How To Make A Dress Bigger

Have you ever been in a situation where you find the perfect dress yet it doesn’t fit?

When it’s too large it is simple to just pin it into place but when it’s too small, what is there to do?

Luckily, there are ways around this problem. In this article, we will be teaching you how to make a dress bigger to help you with all of your clothing problems.

How To Make A Dress Bigger

Can You Alter A Dress To Make It Bigger?

If you have an old dress that fits perfectly and then one day it gets a little too small for you, you can alter it to make it bigger.

This is not always easy though because some dresses are made out of different materials like cotton or polyester so they may stretch differently than other fabrics.

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Why Make Your Clothes Bigger?

There are many reasons why you would want to make your clothes bigger. Maybe you’re getting married soon and you want to wear something special.

Or maybe you’re going on vacation and you don’t want to pack too much. Whatever the reason, you can easily make your clothes bigger without spending a lot of money. 

RELATED: How To Make Pants Bigger Around The Waist

Signs Your Dress Is Too Small

Before delving into how to alter a dress that is too small, it is first necessary to be able to spot the signs.

Many people out there ignore these signs because they are able to get the dress to zip up or can go through their day wearing it, but this does not mean it is the right fit for you.

In many cases, people are not wearing dresses which they are comfortable in and there are many classic signs for this.

Here are the signs that your dress is too small and is in need to altering:

Dress Rides Up

Many of us women have owned at least one dress we are always pulling down.

These dresses are usually bodycon dresses and we are having to constantly pull them down because they are always riding up.

If this is the case, there is a high chance that your dress is not the right fit. 

Sometimes, it is necessary to look further than the label itself. You may be a size four so choose a size four dress – this doesn’t always work out.

Make sure to understand measurements correctly or, to be safe, size up. This will make wearing a bodycon dress much more comfortable and prevent it from constantly riding up.

Constantly Tucking Stomach In

If you notice that you are constantly tucking in your stomach then this is a clear indicator of discomfort.

You should be able to wear your dress freely and confidently whether feeling insecure about the way your stomach looks in your outfit.

This is also a sign that your dress isn’t fitting you the way it should. With a dress which fits, you will not be focusing on any body parts but instead just feel good in your dress.

Trouble Extending Arms

There is also an issue of not being able to extend your arms. Dresses come in all shapes and styles – they can be strapless, have spaghetti straps, or even have long sleeves.

For those wearing long sleeve dresses, the arms are one of the most important areas.

You should have the ability to move your arms up and down comfortably, reach for items, give people hugs, and dance.

If you cannot extend or move your arms without feeling a restriction, however, then your dress is too tight. In this case, an alteration would be key. 

Tools Needed For Making A Dress Bigger

How To Make A Dress Bigger

When it comes to making a dress bigger, it is essential to have all of the necessary supplies. When preparing to alter your dress, make sure you have all of these tools with you.

Being prepared will make the process much easier.

You will need:

-A sewing machine




-Sewing needles



-Straight pins

-Tape measure 

Making Your Dress Bigger: How To Guide

If you want to know if you can alter a dress to make it bigger, here is a quick guide on how to go about doing it:

1) Measure Yourself First

The first thing you need to do is measure yourself. Take measurements from the top of your shoulders down to your hips and then take another measurement from your waist up to your bust line. 

Compare these two numbers together to see which number is larger. If your waist is smaller than your hip size, you should probably buy a new dress.

If your waist is larger than your hip size, then you should try altering your existing dress.

2) Cut Out the Existing Fabric

The next step is cutting out the fabric of your current dress. For most dresses, you will cut out the material along the seam lines.

Once you’ve done this, you’ll need to trim off any excess material.

3) Sew New Material onto the Existing Fabric

Now that you’ve trimmed away extra material, you can sew in new material. The easiest way to do this is to use a sewing machine.

Most people recommend using a serger instead as it makes the process easier and faster.

4) Try It On Again

Once you’ve sewn in the new material, you’ll need to try it on again. If you still feel uncomfortable, you can always remove the new material and start over.

5) Add More Material

If you’re having trouble making the dress bigger, you might want to add more material. Some dresses come with additional material already attached.

If yours does not, you can either purchase more material or ask someone else to help you.

