Can a Seamstress Make a Dress Bigger?

A seamstress that makes clothes can reduce and increase cloth size. It is normal for people to recently add or lose weight. A dress you are planning to wear to an event might not fit like it used to or might even become so tight. When you realise you don’t fit into a dress you love, you can learn to make it bigger by using methods that work on the most dress. Another aspect to look out for about dress alterations is a better fit, zip allowance, and seam allowance.

 It is important to note that you can alter different dress styles to make them bigger.  There are many factors to confirm when you convert clothes. If the clothing has an extra seam on the side and the kind of fabric is good, it would make your job easier. Adding fabrics to your cloth is not as easy as removing excess fabrics. Reviving old clothes and bringing them to life again is possible with the help of your seamstress.


Can a Seamstress Make a Dress Bigger?

Yes, a seamstress can make dresses bigger except for dresses that have been overlocked seem by a machine. An overlocked seam dress will not be possible to make bigger because they don’t have extra seam allowance to do that. Making your dress bigger will not be possible for your ready-made dress except you would want to add the length to the side if it is long enough. It is way easier to make a dress smaller than to make it bigger.

Formal wear such as wedding dresses, prom gowns and evening dresses have the extra fabric folded into the side seam. You can make use of that to make them big. Informal dresses like a sundress and maxi dresses don’t have extra seam allowance to make them big. They are mostly overlocked seams made by a machine that cuts away excess fabric. If you are not sure about things, go to your seamstress, she will surely tell you the best step to take concerning your dress. If it could still be turned bigger to fit or if the decision will not be possible.


Instruments needed by a seamstress to make your dress bigger.

  • Dress
  • Measuring tape
  • Marking chalk or pen
  • Seam ripper
  • Sewing machine
  • Matching thread for the fabric.


9 ways to make a dress bigger.

Most dress alteration needs you to be an expert in basic sewing skills, you can, however, find a way to make clothes bigger without sewing. Make sure you can, however, sew on the fabrics without any issue.


  1. Letting out seams: if your dress has an extra allowance on the side, you can loosen them out and re-sew them. Turn the dress inside out and measure the extra allowance with your measuring tape.  If it is more than ¼ or  2 inches then you are good to go. 


  • Measure yourself with the measuring tape and divide by two( bust, waist, and hips).
  • Measure across the dress the (bust, waist and hips)
  • Subtract the dress measurement from your measurement to be sure of the seam allowance you will be adding to the dress. For example, if your bust is 32 inches and you divide it by 2  to get 16 inches, but the measured bust of the dress is 15.5, you need to add half an inch to make it exactly 16 inches.
  • Mark the measured-out point with chalk.
  •  Use a seam ripper to remove the original stitch.
  • Re- sew the area you ripped out, follow the chalk line and sew along neatly.


  1. Adding Fabric: Adding fabric panels can make your dress larger, you might, however, be faced with the challenge of finding a fabric that matches your dress. It might also not be easy to sew neatly for a beginner. A seamstress can handle this properly because of her years of experience at work, she can add another material to a piece of fabric and would still come out really nice.


  • Measure yourself as earlier mentioned and divide by two. Measure the dress and subtract the dress measurement from your measurement to find out the number of fabrics you will be needing for the job.
  •  Cut out a panel in matching materials that stretches from the neck to the hips. Make the width of the panel an inch wider than the final measurements. The one inch is for seam allowance. You can make it two inches, one inch on each side.
  • Chalk out your bodice 
  • Take the bodice to the machine and follow the chalk to make your job easy.


  1. Inserting side zipper: A seamstress can make the dress bigger by inserting a zipper in the dress.  The zipper method only works if you need more room in the waist. The zipper helps release space into the waist area.


