Make a dress bigger. Resize a tight or small dress to fit.

make dress bigger

Resize a tight dress to fit. Increase a dress size so it fits.

In this sewing tutorial, I’ll show you how to make a tight dress bigger to increase a dress size to fit. This is an easy DIY sewing project that’s suitable for beginner sewers.

Watch the dress size increase sewing tutorial

I’ve owned this dress for many years but, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve increased a couple of dress sizes. This dress had become too tight. The buttons were popping and gaping and I didn’t feel comfortable wearing it.

Wherever possible, I try to upcycle my old clothes to give them a longer life in my wardrobe and, with it’s button down style with side seam, it was perfect design to simply add a piece of fabric to the side seam which would increase the width.

Step 1 – Find matching fabric.

The first step was to find fabric that matched the dress. In my upcycling pile I found this Mandarin style top that was now also too tight for me. The fabric on the back would be perfect for this project.

I later used the fabric from the front of the top to make a gorgeous little handbag. I’ve created a tutorial on this upcycling project that you can watch on my channel.

Step 2 – Open up the side seam of the dress.

The second step was to open up the side seams of the shirt dress from the bottom hem to the underarm sleeve hem.

Step 3 – Cut the pieces from the matching fabric.

Next, I separated the Mandarin top from the front and cut it up to create two separate pieces.

I then measured and cut these into two separate triangles.

I decided to cut them into triangles because I wanted the new dress design to flare at the bottom, not have the original tight, straight style.

Step 4 – Pin the new fabric to the open side seams of the dress.

I then pinned these to the side seams of the dress I’d cut. The new seams were then sewed on the machine.

Step 5 – Sew a new bottom hem.

And finally, a new bottom hem is sewn and it’s finished.

Thanks for visiting, BEX.


benefits of learning to sew

The benefits of sewing, mending and making your own clothes.

In an era of environmental consciousness, learning to sew and make your own clothes is more relevant and beneficial than ever.

Sewing skills not only mean saving money (more important in times of high cost of living) but play a significant role in reducing your environmental footprint.

Below are how learning to sew and utilising your existing sewing skills can make a positive impact on your life and the planet.

Learning to sew can be cost effective

Learning to sew and mend your clothes can lead to substantial savings now and in the long term.

Instead of discarding garments due to minor damages you can easily repair them yourself. Upcycling clothes gives them a new life, keeping then in the circular economy rather than going to landfill.

Making your own clothes means you can create custom pieces tailored to your style and fit.  Best of all, you’ll have the satisfaction of wearing something unique, knowing you made it yourself.

Sewing reduces your environmental impact

The fashion industry is one of the biggest contributors to greenhouse emissions and environmental polluters. By learning to sew, mend, and upcycle, you actively participate in reducing this impact through waste reduction, resource conservation, and by reducing your carbon footprint.

Evolve your personal style and expression

Homemade and upcycled clothes offer a unique opportunity for personal expression where you can tailor clothes to your preference, size and design.

Sewing means you can enjoy a more meaningful wardrobe that’s filled with items that you love and cherish.

Sewing enhances creativity

Sewing fosters creativity and skill development.

Upcycling encouraging you to think creatively about how to repurpose and rejuvenate old items. Sewing your own clothes allows you to experiment with different fabrics, patterns, and designs. There are no rules!

Making something with your own hands or bringing a beloved items back to life cultivates a sense resourcefulness.

Making ethical fashion choices

By making and mending your own clothes, you align with ethical fashion principles.

Fast fashion often involves exploitative labour practices and poor working conditions. By creating your own garments or repurposing second hand clothing, you know exactly where and how they were made, promoting fair labour practices and ethical production.

Sewing is less wasteful

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, millions of tons of textile waste are generated each year.

Repairing and upcycling clothes keeps them out of landfills and often being shipped overseas and burned.

By extending the life of your garments, you contribute to lowering the environmental impact of clothing waste across the world.