How to Alter a Dress for the Fall

Nordstrom Sweater Dress

When you’re a petite woman, there are many pieces that still don’t fit you even when they are a size small or x-small. It’s as if you have to shop a special section to find something that fits you, or you have to make alterations to the piece to have it fit your body type. It’s exhausting and, not to mention, expensive. For awhile not, I’ve refused to make those extra purchases and only shop in the petite section. And I know this frustration is not only felt by the petite woman. It’s felt by a lot of people who do not fit into this “standard” size that is being fitted to pieces and put in the store.

Instead, I’ve found ways to make the items fit me and make them my own. It’s inexpensive. It’s not as frustrating. And it doesn’t take as much effort as you make think. For today’s alteration tip, let’s focus on the sweater dress.

There are so many sweater dresses out there in various colors, lengths, necklines, sleeve styles, etc. And I’m sure you’ve picked up some sweater dresses where you have loved 4 out of the 5 things about the dress, but that one thing is stopping you from buying it

Nordstrom Sweater Dress


For me, the two things that typically stop me from buying a sweater dress is that either it is too wide or the length is way too long. I’d take it into the fitting room loving mostly everything about it, and then I would try it on. It would just not work out for me at that point. But I’ve stopped doing that with these tricks that have helped me to alter a sweater dress.

    For a dress that is too long, don’t be afraid to tie it in certain areas. There are many sweater dresses that I own that I have turned into tops or just a shorter dress. If you want to keep it a dress, just take a little corner at the bottom and tie just a few centimeters so that it hikes up one corner and shortens the hem. Or, if you want to make it a shirt, you can take any part of the dress and tie a few inches. I typically tie up the side for a more chic look. But if you want to bring back the 90s look, try tying it from the back.
    When the sleeves are too long, just do a fold or a roll. I typically fold mine with one-inch folds and then slip a safety pin inside the fold to hold it for the remainder of the day. But honestly, it’s actually not a bad idea to leave those long sleeves over your hands. The long sleeve look is trending, but if you don’t want to you can use this trick to alter a sweater dress.
    We all have accessories and even if you don’t, it’s time to invest in a few. Having a collection of belts is not a bad idea. And I’m not saying to go out and buy a bunch of those waist belts. The belts that hold up your jeans aren’t just for your pants loops. Tying a belt around your midsection not only makes that dress fit your body, but it also makes you look taller. Plus, belts can be used with so many outfits so the money you spend on buying one spread over a variety of different ensembles.
  • Petite Outfits
  • Sweater Dress
  • DSC 0073
  • Nordstrom
  • DSC 0061
  • Nordstrom Sweater Dress
Petite Outfits


Bp. Sweater Dress – Nordstrom

Light Wash Skinny Jeans – American Eagle

Buckle Cowboy Boots – Charlotte Russe (similar here)

Bp. Bucket Bag – Nordstrom

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