In the Modest Prom Rentals shop, we follow a 3-step procedure to adjust the length of prom dresses without ever cutting them, and often without sewing a stitch. Here is how we do it.
1. Shoes. First, we see what we can do with shoes. Some girls are willing to wear heels, some are not. Some girls are comfortable in very high heels, and others don’t want to wear more than a moderate heel or flats. But we always start with seeing how much length we can “take off” by using shoes.
2. Slips. Next, we look at slips. A very full slip can take 1 – 3″ off the length of the dress, because it lifts the skirt up and out. What you can do with a slip depends on the style of the dress and on personal preference. You can only use a very pouffy slip if the dress’s skirt is quite full. Some girls prefer a straighter silhouette, but many like the princess effect of a very full skirt. (One client wore two big pouffy slips – she wanted a pronounced Cinderella effect, and she got it!)
3. Pinning. Last but not least, we often pin dresses to shorten them temporarily. The way a dress is pinned depends on the style of the dress. For example, dresses with pickup points (puffs of material tacked to an inner skirt or lining) are easly shortened just by pushing the pickup points up a little more to make them deeper, then pinning the excess length up into the fold. A dress that has a seam between the bodice and the skirt can sometimes be shortened by pinning a pleat at that seam.
In any case, in the rental shop, we can almost always adjust a dress to the right length by using one or more of these strategies. We’ve taken as much as 6 – 8″ off dresses without ever cutting or sewing a stitch.
Just remember – shoes, slips, and pinning.