Making a Simple Waist Stay

A simple ribbon waist stay can add support to a heavy skirt making the bodice appear smooth and stay in place. Plus it alleviate strain on the zipper at the waist. A great, simple couture technique that can be added to any dress!


  • Grosgrain or Petersham ribbon (cut the length of your waistline seam plus 4 inches)
  • Hook and Eyes, 2 of each
  • Long needle
  • Thread (obviously)


  1. Measure and cut your stay 4 inches longer than your waist
  2. Fold each end over 1 inch and sew
  3. Attach hook and eyes (two on each end)
  4. Measure 1.75″ from the ends of the stay and divide into quarters. Mark these points with pins.
  5. Measure 2″ from the start of your waist seam and divide and mark just as before.
  6. Match each quartered section, aligning the bottom edge of your stay with the waist seam.
  7. Sew with a running stitch down the middle of your stay (sewing to the seam allowance of your waist seam). Make the end stitches extra secure!

You’re done! The stay should appear shorter than the edge of your zipper allowing it to ease the stress of a heavy skirt!

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