Learn How to Lengthen Your Dress to Get the Perfect Fit

Bonnie Payne Wiscombe
by Bonnie Payne Wiscombe
4 Materials
30 Minutes

I had a T-shirt dress that I just loved but didn’t feel comfortable wearing because it was a little too short. Rather than get rid of the dress, I decided to add some extra length to make it work perfectly for me! This small alteration was so easy to do and made all the difference! It definitely made this dress one of my most worn pieces! If you want to learn the ins and out of lengthening a T-shirt dress, this tutorial is definitely for you! Follow my easy step-by-step guide and get started on making that dress that’s just a little too short, into the perfect piece! You won’t be disappointed!

Tools and materials:

  • Fabric
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine
  • Measuring Tape
How to add length to a dress
Measure for the new length

This T-shirt dress had a high-low hemline which made it a little too short for me in the front. The first thing I did was measured to see how long I wanted the dress to be. I decided to add 4 inches of extra length to my dress and I would need pieces about 14-16 inches in width.  

Cut the fabric strips
Cut the fabric to size

To create a dress with the perfect length for me, I decided to use a contrasting grey knit. When you are adding to a dress, feel free to get creative and color block. I used a rotary cutter to cut straight edges on the long sides and also cut it into two equal strips. This definitely helped neaten up the fabric for me.

Pin the fabric
Sew on the fabric

It’s almost time to start sewing. If you’re using a knit fabric, like mine, it can be hard to tell which side is the wrong side and which is the right. A great tip is looking to see which way the fabric curls because it usually curls towards the right side. I matched the center of one of the strips with the center of my dress and pinned it along the front, right sides together. I then sewed the piece on. Remember this seam needs to be stretchy so either use a serger or a zig-zag stitch. 

Adding length to a dress

It was then time to add on the back piece. I decided to keep the curved shape at the back so I made sure to cut the fabric in the right shape. I also really liked the raw edges at the bottom of the original dress so I decided to keep that for the added length. 

Cut the curve

Next, I cut the curve off of the original dress so that I could match up with my grey piece of fabric and give the dress a gorgeous finish. 

Sew on the back

It was then time to pin the straight edge of my grey piece to the edge of the dress. I made sure they were right sides together. Once all the pins were in place I sewed the piece on with a stretch stitch. 

Cut extra fabric
Finish the dress

I can’t believe this dress is almost finished! I needed to sew the side seams together. I turned the dress inside out and made sure to cut off the excess fabric. I then sewed along the short seam on both sides so that the grey pieces of fabric were attached. I decided to reinforce all of my seams with my serger, but that step is totally optional! 

Cut at the knee

I turned my dress right side out and cut a curve at the side seams so that the front and back pieces would line up. I love the look of a curved hem at the knee! I made sure to snip off any jagged edges of my hem so that the dress would look nice and neat with a stunning finish. 

Press the fabric

Finally, I pressed all my hems well, making sure the material sat exactly how it should. I couldn’t wait to try on this improved dress! 

How to lengthen a dress

This is definitely the perfect T-shirt dress with the perfect length! What color fabric would you use to lengthen this dress? Let me know in the comments below! 

Suggested materials:
  • Fabric
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine
See all materials

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

Join the conversation
2 of 13 comments
  • Charlene Morgan Charlene Morgan on Sep 11, 2021

    Always preferred to add fabric inset several inches above hem, myself. Yes, I know, two seams, but no hemming involved. And it doesn't appear as an afterthought.

  • Ellie Ellie on Jul 22, 2022

    Great way to lengthen your dress! I think I would add a little gray trim on the sleeves to coordinate.