How to Easily Make a Dress Bigger in the Bust (Helpful Tips) Update 05/2022

If you’ve ever wondered what the expression “letting out” implies, you’ve come to the correct spot. Simply defined, “letting out” means making your clothing a little roomier than it would otherwise be. The word stems from the fact that the method entails “letting” the cloth “out” of the seam to make the dress larger.

Is it possible to “Let Out” a dress? Checking the seam allowance is the first step in determining whether a dress can be let out. You’re in luck if the seam allowance on a dress is greater than 14 inches. You may “let” out the dress to a much more accommodating fit with a few modifications.

Dress Too Small At The Bust?

Dress-Too-Small-At-The-Bust

Don’t give up if your dress is too tiny in the bust. There’s a fair possibility you’ll be able to save it if you know how to use a needle.

First and foremost, double-check the seam allowance. If it’s larger than 14 inches, we’re good to move on to the next phase, where we’ll learn about some of the strategies for letting the bust out.

You can still save the dress if the seam allowance is less than 14 inch by adding a “fabric garter.” This method is commonly utilized on wedding dresses (we’ll go over this in more detail later), but it may also be used on other dresses with a corseting feature or a back zip.

How To Expand The Bust Of A Dress

How-To-Expand-The-Bust-Of-A-Dress

Finding a dress that fits correctly can feel like an endless chore to any lady. Making clothes that suit real women’s bodies does not appear to be part of what designers do with their time. Fortunately, making a few minor tweaks and turning that ill-fitting gown into your most comfy dress yet is easier than you think.

Grab your supplies and “let it go” with this simple step-by-step technique if the bust of your dress is nipping.

What You’ll Need

  • Basic Sewing Supplies
  • Bullet Point 2
  • ​Scissors
  • ​Seam Ripper
  • ​Tailor’s Chalk
  • Measuring Tape
  • Optional: Sewing Machine

The Approach

Step 1

Find the seam by turning the dress inside out (i.e. where the two edges of fabric have been sewn together). Calculate how much seam allowance you have to work with. If your seam allowance is greater than 14 inches, you can move on to the next step.

Step 2

Take your measurements (or the dimensions of the person for whom the dress is meant) at the broadest point of the bust to work out your new seam. At the breast, measure the dress (both front and back). Calculate how much you need to let the dress out by subtracting the second measurement from the first.

Step 3

Remove the stitching on the busts of both sides of the garment with a seam ripper. Take special care not to pull too hard, since this might strain or even damage the fabric.

Step 4

4 times the quantity needed to let the bust out This will tell you how much on each side you need to let out. If you need to let the dress out by 4 inches, for example, mark 1 inch from the stitching on both front and back sides. With tailor chalk, outline the new seam on the dress and put the edges back together at the chalk mark.

Step 5

Starting from the chalk mark at one end of the open seam and working your way along the length, sew the dress back together (by hand or with a sewing machine). Finish by tying off the thread ends and removing the pins.

How To Alter The Bust On A Wedding Dress

How-To-Alter-The-Bust-On-A-Wedding-Dress

Don’t worry if your pre-wedding diet didn’t go as planned. A few little tweaks can rapidly turn a too confining nightmare into a relaxing dream.

Depending on the style of the wedding gown, you may either apply the same procedure as in the previous set of instructions or just add a fabric gusset to extend the overall width of the gown.

A How-to-Guide To Adding A Gusset

What You’ll Require

  • Fabric for Gussets (lace works well with most wedding dresses)
  • Hook and Loop Adhesive Strips Hemming Tape (choose ones in the same color as the dress)
  • Sewing Supplies for Beginners

The Approach

Step 1

Unzip or unlace the dress until it is a comfortable fit (while still keeping it snug – don’t risk going from one extreme to the other). It should be loose enough to remove the dress. Place the gown on a clean surface.

Step 2

With a measuring tape, measure the width of the opening at the top of the dress as well as the height of the opening. To the first measurement, add two inches, and to the second, one inch.

Step 3

Cut your gusset fabric according to the previous step’s measurements. Create a completed seam by running hemming tape along the upper edge of the fabric.

Step 4

Using the same measurement as the second measurement you got in step 2, cut two strips of hook and loop sticky tape.

Step 5

Place one piece of hook and loop adhesive strip (without the backing) along the gusset fabric’s outer edge. Rep on the opposite side.

Step 6

Place the gusset fabric behind the dress opening and place it so that it completely covers the opening.

Step 7

To secure the hook and loop strip to the dress, pin it at the top and bottom. Separate the adhesive strips by unzipping the dress and turning it inside out. The hook and loop strip should be unpinned, but the pins should remain in the dress fabric.

Step 8

Using the pins left over from the previous step as a guide, remove the adhesive backing and connect the hook and loop strip to the inside of the garment. Carry on with the other hook and loop strip in the same manner.

Step 9

Attach one side of the gusset, then zip up the dress and attach the other.

