How To Alter A Flower Girl Dress (Expert Advice)

Flower girl dresses are a wonderful way to celebrate your daughter’s role in your wedding. 

However, if you don’t love the dress that was selected for her, or if it doesn’t fit quite right or just isn’t what you imagined for her big day, it can be difficult to know where to start when altering a flower girl dress. 

This article will walk you through the basic steps of adjusting a flower girl dress so that it fits perfectly on your little one!

Flower Girl Dress: The Skirt | How to sew

Sure! Here’s a single column takeaway table based on the title “Expert Tips for Altering a Flower Girl Dress”:

Take measurements carefully
Choose the right fabric
Consider the dress style
Prepare a muslin pattern
Take it one step at a time
Seek professional help if necessary

Shortening The Skirt Of A Dress

If you’re shortening a dress that has an attached skirt, you have a few options. You can:

Cut off the hem of the skirt and reattach it. This is usually done on straight-cut dresses and gowns; if your dress has ruffles or pleats, this may not be possible without taking them off too (and then they’ll look weird).

Take up the hem of the skirt and sew it back down again to make it shorter. This works best with A-line dresses–you want to make sure that there’s enough fabric in between where you take up and where you sew down so that there will be enough fabric at each end when everything’s said and done!

Add some extra inches of fabric to the back of your dress–this doesn’t necessarily shorten it, but if anything gives way as time goes by (like all things do), at least it won’t tear more than once!

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Lengthening The Hem

If you want to lengthen the hem, you will need to remove it from inside of the dress. This means having a seam ripper handy and being patient! If you are using a sewing machine, use a zig zag stitch to prevent fraying. 

Fold under your current hem in small increments and pin in place until you have removed enough fabric to add new lace trim all around (you may have to fold over twice). Once finished with this step, try on the dress again before proceeding with sewing!

Making A Dress Larger

  • To make a dress larger, you’ll need to add fabric. You can do this in two different ways:
  • Sewing an extension onto the bottom hem of your dress, or
  • Adding fabric to the inside of a seam at the waistline. This method is more complicated because it requires you to sew in new seams and reinforce them with stitching multiple times (which will take up more time).

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Making A Dress Smaller

The first step is to remove the dress from the child. We recommend that you cut/tear off the zipper and fabric around it, as this will make it easier to remove your child’s hands from their grasp on the dress. 

Remove any fastenings on the back of the dress (e.g., buttons or zippers), which will also help in removing it.

The next step is to cut off any excess fabric at an angle so that when you reattach and adjust your hemline, you don’t need more than two inches of material left over at each end a little less if possible! 

Once again, we strongly recommend using pinking shears for this part as well; otherwise, cutting through multiple layers of cloth might cause some fraying along seams where stitches 

Have been removed from seams before putting them back together again later on down below into sewing room where best practices dictate only one seam per garment being used here instead

Adding Sleeve Length

Adding sleeve length to a dress is also pretty simple and costs around $20 per sleeve. The materials needed are a needle and thread, scissors, measuring tape and some thick fabric (depending on the type of garment). 

You’ll want to measure from the shoulder seam down to where you want your new sleeve hemline to be. Then use that measurement as a guide for cutting out a piece of fabric in the same style as your dress that’s approximately 1/2″ longer than your desired measurement.

Now follow these steps:

Sew up each side of this new piece of fabric (use a zigzag stitch so it won’t fray) along its edges using pins or basting stitches first; then sew it onto the shoulder seam using straight lines only (not zigzags)

Sew up any seams on top left side (if applicable) next by hand- stitching around all edges

Finally sew up any other unfinished seams down at bottom hem line by hand-stitching around all edges

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Shortening Sleeves

To shorten sleeves, remove the sleeves from the dress and cut off excess fabric.

Sew along the hem of each sleeve with a straight stitch. This will allow you to fold over the hem without it coming undone.

To ensure that there is enough length for folding over, leave at least 2 inches (5 cm) of seam allowance on each side of the armhole when you sew it together with a straight stitch.

