So, you have a strapless dress and you want to make sure you don’t spend the entire evening pulling this gorgeous dress up and back into place. That’s not classy. One of our favorite suggestions for adding just a bit more support to your strapless dress is a waist stay. This is typically a ribbon that is installed in your dress right at your waistline to help provide some stability to prevent just this problem.
The following tutorial works for any strapless dress (like the Patsy)! If you have a favorite ready-to-wear that just doesn’t quite stay where you want it, or if you’ve spent the time to make a dress exactly to your measurements and you just want a little extra assurance, give this a try!
What you’ll need:
- Grosgrain Ribbon
- Hook and eye x2
- Sewing Machine
- Hand Sewing Needle
Start off by measuring your waist.
You’ll do this at your narrowest, or if you’re quite rectangular, where you bend if you tip to the side (think I’m a little teapot). To this measurement, add two inches.
Cut your ribbon to this length and head to your sewing machine. You’ll fold one end of your ribbon to the wrong side by ½ inch and finger press. Repeat this, to enclose the raw end of the ribbon. Topstitch along this edge. Repeat for the second end of the ribbon:
Now we are going to attach both sets of hook and eyes to the end of the ribbon.
I love doing this on my machine, because it is so much faster than hand sewing, but however you prefer is perfect! It can be hard to hold those tiny little things, so I use my sewing tweezers to keep them in place until I get a stitch or two in. I set my machine to a zig-zag stitch with 0 set for stitch length and the appropriate width for my hook and eye sets:
Stitch a few stitches to really lock it in place and jump into the second one:
In order to match up the hooks with the eyes, so it will close properly, I like to pull the other end of the ribbon around, making sure it isn’t twisted and use what you’ve already sewn to match up where you need to be:
You’re almost done!
Now grab your dress so we can get this installed. You need to mark the quarter points of the ribbon as well as the dress along your waistline. Most strapless dresses have a seam at waist level. Match your dress center front with the center of your ribbon. Make sure the ribbon is also centered horizontally over the waistline. At the top and bottom of the ribbon, tack the ribbon to the dress. Make sure to only stitch through the lining so your stitches don’t show on the outside of the dress.
This will have zero ease or slight negative ease to help provide extra support to your garment. When you are ready to wear your dress, you’ll need to fasten the hook and eye on your waist stay before zipping it up and enjoying a worry-free night with a no-slip dress!