How to Add Fabric to the Side Seams of a Dress

Cut a gusset to expand the size of your dress.

Photo: Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images

It's been awhile since you've put on your favorite frock and unfortunately it just doesn't fit anymore. That's right, no matter how hard you suck in your tummy or tug at the zipper, the darn thing won't close. Don't ditch the dress in the trash, though. Instead, let the dress out by creating a gusset at each side seam. For those not in the sewing know, a gusset is a panel inserted to make a dress or sleeve wider. Cut a gusset that matches your original dress. Or give your dress a totally new look by adding one in a contrasting pattern or color.

1.

Try your dress on, pulling the zipper up as far as you can.

2.

Measure the width of the top of the gap where the zipper won't close. Call this measurement "A."

3.

Measure the length from top of the dress to where the zipper is stuck. Call this measurement "B."

4.

Divide the measurement "A" in half. This new number will be the width of each gusset.

5.

Create a pattern for the gusset. Draw a vertical line down the center of a piece of paper. An inch from the top of the paper, horizontally mark out the width of your gusset so it is cut in half by the vertical line. Draw a line from each end of the gusset width to the center line, that is the length of measurement "B." You should have a triangle.

6.

Add 1/2 inch on each side of your triangle for seam allowance.

7.

Cut out your pattern.

8.

Pin the pattern to your fabric.

9.

Follow the pattern to cut out a gusset.

10.

Repeat steps 7 and 8. You now have a gusset for each side.

11.

Unpin the pattern from the gusset.

12.

Mark the 1/2-inch seam allowance on each gusset.

13.

Turn your dress inside out.

14.

Undo the side seam with the seam ripper. Only undo as many stitches as the length of measurement "B."

15.

Pin the gusset over the opening, the point of the triangle facing down. The seam line of the dress should match up with where you marked the seam allowance on the gusset.

16.

Stich down the right side of the gusset.

17.

Stitch down the left side of the gusset.

18.

Fold over the seam allowance at the top of the gusset.

19.

Stitch across the top.

20.

Repeat steps 14 through 19 with the other side seam.

Things You'll Need

 

1.Fabric

3.Seam ripper

5.Thread

7.Fabric chalk

9.Pen

2.Measuring tape

4.Sewing machine

6.Scissors

8.Paper

 

Tips & Tricks

 

Sew the gusset in carefully in order to avoid bunching the fabric.

These instructions are meant for an unlined dress.

 

Related Videos

 

Add to this Article

 

advertisement

Just for you

What type are you?

Choose your Face Shape
or Register
Daily Look

advertisement

How would you like to register?

Register with Facebook
  • It's fast, easy and hassle-free
  • One-click log-in and commenting
Register with typeF.com
  • Use your email to create your account
Register