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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

What is a Waist Stay?

Well I'm happy to be back blogging again. I've taken on some new responsibilities, so finding the time to write has been a challenge, but it's a new year! I will be blogging a lot more often, though maybe with fewer photos, since that takes up the bulk of the writing time. If you have an idea you'd like me to write about, just leave a comment, or fill out the form labeled "Contact Me" on the left. You can also leave me a Facebook comment.

fraying bra strap

Very often, strapless wedding gowns have a waist stay as part of the corset. It is engineered to hold up the dress, so the weight of the fabric doesn't hang from the neckline. The strapless bridesmaid dress pictured here has a waist stay also. It is the grograin ribbon that is attached at the bottom of the bodice lining.

fraying bra strap

You can see the ends of the ribbon here. It is adjustable so you can make it comfortable. It holds the weight of the dress, so the bodice area is more free to be supported by your undergarments. In other words, the bra is holding up your body, while the waist stay is holding up the dress.

Sew new strap to front

Here you see how it fastens. When you have the dress on, hook the waist stay first, then zip the dress. Don't neglect this little step. It will keep everything where it needs to be while giving a nice shape to your figure. You won't be pulling your dress up at the armpits all day either!


  1. I'm making a wedding gown for my sister-in-law this summer. It is a strapless gown with a slight empire waist. I will be adding sleeves, though only for coverage, and not for holding up the dress. Can I put a waist stay in an empire-style dress?

  2. Kelsea,
    Wow, what a project. I made my daughter's gown a couple of years ago. You must be very proud.

    You can (and should) put a waist stay in that type of dress. I guess the term "waist" stay is misleading. The length often ends under the bust line, especially on a dress with an empire waist. The pictures above make it hard to tell, but that one has an empire waist.

    The corselet should be attached along the top edge. It is closest to the body, with the lining being next, then the outer fabric, chiffon, lace or whatever the design calls for. Just put several hook/eye closures in so she can adjust it (see picture 2). I had three, then added a fourth one part way through the day because DD hardly ate anything and wanted it pulled tighter for security. Post back or write to me on the "Contact Me" link to the left if you need more help.