstitch on a scrap of towel to get the hang of it before you try this method. Also, in the attention of complete disclosure, hand-hemming does take a while! you really will certainly love the means it looks, though.

2. Hem v Sewing Machine


You deserve to use a sewing device to stitch a hem in numerous ways, yet the most basic is to produce a double fold and stitch it right into place. This works on most species of fabric except for sheers.

Measure the wanted length of her dress as defined earlier. Include one customs to this measurement, and also then cut off any excess fabric.Use the sewing accuse on the needle plate of your sewing machine to easily sew a heat of stitches roughly the dress one customs from the bottom edge.Fold the bottom the the towel up inside the skirt so that it touch the heat of stitches. You will now have actually a half-inch wrinkles inside the skirt.Press the fold, or pen it into place.Turn under the half-inch fold once more toward the inside of the dress. You will still have a half-inch fold, however now you have an enclosed leaf on both the top and bottom of the fold.Once again, press or pen the twin fold right into place.You will desire to sew along the hem ~ above the exterior of the dress. Follow the guides on your device to sew a straight stitch a quarter inch from the folded bottom edge of the hem.

Depending on her comfort level, girlfriend can also employ advanced sewing device techniques favor a remote hemming foot or a rolling hem foot. With practice, this tools deserve to make the hemming procedure much, much quicker!

3. Hem tape

To gain an easier yet still professional-looking hem, girlfriend can likewise use fusible hem tape. All you need is a roll of fusible tape, a tape measure, and an iron!

Hem ice cream is a thin, practically transparent size of webbing loaded v heat-activated adhesive. Friend can find it at many sewing and also quilting stores or ~ above Amazon or Etsy quite cheaply.

Though this technique takes a lot less time and also effort, it will permanently shorten the hem. When you stole the adhesive tape between two layers of fabric, it will not come out even after lot of launderings.

Measure and also mark your new hem. Relying on how lot excess towel you have left listed below the preferred hem length, you can either just fold under the overabundance or simply reduced it off. For example, if you’re only shortening the hem by an inch, you can quickly fold under that inch rather of cutting it off.Next, iron the urgent edge. Inspect to make sure the fabric of your dress can handle the warm first.Unfold the pressed hem again.Unroll a length of hem tape. Line it increase parallel come the wrinkle in your pressed hem.Fold the excess fabric back over the tape.Iron end the folded sheet one much more time to activate the adhesive and set your hem!

This method saves girlfriend a lot of time, the doesn’t price a lot, and also it looks super professional!

The only downside is that you can’t usage it on cloth easily damaged by heat. Examine the manufacturer’s label inside your dress to find out if you have the right to expose it come iron or not.

4. Cloth Glue

If the thought of hand-sewing a hem provides you cringe, you can also shot fabric glue. This an approach does market you one easier different to sewing. Unfortunately, that doesn’t constantly look as neat together you might like because sometimes the adhesive seeps v to the fabric’s surface ar in stubborn patches.

That said, the biggest benefit to this method is that you have the right to use it on heat-sensitive products like polyester!

First, measure and mark the desired length of your skirt. If you’re shortening through an inch or less, merely fold under the excess to do a new hem. If you should remove more than that, cut off the extra length.Next, one of two people iron the folded leaf to get a nice crease or use your fingers to tenderness crease the new fold into place.Smooth a light, slim line of cloth glue along the an extremely bottom of the dress.Fold end your brand-new hem and also smooth both layers of fabric along with glue between them.Allow the adhesive to collection for twenty-four hours.

Fabric adhesive sets quite permanently. You can safely wash her dress after the twenty-four-hour relaxing period.

5. Safety and security pins


Strategically inserted safety pins market you the easiest possible means to in the interim shorten a dress. Now, friend should more than likely save this an approach for true emergencies, together it isn’t the sturdiest or many professional-looking solution!

In a pinch, though, you deserve to work tiny miracles with security pins!

First, measure and fold increase the extra size toward the inside of her dress.If possible, iron the folded-over edge to acquire a pretty crease at the bottom that the new hem. (Make certain the manufacturer’s label states that the garment have the right to handle an steel first).Next, find the side seams within the dress.Pin the folded-over hem to the next seams. This will hold the hem up in ~ both sides of the dress.Finally, pin the prior and earlier of the brand-new hem together well. If your dress has actually super thick fabric, you deserve to slide a safety and security pin without making it clearly shows from the outside of the fabric. If your dress is thin, you might see a tiny fraction of the safety pin no issue how closely you on slide it right into the hem.

That’s it! as a pro tip, it’s always a an excellent idea to save a couple of safety pins in your purse, backpack, or bag for emergency situations.

6. Belt

If you’re in a major hurry, friend can often shorten a dress just by attract a belt! This technique works best on loose dresses prefer a maxi dress or flow sundress. It will certainly not occupational well top top a dress with a tightly equipment bodice.

Fasten the belt simply a hair more loosely than usual.Gently tug ~ above the dress above the belt. This must ease few of the cloth up past the belt so that it poofs out and also drapes end the peak of the belt.Repeat this action around her waist so that product hangs out over the peak of the belt simply a little all the means around.Look in a mirror to make certain you have pulled the dress through the belt evenly all the method around and also that the hem hangs evenly as well.Your dress will hang a couple of inches much shorter now!

7. Knot

Another fashionable way to shorten a loose, flowing dress is come tie a node to take it up several of the overabundance fabric. Think that this as comparable to the cool teen format of tying a knot at the hem that a t-shirt come shorten the shirt.

You can place this knot in several locations of the skirt, like the side of the hem, at one of two people thigh or near your waist.

