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Message Board > Bridal and Formalwear Sewing > Request advice on boning ( Moderated by MissCelie)

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Request advice on boning
What type do you like and where do you get it?
GwenC
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GwenC  Friend of PR
Intermediate
FL USA
Member since 4/22/07
Posts: 115
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Date: 9/6/07 8:43 PM

Hi! I'm about to try my first wedding dress (or formal of any type, for that matter) and I would greatly appreciate advice on the type of boning to use (steel? spiral? polyestor?) and suggestions of (online) places to purchase it.

I'm not sure if the pattern makes a difference as to what type of boning to use, but, just in case, here is the pattern that my friend has selected for her wedding dress (view B): click here

Thanks in advance!
--Gwen

------
May your needle stay sharp and your grainline run true!

h8morningz
h8morningz
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CA USA
Member since 11/5/05
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In reply to GwenC


Date: 9/23/07 7:07 PM

Gwen,
I saw this some time ago and thought someone more knowledgeable than I would respond. This is a big undertaking for a first attempt at this type of dress. You want it to be perfect and that can be a challenge. The pattern is a beautiful dress and it will look great. Personally I would use steel boning just because it is strapless. They should be encased in fabric or grosgrain ribbon. You will need to determine the length(s) you need. You can use polyester boning that comes in rolls, too. I just would prefer steel since the polyester can bend and you will want this tightly fitted so it stays up. There will be a lot of weight from the skirt depending upon the fabric you use and you don't want the bodice to slip down.. Are you building a bra into the bodice? Be sure the bride to be wears the undergarments she will be wearing at the wedding when you do the fittings. I don't know where you are located. I usually buy my stays at Michael Levine's in LA, but don't think they have a website. You can find stays and boning at www.alteryears.com. Look under corset making supplies if they aren't listed separately. They give good service. Nancy's Notions or Clotilde may have them, too. Good luck.
Janet

ConnieBJ
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ConnieBJ  Friend of PR
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Date: 9/24/07 8:33 AM

I echo using steel spiral boning. Having worked with both, I prefer the steel. Make sure you have pliers to cut them with! You can also purchase plastic caps to cover the ends. I usually slide them into the casing to ensure the proper fit, then take them out (make sure you label them with tape!) until the last possible minute.
Make sure you use a waist stay- it is imperative to ensuring a good fit and that the bride does not worry about dress malfunctions. One thing I did when I put in waist stays is to use bra back closures- found at any fabric store. That way I can have the use of 3 sets of hooks and eyes instead of just one set.
Read a few of the other threads about wedding dresses- there are a few good ones. I would also reccomend Susan Khalje's bridal sewing book- mine is dogeared. Click here

I have been documenting my daughters wedding dress journey on my blog also if you want to check it out
couturesmith.blogspot.com
-- Edited on 9/24/07 8:38 AM --

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Connie Bontje

http://www.couturesmith.com
Twitter: Couturesmith
Facebook: Connie Bontje
Desperately trying to keep ahead of my pattern, fabric and dressform collection!

GwenC
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GwenC  Friend of PR
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In reply to ConnieBJ


Date: 9/24/07 4:30 PM

Hi Connie!
Thanks for your reply! :)
I have Susan Khalje's book and have already found it extremely helpful! (Although I'm only on the chapter about making a muslin.)
What a coincidence about your blog - it turns out that I subscribed to your blog about a month ago (along with many others from PR) - when I first learned about the existence of sewing-related blogs - and have been enjoying it! :)
I'm glad you brought up waist stays. I've seen reference to the importance of a waist stay in several places, but my pattern doesn't actually call for one. Would you put it in anyway?
Thanks again for the advice! I really appreciate all the help I can get! I really want this to come out beautifully - no matter how much work it takes!
Take care,
Gwen

------
May your needle stay sharp and your grainline run true!

GwenC
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GwenC  Friend of PR
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In reply to h8morningz


Date: 9/24/07 4:38 PM

Hi Janet!
Thank you so much for your reply! I've been reading up on the different types of boning and it did seem like the spring steel was probably a good way to go. But it's definitely good to have that confirmed by people with experience!
I wasn't planning to build in a bra, because that is not called for in the pattern. Also, my friend is kind of petite. But I will definitely send her out to get her wedding day undergarments asap! :)
Thanks also for the website recommendation for boning and stays!
Take care,
Gwen

------
May your needle stay sharp and your grainline run true!

ConnieBJ
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ConnieBJ  Friend of PR
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Date: 9/24/07 5:31 PM

Wow- I didn't know people (well one!) subscribed to my lowly blog! thanks for reading.
I would add a stay for sure.

------
Connie Bontje

http://www.couturesmith.com
Twitter: Couturesmith
Facebook: Connie Bontje
Desperately trying to keep ahead of my pattern, fabric and dressform collection!

GwenC
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GwenC  Friend of PR
Intermediate
FL USA
Member since 4/22/07
Posts: 115
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In reply to ConnieBJ


Date: 9/24/07 7:45 PM

In fact, your blog has 11 subscribers! One way to check is to go to bloglines.com and subscribe to it yourself - it will show how many subscribers there are already. :)
--Gwen

------
May your needle stay sharp and your grainline run true!

Sew'n'go
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Sew'n'go
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Date: 9/25/07 3:58 PM

Spiral steel boning - plastic is not strong enough and bends at odd places. They are easy to cut (cut at outside edge on each side, not straight across) and capping them is a cinch.

