Bodice Skirt Thread Staystitching
Basic Sewing Skills

How to Staystitch

In this article, you will learn what staystitching is and why it is important; a few rules to staystitching like a boss; and how to staystitch scoop, jewel, and V neck bodices and skirts.

Once you’ve cut out and marked your pattern pieces, the very first step in the construction of a garment has to be this:


The value of taking the time to staystitch is to avoid curved edges, such as necklines, collars, and armholes, stretching out of shape during construction.

And staystitching does this by holding the grainline threads of deep curves, such as the neckline and armholes, in place. In other words, staystitching stabilizes curved edges.

Okay. Now for the rules…

Rules of Staystitching

Rule #1: You MUST staystitch after cutting your pattern out before construction!

Rule #2: You ALWAYS staystitch your fabric in a single layer.

Rule #3: Generally, you staystitch ⅛ inch from the stitching line inside the seam allowance (SA).

Rule #4: You don’t need to remove staystitching.

Alright. It’s time to learn more…

Staystitching Is Directional

To avoid funky, fugly, stretchy distortion of necklines and armholes, these are the precise directions in which you need to staystitch curves…


To staystitch a scoop or jewel neck bodice…

Staystitch (sew) from…

  • Neck point (NP) to the center front (CF) or center back (CB) on scooped necklines and collars
  • NP to shoulder point (SP) on shoulder seams
  • SP to underarm on armholes

Repeat on the back bodice.

And to staystitch a V-neck front bodice, sew from the point of the V up to the NP on one side; and then repeat on the other side.


To staystitch a skirt, sew from…

  • Side seams to CF or CB at waistline; and
  • Hipline up to the waist at the side seams.

Alright. Now that you know the direction in which to go, let’s learn how to staystitch…

How to Staystitch

Okay, then.

Step 1: Mark the staystitching line of your curves. In the image below, I marked the staystitching line in red. I also marked the seam line in blue for the purpose of this tutorial.

Step 2: Set your stitch length to regular for the type of fabric you’re sewing.

Step 3: Then, position your fabric in a single layer under your presser foot.

Step 4: Stitch inside the seam allowances (SA) ⅛ inch from the stitching line. For example, if you’re using the standard 5/8 inch SA, you would be stitching ½ inch from the raw edge or ⅛ inch from the stitching line.

Step 5: Staystitch one side of the garment piece from the right side (RS), and then flip it so you can the staystitch the other side from the WS. In the image below, you would stop at the V-notch, which is located at CF, and flip the piece to the WS to sew from the NP to CF on the other half of the bodice.

Remember: Staystitching is directional sewing. Not taking the time to flip your bodice at CF/CB can lead to a stretched out, ugly of the neckline!

Step 6: Once you’ve completed staystitching your garment piece, layer the tissue pattern piece on top of the garment piece to make sure the garment piece’s size and shape still match the tissue pattern piece.

If you would like to see staystitching in action, click HERE to learn how to apply bias facings to neckline and armhole edges!

Sew easy tip: For curved seams, staystitching gives you a point to clip to when it comes time to clip or notch. Click HERE to learn all about clipping seam allowances!

The End

Well, there you have it.

You now know that staystitching stabilizes curved edges and how to put this very important skill in action.

It is a crucial first step in constructing insanely well-made clothes. Don’t skip it!

And remember…

Life is the ultimate red carpet event. Dress for it!

RELATED: Click HERE to learn how to sew convex and concave curves!

RELATED: Click HERE if you’re ready to unleash your dressmaking superpowers and learn how to sew a simple dress! Warning: This is a MEGA 5-part series!