How to Quickly & Easily Take in a Dress in 3 Simple Steps

Wendy Herrera
by Wendy Herrera
4 Materials
10 Minutes

In this tutorial, I'll be showing you how to take in a dress. I’m sure we’ve all had that experience when you buy a dress that is way too big, but you're won over by its cute design and low price, telling yourself that you’ll somehow make it work.

Well, my friends, that is exactly what happened to me just yesterday. Therefore, I am going to show you how to quickly and easily downsize a dress so that it will fit you like a glove.

Tools and materials:

  • Oversized dress
  • Sewing machine (or needle and thread)
  • Fabric marker
  • Ruler
How to make a dress smaller

Measuring and marking the dress

1. Measure and mark the dress

Take the dress and turn it inside out so that when you start marking along the sides, your marker won’t show from the front.

I decided to take my dress in on both sides by 1.5 inches (3.8cm) at the top, and then from the mid-section or the waist of the dress, I decided to take it in by 2 inches (5cm). As I slowly progressed towards the bottom of the dress, I reached up to 2.5 inches (6.4cm).

The exact measurements will depend on your own figure and how big the dress is against your body.

Connecting the marks with a line

2. Draw a line 

After you’re done marking along the sides, connect all the marks together to make a line. Do the exact same thing on the other side.

Sewing the new side seams of the dress

3. Sew

When you’re done creating those two lines, take your sewing machine (or needle and thread) and start sewing carefully along that line. Do the same to both sides. Once you’re finished sewing both sides, flip the dress right side out and check out your final result.

Tip: You may want to pin first or do a quick running stitch, then try on the dress to check the fit before you sew.

How to easily take in a dress

Here is how it looks! It’s sassy, it’s sexy, and it fits me perfectly. I decided to tuck in the straps to give me that option of wearing it as a strapless dress as well. You could cut the seam allowance if it's bulky, or leave it as is, as I did.

How to take in a dress

How to take in a dress tutorial

In three simple steps, we have managed to take in an oversized dress to one that fits perfectly. I hope you’ve found this tutorial useful, and you’ll try out these steps next time you get smitten by an oversized dress in the thrift store!

Suggested materials:
  • Oversized dress
  • Sewing machine (or needle and thread)
  • Fabric marker
See all materials

The author may collect a small share of sales from the links on this page.

Join the conversation
 1 comment