6) Finish Up

Once you’re happy with the results, you can finish up by hemming the bottom of the dress. Hemming is simply taking the raw edge of the fabric and folding it under.

7) Wear It!

Finally, once you’ve finished making the dress bigger, put it on and enjoy wearing it!

RELATED: How To Make Pants Or Jeans Smaller

Adding A Corset Back To Make A Dress Bigger

There are multiple ways to make a dress bigger – some people prefer using the corset back method.

If you are wanting to increase the size of your dress with a unique touch, this may be the best option for you.

Here’s what you’ll need to do:

1) Find a Pattern

You will need to find a pattern that has enough room for you to insert a corset back into it. You can also look at patterns online to get ideas on how big the space needs to be.

2) Cut Your Fabric

You will need to cut out your fabric. You can either use an existing piece of fabric or you can purchase a new one.

3) Insert the Corset Back Into the Fabric

After you have cut out your fabric, you will need to insert the corsets back into the fabric. This is where the real fun begins.

4) Sew Around the Corset Back

Sewing around the corset back is pretty easy. Just follow the instructions on the package.

5) Trim Off Any Extra Material

Trimming the edges of the fabric after you’ve sewed it all together is very important. You don’t want any loose threads hanging off of your dress.

6) Try It On Again!

Try on your dress to make sure everything looks good. If you like the way it fits, then you can move on to the finishing steps.

7) Finish Up

Finish up by hemming the bottoms of the dress. Hemming is just taking the raw edge of your fabric and folding it under so that it doesn’t show.

8) Enjoy Your Finished Product!

Once you’ve completed all of the above steps, you should now be able to wear your dress without feeling self-conscious about its size.

How To Use A Sewing Machine

How To Make A Dress Bigger

Whilst altering a dress to make it bigger is a simple process, you will need to have some essential skills – one of those skills is to know how to use a sewing machine.

Using a sewing machine does take some practice but once you understand how it works, you will be amazed at how much easier it will make your life.

Here, we will be teaching you how to use a sewing machine like a pro, helping you to alter your dress to make it bigger.

Step 1: Prepare Your Materials

To start, you will need to prepare your materials. The first thing you will need to do is to gather up all of the supplies you will need. These include:

• Thread

• Needles

• Scissors

• Iron

• Pins

• Other Supplies (e.g. thread spools)

The next step is to set up your sewing machine. Set up your sewing machine as follows:

• Place your needle in the middle position.

• Put your presser foot down.

• Turn the dials until they match the speed setting.

• Adjust the tension until it feels right.

Now that you have prepared all of your materials and set up your sewing machine, let’s begin.

Step 2: Begin Sewing

Now that you have everything ready, it’s time to sew your dress. Start by placing your dress onto the table. Then, place your pins along the seam lines.

Next, lay your fabric over top of the dress. Finally, put your iron on top of the fabric. Once this is done, turn the dials on your sewing machine until they are set to the same speed as your other needles.

Step 3: Continue Sewing

Continue sewing until you reach the end of the seam line. When you’re finished, remove your dress from the table and check if there are any areas that look uneven. If there are, adjust them accordingly.

Step 4: Remove the Fabric

When you’re happy with the final appearance of your dress, remove the fabric from the dress. Now, you will need to fold the fabric in half lengthwise.

Then, you will need to pin the fabric into place. Lastly, cut out the excess material using your scissors.

Step 5: Fold Under the Edges

Fold each side of the fabric under by approximately an inch. This will create two layers of fabric which will help to give your dress more volume.

Step 6: Pin the Edges

Pin the edges together. You can either do this by hand or use a sewing machine. Whichever method you choose, ensure that you keep the pins straight.

Step 7: Sew Along the Edges

Sew along the edges of the fabric. Ensure that you leave enough room for turning the fabric inside out.

Step 8: Turn the Fabric Inside Out

Turn the fabric inside out. It’s important to remember to keep the seams flat and even.

Step 9: Press the Fabric Flat

Press the fabric flat so that it looks nice and neat.

Step 10: Cut off the Excess Material

Cut off the excess material around the edge of the fabric.

Step 11: Finish Up

Finish up by attaching buttons or zippers to the back of the dress.

Using A Side Slit To Make Dress Bigger

If you want to add some extra space to your dress, then you should try making a slit. Slits are very popular among women who want to make their dresses bigger.

