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waistline stay

mygaley | Posted in Fitting on

I’m doing alterations on a strapless bridesmaid’s dress that has a grosgrain waistline stay. As this stay is attached at the empire waistline instead of the smaller natural waist, will the stay “crawl” down as the dress is worn? Please let me have your ideas about this. Thanks, Galey


  1. solosmocker | | #1

    Wow, that sounds like a physics question, Galey. Any Einsteins here? LOL! Truthfully, I wish I had an answer for you. I have never heard of having a waist stay on an empire waist, which isn't really the waist. So my vote would be for falling down. solo

  2. suesew | | #2

    I find it hard to believe that a waist stay at an empire waist would do any good.

  3. sewchris703 | | #3

    I do bridal alterations.  I haven't seen a grograin stay at an empire waist before but I have seen elastic bands at the rib cage just below the breasts.  It's used to hold up the breasts when a bra isn't worn.  Some times it just goes across the front of the gown.  Other times it goes all the way around and hooks in the back like a bra.


    1. Ralphetta | | #4

      I don't know much about bridal gowns, so I find it really interesting reading the things  more experienced people have to say.

      When I read the question, my first thought was..what kind of fabric is the gown?  If it was something with a lot of "give", wouldn't that be a reason to use a stay, like tape in a Tshirt shoulder?  Don't people frequently yank at strapless dresses a lot?  (I'm sure a properly fitted one wouldn't need it.)  If something is yanked a lot, wouldn't most any fabric stretch out of shape without a stay? Maybe it's nothing more complicated than to retain its shape?  just some thoughts i had

      1. sewchris703 | | #6

        Strapless gowns need to fit closely in the rib cage through the waist in order to stay up.  Sometimes they even have a built in "corset" that fits to the waist with the boning if it's an empire gown.  The boning does help in holding up the gown.  There should  be boning in the bust seam, side seams, back dart seam for a minimum.  For very structured gowns, the entire center front is boned and additional boning between the seams.  I have added boning to gowns that didn't have enough. 


        1. Ralphetta | | #7

          Yes, I understand that.  I was referring to the various questions about why there was a grosgrain ribbon at the empire waistline.

        2. mygaley | | #8

          Thank you for all your thoughts on this situation. We have decided to loosen the ribbon enough that it only stabilizes the fabric, not the fit. The hold-up is going to be dealt with using elastic and some very lightweight boning attached to the lining seams. The fabric is very lightweight. These dresses with nothing inside them drive me crazy. I can structure a bodice that will stand alone and is so secure you can play basketball in it, but special effects take engineering and one layer of a lightweight fabric just doesn't do it. This is an old joke: The young girl had on an extreme cut strapless gown at a dance. The shocked chaperones asked one another what was holding it up. "Gravity", said one, "The gravity of what would happen if it fell down. Thanks again, Galey

  4. billsgirl | | #5

    Your question about the waistline stay intrigued me.  My thinking is that a strapless dress usually has boning to hold it up.  If the dress below the bust is fitted the boning would be attached to an interlining or underlining.  If the dress is loose it would still have to have something for the boning to be attached and then a waistline stay attached to it.  If it is for a perky young body and some of the young flowing styles , they may not need boning or stays...but why a stay under the bust unless it is just to hold the dress close to the body.   Just my after midnight musings in Lewisville, Texas....Sharon

  5. Teaf5 | | #9

    Could the grosgrain be a seam tape stabilizer rather than a waistline stay? I agree with other posters that nothing is going to "stay" just under the bust.  As soon as the wearer exhales, the ribcage will contract, and the dress will drop.

    Before it was altered, was there any evidence that it would stay up on a living, moving body?  I've tried a lot of ready-to-wear gowns that have completely unworkable frameworks for staying up.  Your elastic solution makes a lot of sense.


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