Keep Your Waistline from Drooping

For any dress that has a bodice and a skirt, I like to add a waist stay to keep the waistline from drooping. Recently, I was working on a knit dress that was gorgeous, but droopy at the waist, and needed some support. 

A stay is basically a grosgrain ribbon that is sewn to the waistline seam of the skirt of a dress. It's a great way to customize your dress on the inside and give that extra bit of support that will keep you looking fabulous. Here's how:

1) After you assemble your skirt and bodice, including inserting the zipper closure,  and take a 3/4" to 1" grosgrain ribbon that is an inch or so longer than the width of your waistline.

2) Start at one side of the the dress opening (on the back or side, depending on where your zipper is placed, and turn the beginning of the ribbon under 1/2".

3) On the waistline seam allowances, sew the ribbon to the waist seamline or just above it. I pinned, then basted my ribbon in place first, and machine-stitched it about 1/8" inch above the seamline so that I would be sure not to mess up the seam between the bodice and the skirt. The bottom of the ribbon will align with the waistline and be sure to sew only in the seam allowance.

4) Just before you get to the end of the ribbon, trim so that you can turn it under 1/2" to secure and sew to the end of the ribbon, which should align with the dress opening. Tip: Backstitch just a couple of stitches at the beginning and end of the ribbon to be sure it doesn't come unstitched. 

5) Press the ribbon up toward the bodice, just as you press your waistline seam up. 

6) Try on the dress to be sure that it fits snugly. You can also add a little hook and eye to the waist stay to keep it extra secure.


Dress with a droopy waist. Stitch stay to just above
waistline seam
Finished stay.

Do you want to learn more about customizing your clothes? Check out Customizing Cool Clothes, on sale for 50% in the Sew Daily Shop.

Do you have any special tricks for making your garments look and feel great? Tell us about it on the Sew Daily blog!

Happy stitching!


Other sewing topics you may enjoy:


Dresses, For Women, Garment Details, Lingerie & Bras

About Amber

Amber Eden is the editor of Stitch and She LOVES sewing and editing Stitch and She also loves dance, yoga, iced decaf triple espressos, and her two golden retrievers. She divides her time between Boston and New York.

One thought on “Keep Your Waistline from Drooping

  1. I really try to do that all the times but sometimes it Just doesn’t work but I kip my focus and Now I sew dresses with my sewing machine and i’m perfect but I still have to practice practice makes perfect LOLhahah!! Now I Just need help with twin needles really I do! 🙂