How to fix a big graduation gown

Updated April 17, 2017

Celebrate your graduation in style. Although graduation gowns are meant to be big and baggy, occasionally, a student receives one that is simply too big. If you cannot exchange it for a smaller size, you can fix a big graduation gown by altering it yourself.

Have the student put on the graduation gown so you can determine where it is too big.

Use straight pins to temporarily adjust the gown for a better fit and use marking chalk or markers to show on the fabric where you will be hemming or adjusting the fit. For example, if the gown is too long, pin up the hem accordingly. If the fit is overall too large, temporarily create a few darts in the side seams to take it in.

Have the student remove the gown carefully to not disturb the pins (or get poked).

Remove old seams with the seam ripper, which will enable you to cut the seams without damaging the gown.

Hand sew or use a sewing machine to create darts or a new hem. Be sure to use thread in the same colour as the gown. Follow your markings so you know where to resew the seams.


Check with your student's school about exchanging the gown. If that's not possible, be sure that it is OK to alter the gown. Use a tape measure to make sure that the new hem (if you hemmed) is even all around.

Things You'll Need

  • Graduation gown
  • Straight pins
  • Seam ripper
  • Sewing machine
  • Needle or thread
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About the Author

Kristle Jones, a freelance writer out of Southern California, uses her education, expertise and personal experience to write and blog articles for the Web. Kristle loves writing beauty, health and parenting articles and hopes to share her thoughts with her readers.