Removing Slip Stitch Lines

Removing slip stitch lines can be done a few ways. The most common way is to use a seam ripper and carefully remove each stitch. 

Another option that may be more efficient is to carefully cut the stitches, but this should only be done if you know what you’re doing (and have experience cutting through fabrics). Once the stitches are removed, turn your work over and trim any remaining threads hanging from the edges of your dress.

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Removing Wrinkles

Let’s start with the basics: an iron. If you don’t want to invest in a steamer, or if your dress is so wrinkled that pressing it by hand isn’t enough, then an iron is your next step. 

Another option would be to hang up (or lay out) the dress on a clothes hanger for a few hours before wearing it; this will help pull out some of the wrinkles from being folded up in storage.

If those don’t work for you, then there are other methods you may have seen—like hanging the dress up in direct sunlight. 

The idea here is that sunlight naturally helps remove wrinkles and freshens fabrics in general (if your item has been exposed to dust or dirt). It also helps get rid of stains even those caused by sweat!

Blocking Flowers

Blocking is the process of stretching a knitted piece (usually lace) to make it lay flat. It takes some time and patience, but blocking can really transform a dress. 

The flower girl dress I made for my niece’s wedding was originally very wrinkly and had an uneven hemline. After blocking, it looked perfect!

Blocking will also help you get the right size fitting garment on your child or friend before they wear it to an event so that she looks her best when she walks down the aisle!

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Removing Stains.

When removing stains, you can follow these steps:

Use a stain remover. This is the simplest method to remove stains from your Flower Girl dresses. You can use Tide Stain Release or Shout Color Catcher, both of which are available at grocery stores and drug stores. 

Just pour it on the stain, let it sit for a few minutes (you don’t need to rub), then rinse with warm water and blot dry with a clean towel.

Use a stain stick (aka magic erasers). You can also use this technique if you want to tackle small stains yourself at home instead of taking them to your local dry cleaner or professional cleaner like us! 

To do so, simply apply some water to the Magic Eraser or similar product and gently rub over the stain until it’s removed; then wipe off any remaining residue with an old rag or paper towel before hanging up your dress again in its normal spot where there’s plenty of ventilation never hang up wet clothing because it could cause mildew growth later!

Repairing Hems, Seams And Tears

Repairing tears. Tearing your dress is a bummer, but luckily it’s not impossible to fix. If you want to try your hand at sewing, there are several ways to repair rips and holes in a flower girl dress. 

First off, take out any seams that are coming apart or need re-stitching by removing the needle and pulling out the thread from one side of each seam and then pulling out the needle on other side of each seam as well. Then use new thread and sew up those tears/holes!

Repairing hems. Hemming is another quick fix for altering a flower girl dress that doesn’t require much sewing skill at all! 

If you want to hem something yourself but don’t know how to do it yet (or just don’t have time), you can buy some fabric glue (like Stitch Witchery) which works as an instant hemming solution without sewing required! 

Just spread some glue along where you want your hem line, fold over onto itself again like normal making sure there’s no gap between layers then iron down flat until dry (usually takes around 20 minutes). This will give you a neat edge without having done anything too complicated – perfect if you’re short on time!

Sewing on new buttons/zippers: If there are any buttons missing or zippers need replacing after wearing once or twice these can be easily replaced with ones purchased online through sites such as Etsy or eBay (and often customized with names etc.).

Repair Tips for Flower Girl Dresses

HemsTo fix a hem that has come undone, simply fold the fabric under and stitch it in place using a needle and thread.
SeamsFor a torn seam, use a needle and thread to sew the seam back together. Reinforce the seam with an extra stitch to prevent future tearing.
TearsTo repair tears or holes, you can use a needle and thread to stitch the torn edges together. If the hole is too large, you can patch it with a small piece of fabric that matches the dress color.
Missing ButtonsIf a button is missing, replace it with a matching button. Simply sew the new button in place using a needle and thread.
StainsTo remove stains from a flower girl dress, identify the type of stain and use an appropriate stain remover. Test the solution on a small, inconspicuous area first to ensure it doesn’t bleach or damage the fabric.

