Shorten Your Dress in a Few Simple Steps

5 Materials
20 Minutes

I had a few really gorgeous dresses but they were just a little too long for me. Rather than take a trip to the tailor and pay, I decided to shorten the dresses on my own. The alterations were so simple and easy and totally made all the difference! If you want to learn all the tips and tricks to shorten your dresses and skirts, my tutorial is exactly what you need! Follow my simple, step-by-step guide and learn the ins and out of shortening your own clothes.

Tools and materials:

  • Pins
  • Measuring tape
  • Sewing machine
  • Scissors
  • Dress
How to make a dress shorter
Pin the dress

The first step to shortening this stunning maxi dress was to mark the point I wanted to cut. I pinned the point by my knee, taking seam allowance into consideration. 

Pin at the bust

Another one of the dresses I would be altering was a bit too revealing, I pinned the chest so that I could sew it closed later. 

Pin by the knee

I also pinned the fabric by the knee so that I would know exactly what length I would shorten it to. 

Mark with a pin

I repeated the same for the next dress making sure to take seam allowance into consideration when pinning. 

Cut across the dress
Cut the fabric

Finally, it was time to start making the changes. I started with the first dress. I cut along my pinned line to make it shorter. 

Measure the length

For the next dress, I folded and measured to make sure when I cut, it would be along a straight pinned line. 

How to make a long dress shorter

Before I could get to cutting the next dress, I made sure to remove the label on the inside. I measured, as I had done on the previous dress, and cut along my pinned line.

Serge the bottom
Sew the dresses

Once I had cut all my dresses, I moved to my serger and serged the bottom of every dress to make sure they would not fray. I then hemmed the bottoms to give the pieces a nice, clean finish. If the dresses had a corner at the bottom, I folded it on both sides to make sure it would be hemmed as a perfect corner. 

Sew the bust closed

I made sure to also sew closed the bust of the revealing dress. I sewed to where I had pinned it so that I would feel comfortable wearing the dress. 

Shorten a dress

Totally love all my newly shortened dresses! How would you style this fun blue dress? Let me know in the comments below! 

Suggested materials:

  • Pins
  • Measuring tape
  • Sewing machine
See all materials

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


Join the conversation

3 of 4 comments