A side slit not only adds space in the hip and leg areas but it doesn’t affect the length of the skirt. Its main purpose is to make the dress bigger and is much less hassle as there is no sewing involved.

In order to achieve this side slit look, you will need to follow these steps.

Step 1: Measure Your Skirt

When measuring, make sure to do this from the bottom of the hem where you want your slit to end. The easiest way to do this is to lay your dress down on a flat surface (bed, table, floor).

When it comes to measuring your slit, it is also important to know where you want this slit to be positioned.

Here you have two options: on the seam or off-center. If up the seam, you will need a seam ripper to remove it. If you would prefer the slit off-center, find the grain, mark it, then cut.

Step 2: Fold The Edges

After this is done, you should then proceed to folding the edges. To do this effectively, make sure to fold a 1/4 inch of the opened edges and press down this fold with an iron.

Finish this step off by pinning these folds into place.

Step 3: Sew To Complete

Finally, sew up each of the folded edges until you make it to the top of where you want your slit to end.

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How To Make A Tight Dress Loose

How To Make A Dress Bigger

It may not be that your dress is too small for you. On many occasions a dress is too tight, and this can make it that it does not fit well on a person or it makes a person feel uncomfortable and insecure.

There are many ways to make a tight dress loose.

One of them is by adding pleats to the front of the dress. Pleating is a technique used to create a three dimensional effect.

By doing this, you will be able to make your dress looser. This is because when you pleat, you can give more volume to the dress.

Here are the steps to make a tight dress looser:

Step 1: Measure the Size of Your Dress

The first thing you will need to do before starting any sewing work is to measure the size of your dress. You can use a tape measure or a ruler.

In order to get accurate measurements, ensure that you take measurements while the dress is hanging straight.

Step 2: Pick the Right Pattern

Once you have measured the correct size, pick out a pattern which has enough room for you to insert the pleats.

It is best if you choose a pattern that has a lot of ease. Ease means that the pattern allows the fabric to stretch easily without breaking.

Step 3: Cut Out the Fabric

Once you have chosen the right pattern, cut out the fabric. Then, you will need to fold the fabric so that you can start inserting the pleats.

Step 4: Inserting the Pleats

Now, after you have finished cutting out the fabric, you will need to begin inserting the pleats. Start at one corner of the fabric and fold the fabric over itself.

Repeat this process all around the fabric. Once you have completed this step, you will need to finish off by pressing down the pleats using an iron.

Step 5: Sew Up the Back

Now that you have inserted the pleats, you will need to sew up the back of the dress. First, you will need to stitch up the side seams.

After that, you will need to attach the zipper. Finally, you will need to add some buttons to complete the look.

Can You Make A Dress Bigger Without Sewing?

Yes! You can actually make a dress bigger without sewing. However, there are some things that you need to consider before you decide to try this method.

First, you will need to check whether the material you are using is suitable for this type of project.

If you are working with knit fabrics, you will need to use a serger instead of a regular sewing machine. For other types of materials, you will need to find a way to enlarge the garment.

Second, you will also need to know how you will be attaching the extra fabric to the original piece. Some people prefer to use glue whereas others prefer to use pins.

Finally, you will need to know what kind of style you would like to achieve. Do you want something casual or formal?

If you are looking for easy ways to make a dress bigger, then you should definitely try these methods. They are very simple and they only require basic skills. So, why don’t you give them a try today?

How To Make A Dress Bigger Without Sewing?

1. Use Glue

You can use glue to attach the extra fabric to the main part of the dress. The good thing about using glue is that it is very quick and easy to apply. Also, it won’t leave any marks on the fabric.

2. Use Pins

You can also use pins to attach the extra fabric. This method works well if you are making a dress in a different color than the original. If you are going to use pins, make sure that you use safety pins.

3. Try Using Elastic

Another option is to use elastic bands to attach the extra fabric onto the main part of the garment. You can either sew the elastic into place or just wrap it around the edges of the fabric.

4. Use Velcro

Another option is to use velcro strips to attach the extra fabric on top of the main part of the fabric. This is a great idea if you want to make a dress more functional.

5. Use Cloth Tape

This is a great idea if the extra fabric has a patterned design. You can easily cut out the excess fabric using cloth tape.

