Tips 'n' Tricks - The Dreaded Waist Gape

Sunday 7 June 2015

Hey Guys,

We're all familiar with the problem. We all love a shirt dress, but there's always something haunting you in the background.

Waist Gape.

No matter what you do, no matter how you place your buttons, it's always there. You might try on your beautiful shirt dress and think, 'Wow, I've escaped!!'. But wait, you haven't sat down yet. You fool!

You might think, 'well I'll just have to wear a belt with it'. You may even attempt to put a hook and eye in, if you can handle the frustration. I always find they're never in the spot I meant them to be, and they cause a stand off gap.

But there's another way. And it's so easy you are going to groan out loud.

This of course is my Sew Over It 'Vintage Shirt Dress' that I blogged earlier last week. I didn't follow their button plan, as I wanted teeny buttons, so I followed what felt right to prevent the dreaded boob gape (this trick would also work a treat for that problem too btw). If I remember correctly, my spacing was 5cm centre to centre, and spaced evenly either side of the waistband.

What's that?

Where is the gape?? I HAVE SOLD MY SOUL TO THE DEVIL!!

No, not really. He ain't got the goods.

It's just a button. 

A backwards button. 

A belly button, if you will. 

What a sewing epiphany!! I just put an inward facing button between the waist buttons. And it doesn't interfere if you want to wear a belt which is awesome. And it doesn't cause any pull or drag lines. Simples.

Who's groaning? Who's kicking themselves?

I, for one, am very happy to know my waist gape is over!

Emmie xx


  1. Great idea! When my sewing mojo returns I'll give it a try!
    I love your dress. It's beautiful. I can see you waring it all year, adding a sweater in the winter.

  2. YES!!!!!!!!! This is what I've been waiting for all my life but was too thick to think of it myself! Thank you, you genius! xx

  3. A 'belly button' - made me laugh. Clever idea. I think I've seen concealed buttons before in RTW - little clear buttons hidden away.

  4. This is genius! Flipping genius!!! I will definitely be trying this out. Thank you!

  5. Of course! No more hooks and eyes for me. Thank you, you are indeed a genius, and very sweet to share your 'geniusness' around :)

  6. What a useful tip! I'll definitely try this next time I make a button-down dress :)

  7. That's the perfect idea. I think I've also seen some clear buttons in RTW clothes, it's a great and useful trick.

  8. Such a good idea! I'll definitely remember this for my next shirt dress - thanks for sharing the tip!

  9. I once bought a woven wrap top that came with an inward facing invisible button to prevent boob gape and it was the best thing ever. I'm surprised more RTW wrap and crossover tops don't include it. And I'm face palming right now that I didn't think to do it on my Colette Hawthorn especially since that darn hook and eye is not in just the right place. Good reminder!

  10. Amazing idea. Shirt dresses are next on my sew all the things list. I will have to remember this trick

  11. that is freakin brilliant. Why didn't I ever think of this before? so much better than a hook and eye! Thank you. I am so glad I discovered you through the shirt dress review and started following your blog:)

  12. Oooh awesome idea!

  13. Brilliant idea! And easy to add onto RTW, too, as long as you can sew a button & buttonhole!

  14. Oh Emmie! Thank you so much for sharing this excellent tip- this is why it's wonderful to be part of the sewing online community! Hurrah!

  15. I have a Next blouse that has the same thing but in the boob gape area and it works so well!

  16. Thank you for your very helpful tips. I've been looking for them to solve the problem on my dress. :D

    I want to share with all of you some good brands for better sewing. Hope it may help:

  17. It’s now 2018 and this tip is just as good now as it was when you posted it. Thank you belly button creator genius.


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