How To Add Straps To A Strapless Dress

I’m a fashion enthusiast with an appreciation for practical clothing. As much as I love a sassy pair of heels, I respect sensible flats. Skirts are fun, but some situations call for a sturdy pair of pants.


The same goes for dresses. I have very little patience for the strapless variety because I enjoy being able to move freely without worrying about an awkward wardrobe malfunction. Over the years I’ve fallen in love with many a strapless dress, making them work for me by adding straps for a bit of extra security. It’s a surprisingly simple process, and you don’t have to be an amazing seamstress to do it!




  • A strapless dress
  • Ribbon (0.5″ to 1″ wide) that compliments or matches the dress
  • Thread that matches the dress
  • Needle
  • Pins
  • Scissors



Cut two lengths of ribbon, leaving plenty of room for error. Pin one end of each length of ribbon inside the back of your dress where you’d like your straps to begin, leaving a 1-inch “tail” hanging inside of the dress.


Slip the dress on carefully and, taking the free ends of the ribbons that you pinned in Step 1, pull them up and over your shoulders so they hang down the front of the dress.


Pin the free ends of your ribbon straps to the front of the dress. They should be snug on your shoulders without digging into the skin.


Take the dress off and carefully stitch your ribbon straps into place with needle and thread. Make sure the stitches look neat on the outside of the dress, but there is no need to worry about neatness on the inside. The important thing is that they are secure. Do NOT trim any excess length yet.


Try on the dress again to make sure your new straps are even and fit properly. If not, take out the stitches with a seam ripper and adjust as necessary.


Once you are satisfied with the fit and placement of your straps, carefully trim any excess ribbon at an angle, being careful to leave an extra margin of ribbon beneath your stitches. o.5″ to 1″ is usually fine. These loose ends can be sewn flush against the fabric on the inside of the dress with a blind stitch, if necessary.



Let me know if you have any questions, and enjoy the rest of your week!


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