How to Attach Dress Boning

How to Attach Dress Boning Looking for how to attach dress boning? You’ve found the perfect sewing pattern for a dress and you can’t wait to make it! You’ve collected all of the necessary sewing essentials, including a dress form, sewing fabric, thread, sewing piping trim, and any other sewing tools that you need. You’re ready to take in your sewing chair at your sewing desk and get to work!
After laboring for a few hours (or days), the dress if finally complete! You followed the pattern to the letter, and while the dress looks beautiful, it seems like something is missing. What could it be? Perhaps it’s boning!
Boning adds instant structure to dresses; especially those that are made of lightweight fabrics. It can also hold decorative elements in their place, such as smocking or ruching. Most importantly, boning can help to keep the dress in place and prevent it from shifting or slipping down (which is super helpful for a strapless dress).
Boning definitely offers a number of benefits, but if you’ve never added it to a dress before, you might be a little intimidated. No worries! Below, we’ll share some simple tips that you can use to attach boning to a dress and make it even more beautiful and functional.


Gather the necessary supplies, which include:

  • Fabric covered plastic boning. We prefer plastic boning to steel because it moves with you, whereas still isn’t meant to bend, and if it does, there’s a chance that it will snap, which could result in an injury. You also prefer pre-covered plastic boning, as you don’t need to make the casing, which save a lot of time and frustration.
  • Thread that coordinates with the bodice of the dress
  • A sewing machine


Now that you have the supplies, attach the boning to your dress using the following steps:


  • Turn the dress inside out. Measure down from the top seam of the bodice down to the waist steam. If there isn’t a waist seam, measure to the point where you want the boning to come to an end.


  • Measure and cut two pieces of the covered plastic boning so that it matches the measurements of the bodice.


  • Remove the stiff portion from each piece of boning, but hold onto them.


  • Pin the fabric casing of the boning onto the reverse side of the bodice where you want the boning to be located.


  • Use a straight stitch to attach either side of the casing to the bodice.


  • Insert the stiff portions of the boning back into the casing.


  • Tread a hand sewing needle. Using an overstitch, close the top and bottom of the casing closed, securing stiff center inside the casing.

If you’d like to add boning to the sides and back of the dress, follow the same steps mentioned above.

Adding boning to a dress really is quite simple. After a few tried, you’ll be amazed how quickly and easily you can add structure to any gown.

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