Facebook Email Pinterest Twitter X Instagram Tiktok Icon YouTube Icon Headphones Icon Favorite Navigation Search Icon Forum Search Icon Main Search Icon Close Icon Video Play Icon Indicator Arrow Icon Close Icon Hamburger/Search Icon Plus Icon Arrow Down Icon Video Guide Icon Article Guide Icon Modal Close Icon Guide Search Icon

Conversational Threads

altering bustline of ready to wear

jsewfine | Posted in Fitting on


I am a new member and am wondering if anyone has altered the bustline (making it smaller) of a ready made dress.  I have a simple seersucker sleeveless dress that is a woman’s size 0 that has small bustline darts.  It needs to be worn by a 10 year old who has no bust! Yikes!   Is it even possible to remove some of the bust “room” by making the dart larger?  It is accessible  – the dress is just a simple shift.  Thanks for any help you can give!


  1. MaryinColorado | | #1

    Perhaps pintucks to take up the excess fabric could be strategically placed or even curved tucks? 

  2. User avater
    artfulenterprises | | #2

    Taking up a dart at the bustline is a walk in the park! If your body is pretty symmetric, just try on the dress inside out and pinch the darts deeper , pinning them to mark the new stitch lines (put the pins in vertically) and then baste them where you pinned. Remember the end of your dart should be about 1" to 1 1/2" from the bust point. Then, turn it right side out and check your handiwork. You may need one or two small adjustments, but it should be just what you need! When you are satisfied, simply machine stitch over your basted lines, remove the basting stitches and you're in business!

    Edited 6/11/2008 12:29 pm ET by artfulenterprises

    1. jsewfine | | #3

      Thanks - I'll give it a try!


  3. sewingkmulkey | | #4

    Since I can't "see" the dress I can only guess that it would be extremely difficult to remove some of the fabric.  Taking a larger dart will only make matters worse IMHO.  Why not remove the dart stitches and simply gather the side seam to make the excess fabric appear less obvious.  But, I'm only guessing...


  4. jjgg | | #5

    without seeing the dress, it's hard to say, but to remove the darts, you would have to take out the side seams from the hem to the dart and just lower the front and re-hem.

  5. Teaf5 | | #6

    I've removed the darts and gathered the side seams with success; it gives a nice ruching effect on most fabrics.

    Or, if you can open the side seams from the dart upward, you could open up the darts(assuming that they have not been slashed to the point), press them open, and the re-cut the armhole.  This means that you have to remove any facings or bindings, though, it is much more labor-intensive.

    Ten-year-olds are often sort of barrel-shaped, so if you can take in the center back seam, side seams or back darts, the current darts may just curve nicely over the chest.

This post is archived.

Threads Insider

Get instant access to hundreds of videos, tutorials, projects, and more.

Start Your Free Trial

Already an Insider? Log in

Conversational Threads

Recent Posts and Replies

  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |

Threads Insider Exclusives

View All
View All