How To Take In A Wedding Dress

How-To-Take-In-A-Wedding-Dress

We’ve seen how to mend a wedding gown that’s too big, but what if the problem is the opposite? Thankfully, taking a wedding gown in at the bustline is as simple as letting it out.

What You’ll Require

  • Seam Ripper
  • Straight Pins
  • ​Tailor’s Chalk
  • ​Rotary Wheel
  • ​Transfer Paper
  • ​Sewing Machine
  • A Pair of Helping Hands

The Approach

Step 1

Try on the dress from the inside out. Request that your helpful assistant use straight pins to pin a fresh stitching line, being sure to a) avoid puncturing you and b) keep the front and back centers in line.

Step 2

Remove the dress with gently, being careful not to lose any pins. With chalk, mark the pin placement on both sides of the seam. Remove the pins and use a seam ripper to unravel the seams.

Step 3

Place the bodice on top of a sheet of transfer paper, folded along the new stitching lines you’ve drawn. Trace the seam lines onto the opposite side with a rotary wheel.

Step 4

Finish by re-pinning the bodice along the new seam lines and stitching it in place.

How To Make A Dress Smaller At The Bust

How-To-Make-A-Dress-Smaller-At-The-Bust

It’s a misery to constantly jerk up an ill-fitting dress, but it’s one that can be easily avoided. There are various different options available for making your dress smaller at the bust.

Taking In Method 1

In this method, we’ll see how you can “take in” a dress by moving a seam inward (so basically, the exact opposite of what we’d do if we wanted to “let out” a garment).

What You’ll Require

  • Measuring Tape
  • Sewing Needle
  • ​Thread
  • ​Scissors
  • Pins

What Will You Do?

Step 1

Measure around your bustline to determine your new seam. Make careful to take your measurements at the largest part of your bust. At the breast, measure the dress (both front and back). Subtract the first from the second measurement. This will tell you how much the dress has to be taken in.

Step 2

Four times the measurement you took in step 1. This is the amount you’ll need to take out of each side of the dress (front left, back left, front right and back right). So, if you’re lowering the bust by 2 inches overall, you’ll need to mark 12 inches from each side’s stitching. With chalk, draw a new seam line.

Step 3

Sew your new seam where the side seam intersects with another seam. Sew all the way down with a straight stitch. You can either trim or leave the excess fabric in place (this is preferable in case you ever need to let the dress out in the future). A zig-zag stitch is used to finish the rough edges.

Darting (method 2)

Darts can give your dress a great form while also addressing the problem of a gaping bustline.

If your dress already has darts, it’s simple to add a new one in the same spot as the old one for the perfect fit.

What You’ll Need

  • Seam Ripper
  • Matching Thread
  • Scissors

What Will You Do?

Step 1

Using a seam ripper, remove the original dart. Continue unpicking the seam all the way to the underarm.

Step 2

Try the dress on to see where the new dart should go to prevent any gaps around the bust.

Step 3

Pin the beginning and end of the dart to keep it in place. Turn the garment inside out and use an angled straight stitch to sew the dart according to your markings.

Step 4

To complete, press the dart in place on the incorrect side of the dart.

How to Adjust The Bust on A Dress- Temporary Solutions

How-to-Adjust-The-Bust-on-A-Dress-Temporary-Solutions

If your dress is borrowed or you simply don’t have the time to bother with darts and seam lines, a temporary solution such as pinning or tape can be a perfect alternative to tailoring.

Tape is the first temporary solution.

Have you ever wondered how celebrities manage to look so flawless on the red carpet? The answer, believe it or not, does not lay just in the army of hair and beauty professionals at their disposal. Fashion tape has long been one of Hollywood’s best kept secrets, preventing a dress from gaping or slipping. It can be worn discreetly and at practically any part of the breast, whether at the sides of a strapless dress or at the curve of a neckline, because it comes in a range of skin tones and sizes. It’s even good for keeping spaghetti straps from slipping.

Solution 2 (temporary): Pinning

First and foremost, when we mention “pins” in this context, we exclusively mean safety pins. Never wear a dress, or anything else, that is held together with straight pins unless you want to look like a pincushion at the end of the day. To “pin” a dress at the bustline, put it on and have a friend gather any excess fabric at the side seams and pin it in place with safety pins. Remove the dress and count the amount of cloth that has been pinned. Remove the pins, turn the dress inside out, and gather and measure the same quantity of fabric as the previous measurement. To finish, pin in place.

Velcro is a temporary solution #3.

Velcro, when used correctly, may be a minor miracle worker (and it’s virtually as easy to remove as it is to apply). Sew a piece of Velcro (soft, looping side) under the arms of both sides of the dress if it’s gaping at the bust. Sew the rough side of the second half of the Velcro piece to the matching spots on both sides of your bra. If the back of the dress is also gaping, repeat the technique with two little pieces of Velcro on the back of the dress and two small pieces on either side of the bra clasp.

As we’ve seen, a few minor tweaks are sometimes all that’s required to turn an ill-fitting sack into a comfortable little number. Hopefully, you’ve discovered plenty of helpful hints and suggestions; if you know anyone else who would benefit from this information, please share it.

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