How To Alter A Wedding Dress Yourself: 2 Best Ways

You can learn how to alter a wedding dress yourself with basic hemming. We will also share some sewing tips if you want to add more details to your wedding dress. 

Do you own a gown or dress with a V-neckline that you want to make more modest? Consider reading our other tutorial on how to alter a too-deep V-neck wedding dress.

how to alter a wedding dress yourself

You can always benefit from knowing basic alterations so you can look your best and feel more confident on your special day. 


How To Alter A Wedding Dress Yourself The Easiest Way

Before anything else, please only alter your wedding dress if you’re confident with your sewing skills. The last thing you want is to ruin the dress accidentally, and it might cost you more to fix the issues. 


Altering a wedding dress to get the perfect fit

You can alter a wedding dress yourself if you know basic hemming. Hemming certain areas of the dress can make it fit better and accentuate your body shape well. 

For example, adjust the sides of the wedding dress or hem the length. If the sides are fine-tuned to your body, the gown will support and shape your upper body well, especially around the bust. 

Hemming is relatively easy, especially if the only issue with your wedding dress is the length. The length of a wedding dress depends on the personal preference and considerations of the bride; then, you can learn how to hem a skirt with a sewing machine since it’s applicable to the lower part of the dress as well. 


Altering a wedding dress for style

Knowing how to alter a wedding dress yourself is not limited to tweaking its size and fitting. If you have a knack for details and designs, you can add more to your dress so it will transform into your ideal style. 

Perhaps you want to add lace appliques, beads, or even straps on the shoulders. Because you’re only adding details, this is the easiest alteration method than hemming and adjusting the dress. 

You can read how to sew sequins with a sewing machine to get a general idea of adding accessories to clothing. We’ve also discussed what is heirloom sewing as it involves sewing techniques that you can use to decorate a wedding dress. 


How Many Sizes Down Can A Wedding Dress Be Altered?

A wedding dress can be altered two sizes down. This is even a common practice for brides that buy ready-made dresses which are expected to be bigger than their actual size. 

By adjusting the wedding dress, it will fit much more perfectly to the bride. However, seamstresses recommend that you only get a wedding dress that you can alter the size or two down and never anything that’s too big. 

Otherwise, it won’t be easy to keep the clothing’s original design and integrity. You can also expect that it would be more expensive to alter a significantly bigger dress than your actual size. 


Considerations when altering a wedding dress

  • Have your wedding dress altered six to eight weeks before the wedding date so you’ll have enough time for adjustments
  • Schedule a final wedding dress fitting a week before the wedding
  • Check with the seamstress if the wedding dress is made of material that can be altered 


How To Alter A Wedding Dress That Is Too Big

There are many ways to alter a wedding dress that is too big. It will just depend on which part of the dress needs to be lessened. 

If the size difference is not that drastic, try easy adjustment hacks, such as cinching the waist with an embellished sash or filling the bust area with bra cups. But if these techniques still don’t provide a good fitting, you may need to resew it yourself.

If you’re not comfortable with your sewing skills, bring the oversized wedding dress to a professional. The seamstress or tailor will most likely recut the dress and use the seam allowance to resew and make it tighter or shorter.  


How To Alter A Wedding Dress That’s Too Small

Altering a wedding dress that’s too small will be trickier than dealing with a bigger dress. However, it would be possible if the dress had enough extra seam allowance to add size. 

The dress might also undergo structural changes, depending on the size difference. This may include adding side panels, changing the armholes, or even lowering the back of the dress. 


How To Alter A Wedding Dress That Is Too Small In The Back

The most common ways to make a wedding dress that’s too small in the back more comfortable and fitted to the bride include adding a zipper extender or letting some of the zipper allowances out. 

If you can sew zippers yourself, this alteration is possible at home. But if these easy fixes didn’t solve the small back of the dress, your seamstress might open the back and add a panel fabric or turn it into a corset. 



Was this guide helpful? We’ve discussed how to alter a wedding dress yourself and shared some easy hacks for those not that comfortable sewing. 

The adjustments can include hemming and using the seam allowance, adding fabric panels, decorating with embellishments, or even filling and cinching out the oversized portions of the dress. We hope you learned a lot, and we wish you the perfect look for your wedding day. 

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