How to Shorten Straps on a Dress?

Last Updated on October 8, 2023

Have you ever experienced the frustration of finding a dress that fits perfectly in the front, only to realize the back is way too low? Adjusting the straps might just be the solution you need. So, how to shorten straps on a dress!

How to Shorten Straps on a Dress


  • Yes, you can shorten to adjust dress straps for a perfect, frustration-free fit.
  • Use a safety pin to find your ideal strap length, then cut and sew with a 2cm seam allowance.
  • Reattach the straps securely, reinforcing with stitches for a neat and lasting adjustment.

Sustainable Fashion: Embrace sustainable fashion by altering and reusing clothing for a more eco-friendly wardrobe.

Can I shorten the straps of any dress or top?

Yes, you can shorten the straps of most dresses and tops, especially those with adjustable straps. However, dresses with intricate designs or built-in straps might be challenging.

How to Shorten Straps on a Dress?

How to Shorten Straps on a Dress

Adjusting dress straps can solve the problem of ill-fitting outfits. Measure, cut, and sew the straps to your desired length, ensuring a perfect fit. Don’t forget to reattach them securely for a flawless look.

Here in this step-by-step guide, we’ll walk you through the process of shortening the straps on a dress or top, ensuring your outfit fits flawlessly from all angles.

Measure and Pin

Shorten Straps on a Dress - Measure and Pin

Put on the dress or top and use a safety pin to experiment with different strap lengths. Decide how much you want to shorten them; remember, it’s better to cut too little than too much.

Remove Straps

Remove Straps

Detach the straps from the back of the dress using a seam ripper or scissors. Mark where the straps were attached with a safety pin for easier reattachment.

Cut Fabric

Cut Fabric

Subtract about 2 centimeters from the measured length for seam allowance. Cut the excess fabric from both straps.

Fold and Sew

Fold and Sew

Fold the bottom of each strap twice to hide the raw edge. Secure it with pins and use a sewing machine to sew it in place with a straight stitch. Repeat for both straps.

How to Reattach Straps

Position Straps

Pin the straps back onto the dress, ensuring they are flat and not twisted. Leave at least 1 centimeter of overlap for attachment.

Secure Straps

Secure Straps

Sew the bottom and top of the straps using a sewing machine, reinforcing the attachment points. For heavier fabrics, consider adding a cross stitch for extra security.

Trim Excess

Trim Excess

Trim any excess thread with scissors for a neat finish.

Can I adjust both fabric and chain straps using this method?

Yes, you can adjust both fabric and chain straps using the same method. Just be mindful of the type of fabric or material you are working with. Delicate fabrics may require more precision, while chain straps might need additional reinforcement.

Can I use fabric glue instead of sewing to reattach the straps?

While fabric glue can be a quick fix, there are more secure methods for reattaching straps, especially if the dress is frequently worn or washed. Sewing provides a more durable and long-lasting solution.

Do I need to be an expert in sewing to shorten dress straps?

Basic sewing skills are helpful, but you can be someone other than an expert. Following the step-by-step guide and practicing on scrap fabric can boost your confidence. With patience and careful stitching, anyone can successfully shorten dress straps.

How long does it take to shorten dress straps?

The time required depends on your sewing skills and the complexity of the dress. On average, it might take 30 minutes to an hour to shorten and reattach both straps. With practice, the process will become quicker and more efficient.

Can I use this method to adjust the straps of a swimsuit or lingerie?

Yes, you can use a similar method to adjust the straps of swimsuits or lingerie. However, make sure to use appropriate thread and needles suitable for swimwear and delicate fabrics to ensure the durability and comfort of the garment.

What should I do if I accidentally cut the straps too short?

If you cut the straps too short, it can be challenging to fix the mistake. To avoid this, cut a bit less than your measured length initially. If it’s too short, consider adding a decorative strap extension or lace to slightly elongate it.


And there you have it – your dress with perfectly adjusted straps tailored to your preference. Don’t let ill-fitting clothes bring you down; with a few simple steps, you can transform them into pieces that flatter your body shape. If you found this guide helpful, share your experiences in the comments below.

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