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Bridal Gown Alterations

Bobena | Posted in Fitting on

I am altering a wedding gown that had 1/2″ seams….I have to add to it.  But the dress had very short sleeves and the bride wants 3/4 length.  The armhole is cut for a sleeveless.  Besides cutting new sides….any suggestions?


PS…you need to make a catagory of Bridal Gown Alterations….we could start a whole new site!


  1. sewchris703 | | #1

    I'm not sure what you are asking about. Does the gown have sleeves now or is it sleeveless? Do you need to make the sleeves longer or make new sleeves?

    As for the 1/2" side seam allowance goes, my first thought is that this is a previously worn and altered gown as most bridal gowns originally have 1" side seams for ease in altering. With 1/2" side seam allowances, you can make the gown 1" bigger. If you need to make the gown 2" bigger, check out the zipper seam allowance. Frequently, there is another 1"+ there. If you need to make it bigger than that, you will have to put in a gusset or a panel.


    1. Bobena | | #2

      The gown currently has very short sleeves.  Yet, after taking off the sleeve it appears that the armhole is cut for a sleeveless dress.  When I added a 3/4 sleeve it was tight across the upper muscle area of the arm.

      As for the seams...the dress was a sample and yes it truly has 1/2 seams all around.  Usually I do find some room to let out with.  I know I will have to add a panel to it.  If I do I will probably add completely new side panels and correct the armhole problem while I am at it.

      1. Teaf5 | | #3

        Can you post a drawing or photo of the gown?  Or describe the style specifically?

        Adding side panels may call attention to the fact that it was altered to fit; it might make more sense to do a center back panel or replacement back or use design features from the smaller gown on a basically new, blank base gown.

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