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 did have some of those stay 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 stay stitches, about 1 1/2″ on either side of the straps.

If you don’t see any stay stitches on the underside, don’t do anything yet.

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

If you have some stitches like these, take them out.

Next, turn the dress inside out:

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

Flip it over and you’ll see the interfacing side.

Yours may or may not have interfacing.

This interfacing feels alot like paper.

Interfacing 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. The straps on this dress were made with white cording on the inside of the strap.

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, like they are in the photo below:

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. Stitch a second row of stitches 1/8″ away from your first seam. Do this inside the seam allowance, closer to the raw edge.

This additional seam will anchor those straps in well.

Trim the straps if you need to. (I certainly needed to trim these straps!)

Turn the dress right side out.

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 ribbons ties on the inside of your dress to hang your dress with. (This dress has lacy ties). Don’t hang your dress by the spaghetti straps or the straps will stretch out. I am hanging the dress by the straps so you can see them in the photo above.

Now you know hot to shorten straps!

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