Discover our tips for bending a tunic or a dress

Discover our tips for bending a tunic or a dress

Do you have a dress or tunic in your closet that you love, but it's too wide for your figure? Would you like to learn how to simply cinch the waist of a garment to show off your curves? 

I'll help you. 

As a fashion enthusiast, I believe that clothes should be like a second skin to us and therefore be comfortable to wear. That's why I especially appreciate bohemian fashion and its flowing, loose cuts. 

However, wearing comfortable clothes doesn't mean they have to hide our shapes and not enhance our figure! 

So today, I'm sharing with you an easy sewing technique as well as some ultra-simple no-sew tricks to adjust your clothes, so that they show you off. 

To cinch a tunic or dress with a sewing machine, wear it inside out to mark your waist with pins. Then lay it flat and, using your machine and the measurements you took, make a new, narrower seam at the waist in an arc. If you don't want to sew your garment, you can use a belt or cardigan clip to tighten it at the waist. This will result in slimming your figure and emphasizing your curves in a stylish way! 

Want to know more? Read on to find out:

  • Why bending a garment is a good idea,
  • A very easy sewing tutorial for cinching a tunic at the waist,
  • How to use a belt to enhance your figure,
  • More info on very practical accessory: the cardigan clip,
  • More tips and examples of inspiring outfits with bohemian dresses and tunics.

bohemian tunic cinched in at the waist

Why cinch a garment? 

Do you have a dress or tunic that's a little wide and you'd like it to flatter your figure a little more? This is a common problem: most clothes are made to fit a specific body type. Fortunately, we are all different! 

Most of the time, it is not very complicated to solve this problem: it is usually enough to curve your garment, that is to say to straighten it a little at your waist

tight bohemian dress waist

This will have the effect of making you look more feminine byhighlighting your curves, especially your hips. This will make your figure look refined and the tunic or dress in question will finally really show you off! 

How to cinch a tunic? [Sewing tutorial 🧵]

To start, I'll give you a technique that makes it easy to bend a garment with a simple sewing technique. If you don't know how to sew, don't worry, seamless methods will be covered in the rest of this article. 

For those of you who can sew a little, this is right up your alley. It's a quick and easy trick that should, if you have a sewing machine, only take you about 15 minutes

👉 You can view the entire tutorial on this very clear video, which allows you to clearly visualize the actions you need to take to complete your bending. 

Step #1: Prepare your fabric and work surface

Your fabric should be clean and, if cotton or linen, perfectly refined. On these materials, the presence of wrinkles would indeed risk shifting your seams and making the operation fail! 

Connect your sewing machine to a clean, clear table. Also prepare a few tools and supplies needed for this DIY, namely:

  • Thread,
  • Pins,
  • A pair of scissors,
  • A marker.

woman sewing machine

Step 2: Mark the folds

Put your top or dress on inside out, then, making sure your garment is straight, mark your waist at the point where you want to tighten it with a pin. Do this symmetrically on both sides. 

👉 If you can, enlist the help of a loved one to make sure your blouse is straight when you attach the pins. 

Next, lay your garment down, taking care not to prick yourself.

Step 3: Redraw the waist and sew it in


On the reverse side, trace the waistline to where you will be sewing have a pen or special sewing marker. Remember to create an arc (or triangle, as shown in the video), so that the resulting cut looks natural. 

Then, using your machine, sew on the line made. You can then turn your garment right side out and try it on. And there you go, the trick is done! 

👉 Don't forget to remove the pins!

well-tailored dress

How do you fit a dress without seams? 

Don't know how to sew or don't have a sewing machine and would like a simple and effective solution? Don't worry, I have prepared a small selection of seamless techniques to bend your garment. Discover them in the following lines! 

The belt: your best ally for tightening a garment that's too wide

Both stylish and practical, the belt is a very versatile accessory, which can be used as much with pants as with a tunic or dress. In the latter case, it allows to tighten and refine the waist, while redefining the proportions your silhouette. 

➡ Indeed, it is often advisable, when choosing an outfit, to try to establish a proportion ratio of ⅓ for the top and ⅔ for the bottom, so as to achieve a harmonious result. This rendering is possible by positioning a wide belt on your waist. 

leather belt dress

For a bohemian chic look, choose a natural brown leather belt that is quite wide, with a nice buckle. Remember to adjust your clothes after you put the belt on, so they don't get caught in it. 

A miracle trick: discover the cardigan clip! 

Are you looking for a discreet solution, suitable for a slightly strict work outfit, for example? I suggest you discover a very small accessory with great potential: it is the cardigan clip. This consists of a small elastic or length-adjustable barrette with a clip at each end, which you can attach in your back, to pinch your garment at the waist. 

clip to cardigan bend blouse

👉 You can order this accessory on Etsy or Amazon, by typing in "cardigan clip". There are many varieties and colors to choose from! 

3 more super simple tips for tightening a dress or tunic

Finally, I have three tips that require no materials and will allow you to trim a garment temporarily super simply. Handy if you're lent a dress that's a little big, if you don't have time, or if you want to wear that top you just bought right away 😉

Why tucking your top in at the waist is a good idea

Whatever your figure, and if the garment you want to cinch is not too long, it is possible to tuck it slightly into shorts, pants or skirt in the front. 

top tucked into pants

You have two options: 

  • You would fully tuck your blouse into your pants or shorts, in the flattest way possible, for a very business-like and work-friendly result,
  • You tuck your top into your pants, then blouse it, meaning it pops out slightly at your waist, for a more casual look. 

Whichever option you choose, it will help to mark your waist, and thus give the illusion of a fitted, slim-fitting top. 

Insert a faux belt! 

If you don't have a belt on hand, you can also use something else to create one, for example:

  • A long sleeve garment that you tie around your waist,
  • A thin scarf,
  • A cord,
  • A scarf,
  • A piece of cloth that's a little wide...

bohemian chic outfits

Learn to create the illusion of a fitted garment by playing with layering

If you don't want to tighten your garment at the waist with a belt or other accessory, but still want the garment you're wearing to elongate your figure without widening it, I have one last tip for you. By wearing a long vest or a kimono, you'll redefine the shape of the tunic, dress or blouse you're wearing underneath, thanks to the weight of that garment. 

👉 Playing with layering, you can also choose to wear your dress or blouse with a corset! In this case, no need to cinch it, this accessory will create a slim and slender waist in an instant! 

You now know plenty of simple tips for bending a dress, blouse or tunic, whether you know how to sew or not! 

In the meantime, I suggest you discover right now our collection of bohemian clothes, among which you will find dresses and tops that are well-cut and perfectly tailored to make you look your best, no matter what your body type 😉