I love finding a fantastic dress with it’s own unique details. I was given this white and tan striped linen dress that was much too big for me. I learned this technique in a tailor shop, and it’s a technique that I use over and over again. Here’s a quick overview of how I fixed it.
How-to Fit an Ill-Fitting Dress Tutorial
I love the fun stripes and the linen texture. It’s the perfect summer dress.
How-to Fit an Ill-Fitting Dress Tutorial How-to Fit an Ill-Fitting Dress Tutorial
 

1. Cut off sleeves. Mark sides. I wanted to keep the skirt flared so I only pinned under the arms and at the waist. Mark where you want the sleeve seam.

How-to Fit an Ill-Fitting Dress Tutorial
2. Sew in sides and trim.
How-to Fit an Ill-Fitting Dress Tutorial
3. Finish edges and iron seam open.
How-to Fit an Ill-Fitting Dress Tutorial

4. Cut two armhole. I cut on the black dots.

How-to Fit an Ill-Fitting Dress Tutorial

5. Check width of sleeve to the new armhole. I had to take in my sleeves about half the amount as my sides. Trim and finish edges. Iron open.

How-to Fit an Ill-Fitting Dress Tutorial

6. Reattach sleeves. Finish edges.

How-to Fit an Ill-Fitting Dress Tutorial
How-to Fit an Ill-Fitting Dress Tutorial

That’s it! You now have a new dress!

 How-to Fit an Ill-Fitting Dress Tutorial How-to Fit an Ill-Fitting Dress Tutorial
How-to Fit an Ill-Fitting Dress Tutorial
 How-to Fit an Ill-Fitting Dress Tutorial How-to Fit an Ill-Fitting Dress Tutorial

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Author: Heather Handmade

I'm a seamstress and mother. I sew, blog, thrift, upcycle, design fabric, and teach sewing classes. I'm also a self-proclaimed fabric fondler.

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10 thoughts on “How-to Fit an Ill-Fitting Dress Tutorial

  1. So did you sew up the side seams all the way to the shoulder? And then completely cut out new armholes??

    I really like your blog – you give so many great sewing techniques! Thank you!

    Posted on July 13, 2012 at 3:56 am
    1. I sewed up the side seams until I hit the armhole. Because of the shape of the armhole, this raises the bottom of the armhole so I cut mine down. Does that make sense?

      Posted on July 13, 2012 at 6:31 pm
  2. Indeed, a lovely summer dress. And with the cute, white belt is even more lovely!

    Posted on June 23, 2012 at 5:33 pm
  3. Good tutorial. Thanks!
    Kathy

    Posted on June 12, 2012 at 12:29 am
  4. This is great, I think I must put my baby in my after photos too! I like it 🙂 SO cute!

    Found you from the co-op…your new follower. I can't wait to see what is next!

    Posted on June 9, 2012 at 6:09 pm
  5. awesome! I'm going to save this tutorial for later. I love thrift store shopping and sometimes see fabric I love in dresses I don't.

    Posted on May 25, 2012 at 6:02 pm
  6. Good job!

    Posted on May 25, 2012 at 4:38 pm
  7. Way cute. Wish I was brave to just chop into stuff.
    Also, was that tailors chalk in the picture? Where might one pick up stuff like that?

    Posted on May 25, 2012 at 3:40 pm
  8. VERY cute. I'd like one like this for church!

    Posted on May 25, 2012 at 2:51 pm
  9. that is an awesome dress! love the details.

    Posted on May 25, 2012 at 2:30 pm