Wedding dress hemmed too short

Hi girls,


I need some advice. I’m getting a bespoke dress made for my wedding next week. I went for a fitting yesterday and saw that the dressmaker had hemmed the dress too short, around 2 inches from the floor, and my feet were visible at the bottom.


I was wearing my wedding shoes at the last fitting when she measured me so I don’t know how this happened. It’s a simple silk sheath dress so the gap is very obvious and unsightly. The hem is really narrow so she can’t let it down.


Has anyone been in this situation, and is there anything I can do at this stage? Is it possible to stretch silk or let it down without starting over?


It’s so close to the wedding that there isn’t really time to make substantial changes or start over. I’m just so furious and upset by the whole situation. The reason it’s got this late is that she cancelled two appointments in a row and said it was too hot to work during the heat wave!


At the fitting the dressmaker tried to make it seem like it was no big deal, though it was so obvious it wasn’t meant to look like that. Do I have any consumer rights in this situation? It seems so absurd that you can spend £2000 on a dress and have no rights if it’s defective! Can I demand compensation if she can’t fix it, how much is reasonable and what if she says no?


Any advice would be hugely appreciated, especially if you’ve been in a similar situation. :(


Xiaowei x





  • How frustrating!  Next week is too short a time to have the whole thing remade I assume, although she should do everything possible to rectify it. I agree it should not have happened if you had the correct shoes on. I'm not sure what your rights are regarding compensation, but as a fix would it be possible to have an overskirt to increase the length at the bottom? I know it might not be what you want with a sheath dress but a very light floaty number might look nice. Or, depending how you feel, could you change to flat shoes so it's not obvious? Although I'm super short so wouldn't have been happy doing this. I'm not sure what else you could do other than buy another dress off the rack...hope you get something sorted x 

  • OmRumOmRum Posts: 805 New bride

    Without seeing the dress is it difficult to comment, but I once lengthened a dress which I accidentally cut too short by sewing lace around the bottom. Another option, like the over-skirt suggestion above, would be to put another skirt underneath. If it is the same colour and fabric, it hopefully will just look layered. Or, if the style of the dress allows, you could gather part of the dress up over the underskirt, as was the fashion for wedding dresses a few years ago (could even have a different sort of fabric peeping through).

    Another option would be to change your shoes to flats (assuming they are not already) but I understand that might not be your first choice!

    sorry this has happened to you with one week to go. How frustrating.

  • Ashley72Ashley72 Posts: 1,137 New bride

    Oh no. The onus definitely should be on your seamstress to come up with solutions here, not on you. I assume its too late to get you another dress but that would be my first question. Is this an independent aeamst or one recommended by the designer / shop? I’d contact them and see what they suggest also. You never know, there might be a sample somewhere that you could have. I’d consider wearing flats - there are some beautiful ones around these days (currently obsessing over a pair on Badgley Mischka but they’re in the sale and not in my size!). It’s not ideal but means that you can leave the dress as it is. Third I’d consider attaching an underskirt so that it looks as if there are just two layers at the bottom. I guess that depends on whether the dress will lend itself to that without it spoiling anything else. You could wear a separate slip if it can’t be attached. I think flats would be my first option though - if the dress then reaches the floor nobody will know and you might even be grateful for the comfort.

  • You may have rights to complain/for a refund for a good 'not fit for purpose' under Consumer Rights Act 2015. I would try to look into it from e.g. Which? or government guidance.

  • Oh no, sorry to hear what happened with the dress! I feel your pain (the dress was the single biggest stress point for my wedding too). But having had the wedding recently, can I just say if you aren't able to find a solution in time (consumer protection is a separate matter of course), I think you'll still have an amazing time.

    To share some perspective, on the wedding day I realised that my dress was hemmed too long, which made walking difficult! But the thing is, if you wear the dress with pride and confidence, the guests won't notice a thing (frankly, they're just too busy being happy for you to think "hm... her hem's too long/ short"). And when the photos came back, I realised that the best, best thing a bride can wear to her wedding (more so than good makeup or a stellar dress) is a genuine, happy smile. The photos came back lovely and I got tons of compliments on the day about the dress. 

    So I do hope that you manage to get some financial recourse on this but in the event you don't find a solution to the hem issue before the wedding, don't let it ruin your big day - it's going to be dazzling all the same :)

  • Thanks so much everyone, really appreciate your advice and support. :)


    I’m going back tomorrow to see how it would look with lace as you suggested. She’s also pressed it again in hope that that would stretch it out a bit (though it wasn’t wrinkly when I last tried it). I know wearing flats would be the last resort but I’m really reluctant to do that as I’m 5’1 and my fiancé’s 6’4 so the photos would just look silly.


    I’ll have a look at the Which? guidance, thanks for that. Has anyone ever raised a complaint with them before?


    Thanks so much once again! x

  • Do take pictures before she adds to the dress so that you can document your claim in the event you decide to go down that route. To me, this does sound like a case of some kind of "item not as contracted for" situation. Of course that won't help you now, but for the incredibly amount of money you paid this person, you should be able to get some kind of refund later.

    I have no idea what your dress looks like and whether adding lace to the bottom or an additional layer underneath would suit. Make sure she lays or pins any new layers on for you to view before she actually starts sewing!

    I'd probably be more in favor of the overskirt - they are incredibly popular right now too! You could likely find one from BHLDN or Asos or the like and have it rush-delivered. One of the Marriott daughters had a dress like this a few years back and it was gorgeous; plus you could have two looks in one. Perhaps wear the original dress + overskirt for the ceremony (and wear heels) and then remove the overskirt and change into flats for the evening. It would look like it was deliberate.

    Best wishes to you whatever you decide xx



    Good luck, hope you can make it work with the dress though and they can make it fit better! :)

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