RESIZING AN OVERSIZED, SIDE-ZIPPERED DRESS (TUTORIAL)

I’ve been on the hunt for a good chambray dress for ages. I’d seen some great inspiration on pinterest and had sort of decided I’d just make one, but then I couldn’t find a reasonably priced denim that was lightweight, soft, and a good color. 
Then last week I stopped by Old Navy to pick up new jeans for Peanut and just happened to walk through the women’s sale section and noticed a bunch of chambray dresses on sale for $12. My regular size was several inches too short at the hemline, but when I tried one on that was about 5 sizes larger, it had several inches of additional length and was absolutely perfect. 
With a little alteration, the dress now fits like a glove and the length is long enough for me. And I have my perfect chambray dress for twelve bucks (did I mention it has pockets?!)
Also, the gorgeous necklace and earrings I’m wearing are from Cor de Mel, a beautiful online jewelry shop full of classic and trendy pieces. They’re running a flash sale this weekend only, so make sure you hop over and check out their deals, and enter to win their $3,500 jewelry giveaway!
____________________
dress: old navy (altered by me)
flats: oasap c/o 
watch: michael kors


TUTORIAL

*this tutorial is super easy (just one step), but doesn’t work for all dresses. If you size up too much the arm holes and neckline might also get too big and might require extra alterations, so be aware of that. Next week I’ll show you an alteration for a dress with a zipper up the back, rather than the side.
Step 1. Try on your dress inside out and determine how much you need to take in at the back, and pin. It’s kind of hard doing this on your own, so I’d suggest the help of a friend, or doing it on a dress form. 
Lay your dress flat, lining up the waistband, hem, and neckline, and pin down the entire dress. Sew with a straight stitch from neckline to hemline, as seen below.
 Cut off your extra fabric and zigzag or serge the raw edge. And you’re done! 

40 Comments

  1. Janssen says:

    This is darling, and I really love it with the yellow shoes.

  2. Claire says:

    Aww that's a really beautiful dress. I also have the trouble of dresses in my size being a little too short but never thought of buying one a couple sizes larger until now. Thanks for the tutorial!

  3. Such a great idea! Looks amazing on you!

    The Style Storm
    xo, Christina

  4. these tutuorials are so great! i love that i feel like i can purchase something too big, and make it work (the wise words of tim gunn). thanks for sharing!

  5. Kimberly says:

    This is amazing – if I was able to tailor my own clothes, I could seriously save SO much money!

    http://www.pennypincherfashion.com

  6. You did an awesome job on the dress! It looks fabulous.

  7. Ashley Case says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! I literally had the same thing happen to me YESTERDAY, but didn't buy the dress because I want sure how to alter it! Let's just say I'll be the first one at Old Navy today!

  8. Rebeccarama says:

    Oh my gosh I have this exact same dress that I have been trying to figure out how to resize! Thanks so much!

  9. Diany says:

    this is a great tutorial. Could you please tell me what type of serger do you use? I would like to invest in one. Thanks.

  10. Didn't realize it was quite this simple. Thank you for sharing.

  11. OHMIGOSH WHY ARE YOU SO CUTE. This is perfection on you!

  12. angie says:

    i have this dress, and i LOVE it. so perfect for mix and match! great job altering it, it looks like it was made in your size! -a

  13. Ruth says:

    So cute and so easy to do! Your yellow shoes are just adorable with the dress!

    mylittlenest.org

  14. You are such a sewing genius! This looks fabulous on you!!! $12 bucks- weeeeeeee!!!

    http://chelseypatti.blogspot.com

  15. Marianne T says:

    Wow!! I must head over to old navy now lol. Amazing tutorial as always

  16. Abigail says:

    So, so cute! Your hair and makeup also looks fabulous in the photos! πŸ™‚

  17. Daveana says:

    Do you have any before/after shots of the back of the dress?

  18. Awesome tip! I will definitely have to store this tutorial in my head whenever I come across dresses like this in the store that are too big. πŸ™‚

    Jen @ Librarian for Life & Style

  19. Love the dress……great tips and suggestions as always!!!!

    Sewloveable.wordpress.com

  20. Love the dress……great tips and suggestions as always!!!!

    Sewloveable.wordpress.com

  21. Emilie says:

    thanks for the tip πŸ˜‰

  22. Marianne T says:

    The dress IS amazing! Got one at old navy this morning. Clearance for $7.50!! Thanks merrick!

  23. Sanja T says:

    Beautiful dress! I love it on you.

    LoveofCuteness

  24. Lindsay says:

    You look amazing! I would love to find a chambray dress that looked half as good on me. I can't believe you completely refashioned that!

  25. I can't even believe how long your hair is getting!

    ladymakesit.com

  26. Demi says:

    Sorry to comment on an old post, but doesn't this pull the arm holes too far back?? I can't quite tell in the model shots but the bust alignments seem to be somewhat off, and what does the back of the dress actually look like when you've done this? More photos of it would be great!

  27. kelsiec says:

    I buy dress too big all the time on clearance and have my mom take them in for me. I need to start doing it myself though. Thanks for the tutorial! P.s. I bought this same dress on sale and added 2 overlapping layers of 2 inch vintage crocheted applique to the bottom and it turned out super cute!!

  28. kelsiec says:

    I buy dress too big all the time on clearance and have my mom take them in for me. I need to start doing it myself though. Thanks for the tutorial! P.s. I bought this same dress on sale and added 2 overlapping layers of 2 inch vintage crocheted applique to the bottom and it turned out super cute!!

  29. Nann.Mello says:

    What if instead of sewing a straight line you evenly follow the existing seam and cut off the excess? Would that also work?

  30. Trina says:

    This dress looks great, but would this same technique work on a dress that does not have an existing seam down the back (as I imagine most side zippered dresses do not), or would you use a different technique in that case?

  31. Belindq says:

    It will be better if you can show the back view after the alteration.

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