To make the knot:

Select whereby you want to location the knot.Gather increase a tube-shaped handful of cloth at this location.Wrap the tube over and also under chin to kind a straightforward knotTug the loose end that the knot to make it firmer.Finally, either pen the loose end up within the dress or let that hang loosened for a casual look!

How to Shorten a dress From the Waist


If friend really want to insurance claim the title of a clothes “refashionista,” girlfriend can additionally shorten a dress from the waist. You have the right to do this in the interim by tie a node or making use of a belt, together you witnessed earlier.

To permanently transform the dress at the waist, friend will require to acquire comfortable slicing and also sewing!

You desire to reduced out the middle of the dress and also then reconnect the bodice that the dress to the skirt without that center slice. This modification works fine on an elastic-waist dress but less well on a fitted dress or a maxi dress.

On most dresses, you deserve to take three to 4 inches in this manner.

You will additionally need to either change the elastic in the waistband or insert pintucks, gathers, darts, or pleats to do the broader opening the the skirt to the right the smaller shape of the bodice.

As a suggest of interest, plenty of sewing patterns sell directions for exactly how to shorten a dress at the waist before you even create the dress.

Can You reduced a dress to do it Shorter?

You can reduced the hem off a dress to do it shorter, yet you will have to make careful measurements first to make a smooth cut about the bottom the the skirt. You will also need some way to finish the life edge for many kinds of towel to make it look at nice and also prevent fraying.

You can finish a life edge in many ways, but here are a couple of ideas come consider:

You have the right to fold end a double hem and also use a sewing maker to stitch the in ar for most fabrics other than sheers and knits.You have the right to use pinking shears to produce a unique, contempt ragged look on cotton and knits.Use a solitary fold and a zigzag stitch ~ above knits to conveniently whip a hem right into place.Sew a ribbon, item of lace, or ruffle top top the bottom edge of the skirt. This way, you can sew one simple seam rather of a hem, and you likewise get the added decorative touch at the bottom of her dress!

How to make a long Dress much shorter Temporarily

The easiest method to make a long dress much shorter temporarily is to pen up the hem with security pins. It isn’t the most elegant fix, but it will save you from tripping over your too-long skirt!

If you’re desperate, you can also turn under the extra fabric and use tiny pieces that duct ice to hold it come the within of the dress. This could leave a difficult residue ~ above the fabric, though.

Depending top top the style of her dress, you deserve to sometimes tie a fashionable knot in ~ the waist, your thigh, or at the hem to take it up the extra length. If you bought a maxi dress at the beach, this last-minute solve would occupational great!

Finally, the belt technique easily restyles any loosened dress a couple of inches shorter. Just cinch on her belt and also tug a bit of cloth up end the height of the belt. It offers you a nice, casual shape and makes the skirt of the dress a pair of inches short!

How to Shorten a Dress with a Ruffle


To shorten a dress through a ruffle, every you have to do is reduced off the ruffle, cut away a couple of inches of the skirt, and also then bland the ruffle back on! Shortening a dress through decorative lace or a ruffle follow me its bottom leaf is the easiest possible kind that alteration.

First, rotate the dress inside out.Carefully cut through the side seam the the ruffle or lace.Then cut the whole length that lace or ruffle turn off the bottom the the dress. Try to store this reduced edge neat and also even.Next, decide how much you want to shorten the dress. Subtract half an inch from this measurement, and also cut that length off the bottom the the skirt. Because that example, if you want to take away 3 inches, girlfriend will need to cut off just two and also a half inches that fabric.Place the right side the the ruffle on the best side the the dress so the both cut edges enhance up.Sew half an inch from this reduced edge approximately the skirt, reconnecting the ruffle to the bottom of the dress.Zigzag the raw edge that this seam to stop fraying.

How to Shorten a Dress v a bent Hem

You can shorten a dress v a bent hem in several different ways. Sewing bent hems deserve to prove an overwhelming because the outer edge that the circle has actually a greater circumference 보다 the inner component of the circle. This method that when you rotate over the hem, the raw edge of the hem will have actually a higher circumference 보다 the within of the skirt.

Professionals use easing darn or facings to make curved hems look fabulous. But this simple method removes all the tricky sewing procedures while tho looking nice and finished!

To shorten a dress with a curved hem:

Measure the skirt come your wanted length and cut away any excess fabric. Girlfriend will need to measure and cut very closely to keep the circular form of the skirt.Find part ribbon that contrasts nicely through the fabric of her dress. Reduced a length of ribbon one inch much longer than the entirety hem the the dress.Next, pin the ribbon to the external of the dress so the the wrong next of the ribbon rests on peak of the best side the the dress. Leave fifty percent of the width of the ribbon hanging end the bottom edge of the fabric.Sew the ribbon to the fabric along the peak edge the the ribbon.Then, just turn under the whole ribbon therefore you deserve to no longer see that from the prior of the dress. This will create a unique finished edge, and the ribbon will certainly look pretty inside the skirt!Press and also pin the urgently edge.Sew one an ext time roughly the top of the ribbon inside the skirt. This will host the golden-over ribbon come the within of the skirt, providing you a lovely hem!

How execute You Shorten a High-Low Dress

The best means to shorten a high-low dress is to use the curved hem method to shorten the hem ~ above the back section of the skirt.

High-low dresses typically feature a shorter, bent hem in the front and a longer curved hem in the back. Girlfriend may have to raise both curved hems to do the dress fit friend correctly, or you might get away with shortening just the longer earlier curve the the dress.

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Using hem ice or safety and security pins will not work also on a curving hem. Friend do need to re-sew a new hem into place to develop a nice, perfect look to your high-low dress.

If girlfriend have access to a serger, you can easily produce a rolling hemstitch follow me the life edge. This works well top top lightweight or slim fabrics and also saves girlfriend from all the measure up you need to create a folded-over hem!