You can get spiral boning at Farthingales Canada
http://www.farthingales.on.ca/ or Farthingales USA
http://www.farthingalesla.com/
The Farthingale's site has great instructions for using spiral steel boning.
Tory

GwenC
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GwenC  Friend of PR
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In reply to Sew'n'go


Date: 9/25/07 10:33 PM

Tory,
Thanks so much for the advice and the pointer to the Farthingales website - what a great resource!
(Thanks, too, for providing both the Canadian and US URLs!)
Take care,
Gwen

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May your needle stay sharp and your grainline run true!

greco
greco
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AL USA
Member since 8/7/07
Posts: 371
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Date: 9/26/07 10:31 AM

I always hate to disagree with fellow sewing aficionados, but for this area I have to say a big NAY to the steel boning.
Up front, I'm a designer of couture bridal/eveningwear, manager of the alterations department for a large bridal chain, free lance as a guest speaker at Universities and Colleges for graduating classes in their Fashion related divisions, hold small private quarterly classes in advanced garment construction in the bridal/evening arena.
So, my advice/instruction, is based on the pattern, the fact that the client is a petite and that the "poster" is attempting this for the first time.
Please use plastic boning that has it's own removable casing. I do NOT recommend that the client use separate under garments.
Step 1: If the pattern doesn't have modifications stated for petites on it, take all the pieces and at the part where it says "natural waistline" deduct 1 and 1/2 inches from the length of all pieces at that juncture(providing she is a true petite 5'4" and under, otherwise remove only 1 inch). After you've done that to ALL pattern pieces proceed as follows.

Step 2: Take the lining pieces and again where it says "natural waistline" either make duplicate copies, fold all of the bottom up under the bodice or mark the bottom parts to identify what they are and cut off the bottoms (my personal preference) to be taped back on later.

Step 3: Using a heavy weight lining or just go ahead and use the same satin or fabric of the dress, cut 3 sets of all the bodice parts. Sew only one of them together using regular 5/8" seam allowance and long sticthes, and put in a zipper (any kind will do)wrong side out so that when you put this on her and zip it up you have all the seams on th outside.

Step 4: Call your client in for her first fitting. Use this as your muslin. Make any and all adjustments for a SNUG fit but not so tight that it strains the zipper. Pin where you need to take in and let out where necessary AS SHE WAITS. Be sure you get this fit to where you feel it is as close to perfect as you can.

Step 5: Now, take this model, mark all seams to where everything has an equal seam allowance. Trim seams to that equal seam allowance. Now take this apart completely and place over remaining 2 sets of pieces you've made and trim to match your adjustments
Step 6: Completely interface two of these sets with heavy weight interfacing and then sew them together but not to each other. On one of the sets take the self cased boning and cut strips of boning for each and every seam the TOTAL LENGTH of the fabric. If she if more than a "C" cup you should add an extra strip on the bodice side front (2 inches behind the seam applied one) and on the bodice center front add 2 extra both in the center, 2 inches apart at the top edge of the center front bodice (fold line) and angle the the lower ends in by 1/2 inch toward the center front (foldline) at waistline creating a soft "Y".

Step 7: Once you've cut these strips, remove the plastic from the casings and cut the plastic back the equivalent of your seam allowances on each end of the casings making sure to clip the very sharp tip corners off so the ends are blunt and won't poke through later on and become a discomfort. Sew the casing onto the seams being sure you are as close to the edge of the casing as possible. Stitch only the the top end slightly below the seam line leaving the lower edge open. When you've completed sewing all the casings on, insert the plastic pieces to their correct housings and tack the bottom casing closed.

Step 8: Take the second interfaced sewn bodice and with right sides together, at SIDES ONLY starting at the top, sew about 4 inches down of either side at regular seam allowance, at which point you should angle in 1/4 of an inch deeper into the seam allowance and complete the seam at that larger seam allowance all the way to the bottom. Serge, trim seams, clip slightly (usually just under the curve of the bust) if you see a pull or strain at a curve area. Turn bodice right side out, top stitch and press. Serge bottom edges closed (together). Take a 1 inch gross grain ribbon (color of dress) and leaving 3 inches off each end of the bodice, sew along the edge of the bodice creating a waistband. Fold the extra length ribbon back until it makes a tab and stitch. On one end only, sew a 1 inch by 1 inch elastic tab. Sew a skirt hook on one end and the eye on the other end. You should now have a completed structured corseted bra ready for insertion to the regular dress.

Step 9: Take the last remaining set of bodice pieces you have left and use them to adjust the actual pattern pieces of the dress fabric and lining. Construct as you would by the pattern instructions however before sewing the lining and dress together, put the corset in the top edge seam making sure that the corset will be up against the body. When you are finished sewing all parts together, you should have a corset that is hooked at the waist and the dress is zipped up as you would normally.
HINT: If the boning is fighting the shape of the client, take a pressing ham and put the bodice on the ham and press the boning on the curve of the ham to attain the rounded shape you need. You can do this as often as you need to.
Make sure initially you take minute, accurate measurements and give a copy to your client to take with her. It is my biggest problem that if you are not going to hand this garment over to your client in a weeks time, that regardless the clients confirmations, weddings tend to add/subtract inches on everyone and she has to be responsible for her own measurements to maintain the fit she had on her first visit.
Good Luck. This is a very easy pattern to work with and don't be afraid to adjust it like adding smaller additional pleats to the ruched area which would be more appropriate for a petite form. JF

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