Two weeks ago, I had the great fun of traveling up to Chicago to see one of my close friends get married! Her elegant and classic taste had me scrambling for the perfect dress to wear to the occasion. Good news: the dress was already in my closet. Bad news: it was strapless...and I can't keep up strapless dresses. I blame it on my long waist.
As the day approached, I found myself web searching for the best method of making a strapless stay put. I hear tape. I heard rubber glue. I heard (in my own head) the sigh of frustration as I hiked my taped and glued dress up for the umpteenth time. And then I heard waist stay and extended boning.
Don't get me wrong; I am a supporter of bandaids. But when it comes to an option that might suffice or one that will ultimately solve the problem, I vote problem solver! By extending the boning and adding a waist stay (a loop of ribbon that hooks around the narrowest part of your waist and is sewn to the bottom of the boning), I could allow the dress to sit on my waist, simultaneously eliminating slippage and taking strain off of the zipper. I followed Jenna's tutorial and voilà! The dress could withstanding jumping and dancing and raising of arms! Even raising my arms above my head while I jumped and danced!! Problem solved.
I did make three edits to the tutorial:
1. Minimize the Hand Sewing:
Instead of hand-sewing my hooks and eyes, I opted for a bra mending kit that provided me with two size options and no hand-sewing.
2. Flatten that boning.
Following Tasia's instruction on Sewaholic, I soaked my boning in boiling water for ten minutes to allow the plastic to relax from its curled state and then pressed the pieces under a book for another ten minutes to ensure flatness.
3. Keep the anti-slip from slipping.
Somehow the boning I purchased had "anti-slip" cords wrapped around the plastic boning. When I removed the boning from the fabric casing, I had trouble getting the cords to not slip and unravel. Worse, as I fed the boning into the channels of my gown, the cords would bunch up. My simplest solution was to dab a little elmer's glue on the ends to hold it in place, and that worked like a charm.
It's that easy. (And bear in mind that I am not a clothes sewist.) If you have a structured dress you absolutely love that simply doesn't stay up, I would encourage you to try this! It took me one Saturday morning, and now I have a go-to favorite dress that I feel comfortable wearing to swish away the night. Absolute win.