How To Shorten Spaghetti Straps

Let me show you how easy it is to shorten the spaghetti straps on your dress.

This is a prom dress whose straps were too long for the customer:

On this dress, there are four straps on each side.

But, the technique is the same whether you have one strap or several.

Not only did this dress need the straps shoretened, but they are spread too far apart, so we’ll fix that problem too:

I almost always shorten the straps from the back of the dress.

This is the first time I’ve shortened from the front in a long time.

I like to shorten from the back because it just seems easier to get into that part of the dress.

Ok, now let’s get started.

First, turn the dress over and look at the lining side where the straps are sewn in:

Do you see the stitches that are to the left of the point of the seam ripper?

You don’t need to take these out.

But if you had some of those stitches where the straps go into the dress (to the right of the seam ripper point in the photo), you’d need to remove them first.

Take out about two or three inches of stitches.

On this dress, the manufacturer, stitched a few stitches in the dress to anchor the front to the back:

If you have some like these, take them out

Next, turn the dress inside out:

This is the lining side of the inside of the dress.

Flip it and you’ll see the facing side.

Yours may or may not have facing.

This facing feels alot like paper.

Facing is a narrow strip sewn to the top of many dresses to add stability to the dress.

In the photo above, do you see the white areas near my finger?

These are the ends of the straps sticking up.

I only take out enough stitches so that I can easily pull the straps up.

Sometimes, the straps will be sewn a second time to just the dress fabric:

Use your seam ripper or a small pair of scissors to take out just enough stitches.

Gently pull those straps up until you have taken up the full amount of what you need to shorten the straps.

In this case, the customer needed the straps to be 3 1/4″ shorter than they were.

So, I measured the 3 1/4″ from the original seam line on the strap, to the original seamline on the dress.

Do you see how I did that in the photo below?

The spot where the blue guide is, is where the seam allowance is on the dress.

You may want to pin the strap down in place so it doesn’t slide around while you’re putting the whole thing under your presser foot.

This is the time to move all the straps close together (if you have more than one strap) and make sure there is no gap between them.

Now just stitch over the original seamline, backstitching at the beginning and end of the seam:

Double check your work by turning the dress right side out and making sure the straps are not caught in the seamline or twisted.

If you have a problem, just take a few stitches out again and adjust the straps and resew the seam.

Once the straps look good, turn the dress inside out again and stitch another row of stitches 1/8″ away from the first stitching line.

This will anchor those straps in well.

Trim the straps if you need to.

See how the straps are much closer together now?

You’re finished!

Wasn’t that a piece of cake?

Be sure to use the sewn in ties on the inside of your dress to hang your dress with. (This dress has lacy ties)

If you hang your dress from the spaghetti straps only, they can easily stretch out over time, especially if the straps were made from the bias of the fabric.

Enjoy the party!

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