Skip to Content

How to Shorten a Dress From the Middle Full Guide of 2023

This site is supported by our readers. We may earn a commission, at no cost to you, if you purchase through links.

The easiest way to update your old dress is to shorten it. However, you cannot always shorten a dress from the end. The good news is that you can easily shorten your dress from the center.

There are three ways to shorten a dress from the center: with safety pins and straps, and by sewing. Each of these three methods has its own advantages and disadvantages. But if you’re not good at sewing, you’ll have to resort to safety pins and straps.

Shortening a dress from the center takes minutes if you know the right techniques to do it.. So you don’t have to be a professional in sewing to update your old dress to the alternative version. Here are three methods you can do with ease.

How do you shorten your dress from the center?

The answer to this question depends on the amount of skills and time you have. It also depends on if you are looking for a permanent solution.

So if you don’t have enough time and skills, you can try using safety pins or hem straps on your dress. You can choose to remove the tape later if you want the dress to return to its previous length.

On the other hand, if you are adept at that sewing machine or your hands, go for a more permanent fix and sew the dress from the center. While you can open the stitches later pins and needles leave markings on the dress that will stand out.

There are three ways to shorten your dress from the center:

  • Using safety pins on the dress
  • Using Double Sided Hem Bands
  • Sew your dress to shorten it.

Procedure for shortening your dress from the center

The first thing to do is all the necessities collect to shorten your dress. And you will need the following tools based on the method you are using:

  • A pair of safety pins (according to the actual width of the seam line)
  • Double-sided hem bands
  • A pair of scissors
  • An iron
  • Ironing Board
  • Needle and Matching Thread
  • Sewing Machine (Optional)
  • Pins

Method 1: Shortening a dress from the center using safety pins

Using safety pins is the easiest way your dress and is ideal for those difficult situations where you need the dress for an occasion or event that is just around the corner.

Step 1: Mark a line with a chalk on the dress

The safety pins must to the dress on a straight line and in no way. So your first task is to mark a line on the dress with chalk.

Step 2: Turn the dress over and start working

Now turn your dress inside out and grab safety pins to secure the bottom of the hem to the waist. Then take the other side of the seam and repeat the process. And that’s it!

Using two to four safety pins would be sufficient for this method. The process will save you a lot of time and give you complete freedom to go out in your new short dress in no time. If you don’t have sewing equipment to hand and sewing is not your forte, then using safety pins is definitely the right choice for you.

Method 2: Using Double Sided Hem Bands to Shorten a Dress

Now let’s look at the second easiest way to shorten your dress temporarily from the center. In fact, it’s so fast that you can wear your new, shorter dress in under five minutes.

Before starting the steps, let’s give you an idea of the type of tape you will be using. So look up something called’Temporary Zoom Band’.

What is a temporary hem band?

A temporary hem band to be invisible and create a temporary hem that is in the first place as easy to do as it is to remove. It’s a double sided tape that works for everything from dresses to pants.

You should basically take them everywhere as a quick fix. You don’t need a tailor to navigate your way around with a hem tape.

Step 1: Put on the dress with your favorite shoes

You should start putting on your dress with the shoes you want to wear with it. This will give you an idea of how short your dress should be. You can also put another dress on top of this to measure the ideal length.

Place pins where you want the new hem of your dress.

Step 2: Start by applying the seam tape to your dress

Then take off your dress and twist him inside out. Next, peel off one side of the hem tape and attach it to the fabric of your dress. Remove the other side of the tape and complete your work to hold the new hem of the dress in place.

Step 3: Remove the temporary hem tape after use

When you return the dress to its actual shape and hemline you need to remove the tape as gently as possible. And that’s it!

Pro Tip:

One thing to remember with this method is that you wash your dress, not after you apply the tape. So it means that you can only use a dress once or twice with the temporary hem band on it.

When buying a hem tape, go for a product that comes with a minimum of eighteen to twenty strips at an affordable price. Anything less won’t keep you going for long.

Method 3: Sewing to shorten a dress from the center

As you have seen with all kinds of clothing adjustments and fixes, you can shorten your dress temporarily by sewing it. This solution depends on the idea of adding stitches that will stay in place and raising the hem of your dress until you remember to remove it later.

In addition, it is a super simple solution and not something that requires you to spend half a day with a needle and thread. For this reason, you can make the process even easier by using a sewing machine.

Step 1: Start taking some measurements of the dress

As with all the above methods, start by getting an idea of how short you want the dress to be. First put on your dress with the shoes you want to wear with it. It will give you an idea about the new size of your dress.

You could also put another dress over it to measure the ideal length. Now place pins over the point where you want the new hem of your dress.

Step 2: Sew a stitch along the measuring line

You must sew along the lines where you have the pins posted. Also make sure that the stitches are long and beautiful. So it is easy to remove the stitches when you want the dress to return to its actual shape.

Step 3: Ironing and smoothing additional lining

Then turn the dress lining down from the waist and over the top of your dress. After this, take the iron and smooth out any extra fabric or lining to seal it on the inside of your dress.

Step 4: Make a top stitch to hide the short sewd

Then take a few more pins to make a firm top stitch to hide the excess. This will hide the new temporary seam you created. You are now ready to show the world your new, shorter dress.

Sewing is the best choice if you know how to make simple stitches because it feels more durable than a hem tape and the finish will be much better. Plus, you can wear this new short dress as often as you want, as you don’t have to remove the stitches to wash your dress. Sewing is the best choice if you don’t tie the dress overnight.

Can you use regular tape on your dress instead of temporary hem tape?

If you don’t have a temporary hem tape with you and you’re considering just sticking double-sided tape on your dress, please stop. Using a regular tape will simply damage the dress and it will be difficult to remove the tapes without damaging the actual fabric and leaving marks on it.

Remove the stitches you have Put on the dress?

You will need a seam ripper or small scissors to get the stitches removed if you want the actual length of the dress back. So the most important thing to remember here is not to go too hard or too fast on the stitches, as using excessive force can tear the dress.

Avatar for Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is the founder and editor-in-chief of, a site dedicated to those passionate about crafting. With years of experience and research under his belt, he sought to create a platform where he could share his knowledge and skills with others who shared his interests.