Is A Seamstress Able To Make A Dress Bigger?

How To Make A Dress Bigger

A seamstress can certainly help you make your own dress bigger. All you need to do is to ask her to take care of the details such as hemming and buttonholes.

She will also be able to provide you with professional advice regarding the best way to make your dress bigger.

The seamstress can even teach you how to properly measure the size of your body so that you can get the right fit when you wear the new dress.

What Size Dress Should I Wear?

Although there are many ways to alter a dress which is too large for you, we would all still prefer the dress to fit perfectly from the get go.

Because of this, it is necessary to know how to pick out your clothing when shopping in order to get a size which fits.

When you go shopping for clothes, you usually buy one size larger than your actual size.

However, this doesn’t mean that you should always choose the largest size available. Instead, you should focus on the following factors:

Your bust size: While it may seem obvious, many women forget to pay attention to their bust size.

It is important to remember that bust size plays an important role in determining the overall look of your outfit. Therefore, you should always keep this factor in mind when buying clothes.

Your waist size: When it comes to choosing the right size for your waist, you should consider your natural shape.

There are two common shapes: pear-shaped and apple-shaped. Pear-shaped women tend to have wider hips while apple-shaped women have narrower hips.

In order to determine which type of shape you have, you can simply follow the guidelines below:

For pear-shaped women, choose a size that fits at least 2 inches above your natural waistline. For apple-shaped women, choose the smallest size that still covers your natural waistline.

Your hip size: The last thing that you should consider when picking out your clothes is your hip size. Your hip size refers to the distance between your hip bones and your waistline.

Most people don’t realize that they have a wide hip until they try on pants or dresses. If you find yourself struggling to find a pair of jeans that fit correctly, then you probably have a wide hip.

RELATED: How To Shorten A Dress – The Total Guide To Shortening A Dress With And Without Sewing Or Cutting

Understanding Materials And Alterations

When making a dress bigger, you will often need to use different materials. Since most dresses are made up of multiple layers, you will need to add additional material to each layer.

Some fabrics include cotton, polyester, nylon, silk, rayon, satin, etc. You will also need to think about what kind of lining you want to use. Linings come in various types including woven, knit, knitted, etc.

You will also need to decide whether you want to sew or not. Sewing is definitely more complicated than using a tailor.

This means that you will need to invest some time into learning how to sew before you start altering your dress.

However, if you already know how to sew, then you can save money by avoiding a professional seamstress.

You Can Alter Any Type Of Material

One of the best things about altering a dress is that you can make any type of material bigger.

Whether you are looking to increase the length of your skirt, lengthen your sleeves, or change the color of your blouse, you can do so with ease.

All you need to do is take off the original material and replace it with new material.

However, you should be careful about changing the fabric of your dress because it might affect its durability. Also, you shouldn’t use cheap fabric since it won’t hold up well over time.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Does It Cost To Alter My Dress?

Depending on the alterations you require, you can expect to spend anywhere from $50 to $300 per dress.

What Is The Difference Between Sewing And Tailoring?

Tailors usually charge less than seamstresses. They specialize in small adjustments such as hemming and buttonholes. They also offer other services such as repairing tears and stains.

Should I Alter My Dress Myself?

It depends on your skill level. If you are willing to learn how to sew, then it would be beneficial for you to alter your own dress. Otherwise, you can hire a professional seamstress instead.

Do I Need To Alter My Entire Dress?

No. You can alter just one part of your dress. For example, you could shorten your sleeve, lengthen your skirts.

How Long Does It Take To Alter A Dress?

It all depends on the size of your dress. Smaller dresses can be altered within an hour while larger ones may take several days.

How Many Times Can I Alter My Dress?

This varies based on the material of your dress. Silk and satin can be altered multiple times without affecting their quality. On the other hand, cotton and polyester cannot be altered at all.


If you want to make a dress bigger, there are plenty of ways to do so. It all comes down to personal preference. There are pros and cons to both methods.

Depending on your skills, you can either alter your dress yourself or hire a professional seamstress. The choice is yours!

It is very common to own a dress which does not fit you. That is why we have guided you through how to make your dress bigger through alteration.

After going through this article, you will feel much more comfortable and confident in your dress.

Amanda Brown
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