Adding A Petticoat To Give The Skirt Volume

A petticoat can be any skirt worn under another skirt. You can buy a petticoat from a fabric store or make your own. 

To add one to your dress, simply cut out the shape you want and sew it on to the existing bottom of the dress. If you want an especially full skirt, use several layers of tulle or netting as needed!

If you’re looking for more ways to alter your flower girl dress, check out this article on how to make a vintage-inspired sash for your little one!

Repurposing Dresses For Halloween Costumes Or Play Outfits After The Wedding Is Over

If you find yourself with an extra dress, don’t let it go to waste. Try these ideas instead:

Use the gown as a costume for a child. Cut off the sleeves and hem the bottom of the fabric, then add some ribbons or bows for decoration.

Make an adult Halloween costume out of it by adding ribbons or scarves to create wings, cutting arm holes in the dress and covering them with lace, adding bangles on one side of it for wings or using fake flowers on both sides for bigger arms (or just wear two dresses).

Use leftover fabric to make wings for your pet that match their personality! These can be made from any type of fabric but should be comfortable enough not to irritate their skin when worn over long periods of time – remember: costumes are usually worn all day at Halloween parties! 

This would also be a great way to reuse old wedding dresses if they’re made from polyester since animals tend not like those types due to static electricity buildup around their fur

Ideas for Repurposing Wedding Dresses

Kids’ CostumesTransform the gown into a costume for children by cutting off the sleeves and hemming the bottom of the fabric. Add ribbons or bows for decoration.
Play OutfitsTurn the dress into a playful outfit for dress-up or theatrical productions. You can add anything from sequins and feathers to glitter and paint to create a unique look.
Charity DonationConsider donating the dress to a charity that provides wedding dresses for brides in need. This will give your dress a second life and make someone else’s wedding day a little brighter.
Home DecorIf the dress has intricate lacework, beading, or embroidery, these details can easily be used in home decor. Use them to embellish pillows, throws, lampshades, or even picture frames.
Fabric CraftsRepurpose the fabric for various crafting projects, such as quilting, knitting, or crocheting. You can also use it to make a memory bear or a patchwork blanket.


These are just some of the ways you can alter a flower girl dress. You could also take apart the dress and make it into a new one, or turn it into an outfit for your child to wear at Halloween or playtime. The possibilities are endless!

Further Reading

For more information on wedding dress alterations, check out these resources: Wedding Dress Alterations Tips: This article provides helpful tips and advice for brides who are considering altering their wedding dress.

WeddingWire: Tips for Wedding Dress Alterations & Fittings: WeddingWire offers a comprehensive guide on wedding dress alterations and fittings for brides-to-be.

Craftworld: How to Alter a Wedding Dress Yourself – Complete DIY Guide: This blog post provides a detailed, step-by-step guide on how to alter a wedding dress yourself.


What is wedding dress alteration?

Wedding dress alteration refers to the process of making changes or adjustments to a bride’s wedding dress in order to achieve the perfect fit or style.

Why do I need to alter my wedding dress?

Wedding dress alteration is essential to ensure that your dress fits you perfectly and is comfortable to wear on your big day. It can also help enhance the overall appearance of your dress.

When should I start thinking about wedding dress alteration?

You should start thinking about wedding dress alteration at least 3-4 months before your wedding day.

How much does wedding dress alteration cost?

The cost of wedding dress alteration can vary based on the type of alteration needed, the complexity of the alteration, and the location where the alteration is being done. On average, brides can expect to pay anywhere between $200 and $800 for wedding dress alterations.

Can I do wedding dress alteration myself?

It is not recommended to do wedding dress alteration yourself unless you have the necessary skills and expertise. It is recommended to hire a professional to ensure that your dress is altered properly and professionally.