Strapless dresses: is there any added apparel that promises so much, but at such aerial risk? If you’ve endemic or beat a strapless dress, you’ve apparently spent at atomic one night affairs the abuse affair up every brace of minutes. That’s because best strapless dresses are too cheaply fabricated to accommodate acceptable abutment to break up like they should. And while double-sided band can be a acting fix, with annihilation added than a breadth of award and some duke sewing, you can aftereffect an easy, abiding remedy. Here’s how.
The address is simple already you accept the problem. The acumen strapless dresses appetite to abatement bottomward is because there’s annihilation captivation them up. Think about it: best accouterment isn’t skintight; what keeps it in position is the actuality that it hangs from the animal shoulder. But a dress that ends at your armpits has annihilation to authority onto. A strapless dress can’t be accurate from above, by the shoulder, so it needs to be accurate from below, from the wearer’s waist. It needs a belt — a “stay” — to blanket about that waist, and it needs vertical structural elements — boning — to run from that break all the way up the dress, propping it up. This aggregate of accumbent and vertical structural elements is alleged a “waist stay,” and it’s accepted in couture accouterment and earlier ready-to-wear (you adeptness accept already apparent one on a best dress). Boning award belt = waist break = no added falling-down dress. It additionally = a dress that is added adequate to wear.
To demonstrate, I’m activity to use a amethyst cottony Philosophy di Alberta Ferretti sheath that I bought about four years ago — $88 at Filene’s, which was both added money than I had to absorb and too acceptable a amount to canyon up. It was an abstract extravagance, and one of the aboriginal pieces of artist accouterment I anytime purchased. I admired the complicated draping, the affluent color, and how the vaguely ’50s contour about fabricated me attending as if I had curves. I didn’t adulation how the abuse affair kept falling down. So into the aback of the closet it went. Until now.
To get started, you’ll charge from left: 1) A strapless dress whose stay-up adeptness is currently of affair to you. 2) About 1-2 yards of fabric-covered artificial boning (or acceptable boning to fit the bodice of the above dress). 3) Thread. 4) Bolt scissors. 5) Pins and bed-making needles. 6) Grosgrain award in a acceptable breadth to blanket about your waist, additional about 10″. Click any photo to enlarge.
We’re activity to accomplish a waist break and attach it to at atomic four abstracted pieces of boning. Aboriginal things first: admeasurement and cut a breadth of grosgrain award that wraps about your waist — additional about 6″. This will be your stay. Again cut four small, aboveboard patches of grosgrain, as pictured. (If you’re application added pieces boning, like six or eight pieces, again cut added of these patches. You’ll charge one application per allotment of boning.)
Chances are your dress already has some affectionate of boning in it — but it’s apparently too short, ailing placed, or of chiffon quality, all of which could be authoritative it absurd for that boning to do its job. So aboriginal you’ll charge to get that abject boning out of your way. On the central of the dress, aloof abbreviate boning-width holes at the basal of the channels that accommodate the boning, and advance the boning out of it. Discard the old boning.
Next, booty your new artificial boning and advance it into those afresh alone t channels. Admeasurement how continued anniversary allotment of boning should be — you charge at atomic two lengths of boning in the advanced and two in the back, but you adeptness appetite to add one allotment of boning at anniversary side, too. Cut your boning into 4-6 pieces accordingly.
Note: if your dress doesn’t accept absolute channels for boning, abhorrence not — that’s why I acclaim fabric-covered boning. Instead of inserting the boning into channels, artlessly hand-sew the fabric-wrapped boning to the dress lining. Stitch through the t awning and into the lining, actuality accurate not to t either the artificial boning itself or the appearance t on the dress’s exterior. Alpha the boning about 1/4″ from the top of the dress, and leave the basal 1″ or so of the boning abandoned and chargeless of the lining. Lastly, do a band of aing back-stitches at the top of anniversary allotment of boning to aing it up and anticipate the boning dabbling out (or dabbling you).
That’s what my abstinent and cut pieces of boning looked like already they’d been pushed all the way into the channels. Agenda that anniversary allotment of boning is bulging out of its approach by 2″. That’s not article that you should necessarily archetype — a bulging 1/2″ would answer to attach the boning to the waist break — it’s article that I am accomplishing because I’m absolutely sneakily blurred the waistline of the dress. I appear to be long-waisted, and consequently, strapless dresses fabricated off of accepted arrangement blocks (the fantasy changeable absolute accommodation that ready-to-wear accouterment manufacturers architecture from) consistently sit too low on my body. My band-aid is to bluff the dress upwards by an inch or two with the admittance of a waist break that is lower than the dress’s absolute waistline. Essentially, I’m creating a absolute waist band — the grosgrain break — that sits 1-2″ beneath the “waist line” of the dress. (If the aberration amid your accustomed waist and the waistline of the dress is added than 2″, you charge to be authoritative added all-encompassing dress alterations to the waist line, but up to 2″ you can cheat.) If you charge to lower the waist band aloof a smidge, this is a acceptable quick and bedraggled way to do it. If you don’t, again don’t chase my example, and aloof let your boning pieces end at the dress’s absolute waist line.
Cover the bulging ends of your boning — whether they be 1/2″ or 2″ — with the t the boning was originally captivated in. Stitch it to the channels of the dress lining as shown.
Then alpha adhering the ends of the boning to your waist break in the adapted spots. Sandwich the end of the boning amid your grosgrain application and your waist stay, with the application adverse “out,” and abroad from the anatomy of the wearer. (You appetite your grosgrain waist break to be as bland as accessible adjoin your skin.) Again sew little backstitches through the grosgrain patch, the t captivated about the boning, and the grosgrain waist stay, accepting all the layers calm as shown. After adhering one allotment of boning to the waist stay, blooper the dress on, pin the waist break about your waist, and define area the aing allotment of boning should accommodated the waist stay. Work about the dress in this way until all four (or six) of your boning pieces are absorbed to the stay.
This is what the waist break looks like aback it’s absorbed to all of the boning pieces.
At the end of the stay, sew in two hooks as shown. The hooks should face “in”, appear the anatomy of the wearer.
Try on the dress, and pin your waist break closed. Admit two fingers amid your anatomy and the break to accomplish abiding it won’t be too tight. Accomplish a agenda of area the hooks band up on the stay, and admeasurement the ambit from the hooks to that spot. If that breadth is X inches, sew two eyes at X-1″; again at X”, and again at X 1″. (Because the grosgrain absolutely folds over and aback about anniversary set of eyes, as apparent here, to admit three sets of eyes at 1″ intervals will absolutely booty about 5″-6″ of grosgrain.)
This is what your three sets of eyes and your one set of hooks should attending like.
Now aback you put on your dress, the aboriginal affair to do is to adhere the stay. Already the waist break is fastened, your dress is absolutely accurate — in accession to allowance your dress’s neckline angle up and break put, a waist break has the aftereffect of demography a lot of the accent off your zipper.
Ta-da: no added falling-down, low-cut, wrong-waisted strapless dress. I can now move, sit, stand, and ball in this babyish after fear. And I can accession my arms. Success.
Now if alone I had about to abrasion it.
If there’s article you’d like to see as a DIY project, you apperceive what to do. In the meantime, to analysis out accomplished DIYs:
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