Introduction: Fixing Shirt Stays

Picture of Fixing Shirt Stays

I recently got a job that requires I look my best all the time. This means I had to add a few items to my usual wardrobe that are not already there. The most unusual of them are my shirt stays. These are elastic strips that hook to your shirt on one side, and loop around your foot on the other. They are great for keeping your shirts from untucking throughout the day. 

The pair that I had must have been cheaply made, because one of them broke within a week of purchase and the other was close behind.  Instead of buying a new pair, I decided to repair and improve my current pair. 

Step 1: Equipment and Supplies

Picture of Equipment and Supplies
I happened to already have all the supplies left over from previous projects and I was able to use the equipment available at TechShop.

Equipment and Supplies
  • Sewing Machine
  • Needle ( I used 80/12)
  • Bobbin
  • Spool of Thread ( Color not very important, as the part being sewn will be in your shoe)

Step 2: Setting Material Up to Sew

Picture of Setting Material Up to Sew

You are going to need to fold the end of the elastic to create a loop that is big enough for your foot to fit into. The exact size is not really important since the material is elastic so it will stretch to the size of your foot.

I folded my material 4.75 inches from the bottom to create the loop. I also folded the end of the strip back under at about a quarter inch so that the spot where I am sewing is three layers thick. This adds a bit of strength to that area, which will be taking the most stress.

If there are any threads left, clean them up and pull them out.

Step 3: Wind the Bobbin

Picture of Wind the Bobbin

Winding the bobbin does differ by machine.  So look in your manual for your machine and follow those steps to wind your bobbin.

For the machine at TechShop, I simply lined my thread up according to the diagram on top and placed my bobbin on the rod on the machine. Then hold the foot pedal until the bobbin is filled up.

Step 4: Sew It All Together

Picture of Sew It All Together

Now you must set up your machine to be ready to sew according to your manual.

Set up your shirt stay with the part that is 3 layers thick under the needle and the foot down.  In order to prevent the thread from coming out, start in reverse for two or three stitches, then put the sewing machine back into forward mode and sew the width of the band. 

I went over the band 3 times in order to give it some extra strength so that it wouldn't break on me again. Make sure to go in reverse at the end of the pass for 2 or 3 stitches to make sure it does not come out. Just like you did in the beginning.

Step 5: Finished!

Picture of Finished!

Now your shirt stays are ready to be used again.

Keep looking classy!

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