How to alter clothes to fit a petite frame

Altering Clothes for Petite Women

Are you petite? Do you find clothes too long or not the right fit? Struggling to find clothes that fit your body frame can be frustrating. But don’t worry, altering clothes provide the perfect solution to make clothing fit your individual frame and style. Here’s a 3-step guide to altering clothes to fit your petite frame.

Choose the Right Clothes to Alter

Choosing the right clothes is the first step to successfully altering garments to fit your petite figure. Make sure garments have some wiggle room for you to take in. Dresses, skirts and tops are great options for petite frames since they are more forgiving than tailored clothes such as jeans and blazers. It’s also important to pick clothes that don’t have any excess details, such as buttons or pleats, on them.

Measure and Pin

To give you an idea of how much fabric needs to be removed, it’s important to measure the clothes you want to tailor. Put on the clothes and pin from the side seams to the desired length. This way, you can decide how long they should be and if they should hug any part of your body. For pleated skirts, you can sew and snip the excess fabric away, while for shirts and dresses, you can fold the excess fabric and cut off.

Seam Ripper and Sewing Machine

Once ready, use a seam ripper to remove the existing seams on your garment and straighten the current hem. To hem, you can either hand stitch or if you have experience, use a sewing machine to make even stiches. After you’re done, press and fold the hem (if necessary). If you use a sewing machine, make sure to use the zigzag setting, so the thread won’t snag and it’s easier when pressing.


Altering clothes is a great way to make sure that what you wear fits you perfectly. With the right tools and guidance, you can easily alter and tailor clothes for your petite frame. Once you’ve perfected the basics, you can start experimenting and expressing your personal style with alterations. There is no need to settle for clothing items that do not fit you if, with a little time and effort, you can make all your clothes bespoke and perfectly shaped to fit you.

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