Alter a Dress with 7 Tutorials for the Perfect Fit

Dresses are a staple piece for almost every wardrobe. They're adaptable to nearly any occasion and can instantly make an outfit more elegant. But what happens when seams come undone, buttons pop off, and rips occur? Don't run to the tailor or a charity shop right away. Fixing your dress is much easier than you might initially think. Adjust your prom dress, make a skirt shorter, create a dress from scratch, or shape an existing dress to meet your needs with these eight free tutorials.

  • 01 of 07

    Put a Slit in a Skirt

    Pleated skirt
      JulyProkopiv / Getty Images

    Give your skirt a sexy look with slits in the sides. This is a great way to refresh an old skirt or to spice up a drab skirt. You can even use a side slit to give your hips a bit more room.

  • 02 of 07

    Shorten a Skirt

    Seamstress measuring skirt
      Hero Images / Getty Images

    Why would you shorten a skirt? Some skirts were meant to be shorter, and old skirts with frayed bottoms can be turned into sexy styles. Refresh an old skirt by giving it a new look.

  • 03 of 07

    Make a Dress Larger

    Fashion designer in workshop
      vgajic / Getty Images

    A dress that is too big doesn't look good no matter how nice the material is. The secret is that the seams of dresses are hiding extra material that can be used to enlarge your dress. 

  • 04 of 07

    Make a Dress Smaller

    Seamstress measuring dress on mannequin
    g-stockstudio / Getty Images

    Sometimes that perfect dress isn't the perfect size. A baggy dress won't look right, no matter what designer is on the label. You don't have to be a professional seamstress to fix this problem. 

    Continue to 5 of 7 below.
  • 05 of 07

    Fix a Broken Zipper

    Broken zipper
      CaoChunhai / Getty Images 

    How to repair a broken zipper. Sometimes the teeth on a zipper don’t line up right, causing the zipper to catch. At this point, most people will get rid of the entire garment. What a shame, because this is such an easy fix! 

  • 06 of 07

    Mend a Ripped Seam

    Woman sewing seam
      Glasshouse Images / Getty Images

    Mending a seam is so quick and easy that it should never be a reason for tossing out your clothes. A seam will rip under stress, but that doesn’t mean that the fabric is damaged. All you need to do is replace the thread.

  • 07 of 07

    Fix a Torn Lining

    Man sewing suit jacket
      SeventyFour / Getty Images

     Clothes that have linings tend to be more expensive to purchase. Knowing how to mend a lining can save you some solid cash. Luckily, a torn lining is easy to fix!