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Pinning for Alterations

Safety pinning your clothes ready to be altered might feel a bit intimidating, but trust us, it really is straightforward, especially when you follow our handy hints.

General Tips

  • You should be wearing your item for pinning
  • Try not to breathe in while pinning
  • If you can’t find any safety pins, just drop us an email and we can send some straight off

Shortening sleeves, trousers, dresses, skirts or tops

1- Make a turn-up inside the item so the excess fabric is tucked out of sight.

2- Pop in a safety pin at the point you’d like the item to end, securing both pieces of fabric together. We only need one pin, but you might like to add more to help visualise the new length.

Shortening straps

1- Sometimes an item feels too big around the bust, but really it’s the straps that are too long. Pinch together the top of each strap so they feel even.

2- Safety pin each strap where it’s pinched, and let it hang to check how it looks.

3- Adjust until it hangs perfectly.

Taking in tops, dresses, skirts, jumpsuits or coats

1- Decide whether it feels loose at bust, waist, hips/seat level, or all three - remember that the waist is the narrowest part and the hips/seat is the widest part, so lower than many people think. Have a look at our measuring guide for more information.

2- Pinch each side seam so that the item looks and feels comfortable.

3- Pop in a pin vertically through both the front and back panels of the item, at the point where your fingers have been pinching the side seam.

4- Repeat on the other side seam and as needed at bust, waist and hips/seat level.

Taking in trousers or shorts

1- Pinch the central back seam together until you’re happy with how they fit.

2- Pin from the waistline downwards as far as needed, securing the back seam together.

Narrowing trouser legs

1- Find the right fit by pinching the inner and outer seams.

2- Next, insert pins vertically at a few points down each seam. Don’t worry if they’re not perfectly lined up, we’ll create a nice even line when we get to work.


If you’re still not confident that your pinning skills are up to it, contact us by live chat, phone or email and we can give you more advice. We can even call you back on FaceTime to have a look!

Now that you’re all ready, go ahead and book your alteration, and your perfectly fitting item will be back with you in no time.