How To Sew A Back Stay

attaching a back stay sewing

If sewing a coat or jacket, it’s a good idea to add a back stay. This:

  • Stops fabric from stretching out across the shoulders
  • Stabilizes the back of the coat
  • Increases the longevity of the make
  • Improves the line of your coat

Here is the back of my coat, with princess seams sewn. Fusible interfacing is attached to the shoulder and armhole area.

back of coat

I trace around the shoulders and armholes, extending a few inches below the armholes to create a pattern piece for the back stay.

I cut the back stay out of muslin, using pinking scissors.

The pinked edge avoids a solid ridge at the bottom of the back stay that might show through to the right side of the fabric. The base of the shoulder stay is cut on a curve to allow the piece to move with the body. This bottom raw edge shan’t be sewn down, but shall hang loose.

back stay in muslin

The back stay is basted along all raw seams of the back, along the armholes, shoulders and neckline.

back stay tacked down

The rest of the coat or jacket can be constructed according to the sewing instructions, safe in the knowledge that you’ll never suffer from a baggy back.

You’re welcome!


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14 Responses to How To Sew A Back Stay

  1. Helen says:

    Thanks Karen, I learnt something today!!

  2. Great instructions and tips. You make it look so easy.

  3. Chris Griffin says:

    I have no clue they could be one piece! I’ve made stays but only in two-part shape, sort of a tulip back. Thank you!

  4. This looks very useful. I have recently bought two tailoring books and have been toying with the idea of making a winter coat. Really looking forward to watching your progress. Xx

  5. Karen says:

    What about the raw edge on the bottom?

    • didyoumakethat says:

      I’m not sure I understand your question. What would you like to know? The raw edge is sealed between the fashion fabric and the lining.

  6. Anne Daniel says:

    Thank you. This is very interesting and useful.a

  7. Sarah says:

    Can’t wait to see the finished garment!

  8. where2wearit says:

    This is a great way to stop coats and jackets looking ‘limp’.

  9. sewneedy says:

    Perfectly timed tutorial. Thank you

  10. Debby58 says:

    Very good tip to learn. Thanks for sharing😊

  11. Lisa G :-) says:

    What a simple but important detail! Thank you so much for sharing!

  12. Jo says:

    Every day is a school day! Jo x

  13. Pingback: A Simple Guide To Tailoring A Coat | Did You Make That?

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