Sew Professional

Claire Shaeffer

Lingerie Guards

Lingerie guards control the straps of undergarments to prevent them from showing or falling off the shoulders. They're also used to control the upper part of the bodice to prevent the shoulder seams from shifting and sliding and the neckline from gaping. Lingerie guards are made of ribbon, narrow silk tubes, seam binding or thread.

Lingerie guards are usually located at the shoulders, but they can be placed at any strategic location. Garments with narrow shoulder straps can have guards at the corners of the neckline on the front and back as well as at the top of the shoulders.


To facilitate dressing, a snap is always located near the neck edge with the other end of the lingerie guard near the shoulder.

On regular-width shoulder seams, place the lingerie guard at the center of the shoulder seam. For a narrow shoulder strap, place the snap about G" from the neck edge. For a wide neckline, place the guard near the neck edge. For cut-away armholes, place the guard nearer the shoulder edge.

Thread Guards

Thread a needle with a single strand of waxed thread.

Sew the snap socket
to the garment seam allowance, facing or lining. Sew two or three stitches in the first hole, then run the needle between the fabric layers and bring it out of the next hole (1).

Anchor the end of the thread about 1" to 2" from the snap socket.

Use your fingers to make a thread chain (2). To avoid unattractive dips on the shoulders when the garment is worn, make the thread chain about G" longer than the distance between the socket and the anchored end, but not so long that the chain will show on very narrow shoulder straps.

Pick up the snap ball; then insert the needle into the last loop on the thread (3). Pull the needle through to end the chain.

To fasten the thread on the snap ball, make several blanket stitches in the hole. Make several backstitches on the last blanket stitch and cut the thread.

Press the snap sections together.

Ribbon Guards

For two lingerie guards, use 8" of G"-wide satin or grosgrain ribbon.

Review the instructions for making a thread strap.

Cut the ribbon length in half. Fold under one end of one ribbon. Cover the ribbon raw edge with the ball of one snap. Sew the ball of the snap to the ribbon (4). Repeat to sew the other snap ball in place on the other ribbon.

Sew the snap sockets onto the garment. If the shoulder seam is wide, sew the socket in the center of the seam. If the neckline is cut away, sew the socket near the neckline. If the armhole is cutaway, sew it near the shoulder.

Snap one ball to one socket. Cut the guard the appropriate length. Fold under the raw end. Use a fell stitch to stitch the ribbon end in place on the shoulder seam, facing or lining. Then sew both sides about G" from the end (5).

Repeat to stitch the other guard in place.

Fabric Tube Guards

Review the instructions for making thread and ribbon straps.

Sew the snap sockets onto the garment.

To make the tubes, cut two 1H"x4" strips of lightweight silk on the lengthwise grain. Fold each strip in half lengthwise with right sides together; stitch G" from the folded edge. Trim the seam allowances to J" (6). Turn the tubes right side out; press.

Fold under one end of one tube; stitch. Cover the raw edge with the ball of the snap; sew the snap in place. Repeat to sew the remaining snap ball on the other tube.

Snap one ball and socket together. Trim the tube end to the appropriate length. Fold under the end and sew the tube in place on the garment shoulder seam or lining.

Repeat to stitch the other guard in place.

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