  • Try the dress inside out and use safety pins or chalk to mark the top of the side seam where you feel the dress is so tight.
  •  Use a seam ripper to carefully remove the stitch.
  • Set your sewing machine and sew along the chalk line.
  • Press the temporary seam open.
  • Pin one side of the zipper face down to the seam allowance of your seam
  •  Use a zipper foot, if you have one and a regular stitch to sew one side of the zip to the seam allowance.  Sew close to the metal teeth but do not let your needle meet the metal teeth. That way your needle and zip are safe.
  • Repeat the process on the other side of the zip and seam allowance.


  1. Using a side slit: The seamstress can make your dress bigger around the hip region by introducing a slit this does not require any extra fabric in the side seam.


  • The first thing to do in this situation is to mark where you want the slit to end. Spread the clothing across the floor smoothly and mark where you want the slit to end.
  • Remove the existing seam using the seam ripper.
  • Place your dress and mark the position where you want the slit to be.
  • Fold half an inch of each opened edge.
  • Pin with safety pins
  • Go to the m machine and sew it round.


  1. Altering under Arms: A tight armhole will not allow you to raise your hands and be comfortable. You can try adding a gusset.  Having a tight dress around the armhole can be interfered with by the seamstress.
  • Use a seam ripper to remove the stitching at the bottom of the armhole.
  • Remove the dress lining if it has one.
  •  Cut out your gusset from the matching material. There are no specific measurements to follow because there is space needed to match the space of the underarm area in your dress. Add half an inch for seam allowance each.
  • Align the gusset with the dress and stitch them together.
  •  The almond shape gives me ease of movement.


  1. Expanding hips: Expanding a dress at the hips can be so complicated. If your hip doesn’t match the shape of a dress don’t buy it. Getting a dress that fits at the hips but is big at the bust and waist is way better because you can slim fit the bust and waist region.

Probable solutions for expanding hips.

  • Add a back slit to the skirt.
  •  Add a kick pleat at the centre back of the hem. Ask a professional seamstress to handle this for you.


  1. Stretching: Some specific fabrics may stretch out. This method might actually not work out, but you might as well try it out. The dress may stretch out of shape and may not sit properly on your body like it used to. You can stretch your dress out in two simple ways.  First is to fill up your washing machine with cold water, leave the dress there overnight, Hang the dress, and let it dry up. The water weight will stretch out the dress. The machine is not supposed to be in motion.

The second method includes;


  • Fill up a basin with cold water.
  • Measure a quarter cup of baby shampoo.
  • Let your dress soak.
  • Drain the water and rinse your dress.
  • Gentle press out the water without wriggling.
  • Put your dress in between a large towel to bring out excess water.
  • Grab the area you want to enlarge and stretch.
  • Hang the dress to allow it to dry up.


  1. Remove Darts: if your dress has shaping features like darts, the seamstress can loosen some of the darts to create openings and more space in the dress. Removing the dart will change the shape and style of the dress. The dress may end up looking baggy. The dart is usually placed at the waist or the bust. If you don’t want to loosen the dart you can reduce the inches you used in holding the dart if it is more than one inch. To remove the dart, use the seam ripper to remove the straight line of stitching along the dart and the side or waist seam that holds the dart.

Use your machine to re-sew the waist and side seam without the dart. You can use a dart to enlarge your dress without any sewing.


How much does it cost?

Alterations can cost a lot of money depending on the brand and seamstress. You don’t expect a big brand to charge low. It depends on the brand and the kind of alterations you are doing.


  1.  Depending on the garment 
  2. The intricacy of the alteration project.

The bridal project may, however, be quite expensive and cost more than 200$ depending on the brand.  It could be a higher zipper, shoulder straps adjust, and hemming would not take as much money though. The work they did on your garment will determine the amount you will pay.

Final Thoughts.

In conclusion, a seamstress can make your dress bigger, even when you take it in before your wedding. It will only take a professional seamstress to do the perfect job. A Seamstress knows all the right things for you to get a bigger dress, they are experienced and experts in this field. You should consult them for your clothes. Don’t thrash that your favourite dress.