Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Yellow Dress, Part Three: Constructing the Boned Inner Bodice (with Video!)

Okay, I've created the outer dress layer and now it's time for some hardware! Get out your pliers, ladies.

I opted to put boning into my bodice in the lining layer. I was going to sew in store-bought boning channels, but my teacher Sharon had a better idea: she suggested making the bodice lining two layers that could be sewn together to create channels (kind of a like a bodice sandwich!). So I added a layer of silk organza to my cotton batiste lining. (If you've read Susan Khalje's excellent article "The Secret to Party Dresses that Stay Put" in Threads #145, then you'll recognize this method.)

So, I needed to create two bodice linings. One out of the cotton batiste:

And one out of the silk organza.

Aside: isn't silk organza so pretty on its own? Someday soon I want to use it as the fashion fabric in a dress, not just support fabric!

And then I pinned the two layers together at the seams. (Click to view any of the photos larger.)


And then I drew in the boning channels, lightly, in pencil. The channels need to be 3/8" wide to accommodate 1/4" spiral steel boning.
Stitch along your markings, creating a channel between the two layers of fabric. See how your boning slides in?

Obviously, this piece of boning is too long and will need to be cut. Here's a handy video showing you how! (Note: First, you want to add a row of stitching at your bottom seam allowance. This will keep the boning in its channel.)



If you can't watch the video right now, the jist of it is this. Cut your boning with wire cutters, to a length 1/8" shorter than your boning channel, minus seam allowances. (The 1/8" allows for the boning tip that you're going to add.)

Take a boning tip and crimp it on with a pair of pliers.
Do this for each of your channels and you've got a fully-boned inner bodice! Here's mine:


The next step will be to sew the skirt lining onto the skirt bodice. (There's no need for a layer of silk organza on the skirt lining, thank goodness. Just the batiste.) One thing to note: when attaching pieces to a bodice that's been boned like this, you have to be very careful not to stitch on the steel boning, as it will break your needle and possibly injure you in the process. Use a zipper foot and stitch very carefully.

That's all for this installment. Hope this was helpful to you!

27 comments:

  1. Sandwiching boning between layers is really great for reducing the bulk that most boning channels add (especially at the waist. I made the mistake one time of using a lot of boning in a bodice with boning channels, and it took a good 1/4" to 3/8" extra from an already tightly fitted waist!). I love how the organza looks--so yummy! hehe. It's always fun to add pretty layers to the inside, isn't it? Even if they aren't seen in the end...

    Can't wait for the next installment!!!

    ♥ Casey
    blog | elegantmusings.com

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  2. Hi Gertie. Spiral boning is easy to cut if you know how.. see my tutorial here: http://www.sewcurvy.com/spiralwire.html

    All you need is a wire snipper, and you snip either side of the boning, and then it comes apart. The reason for this is because spiral steel bones are made of a flattened spring.

    Hope this is helpful.

    Julia

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  3. My friend who made my bodice in this post uses pre-cut bones in a variety of sizes that she orders online. She had to order some 4" ones for this, but it works out really nice.

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  4. I do love your tutorials. I am learning so much about construction.

    Thank you!

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  5. Thanks for the tip, JuliaB! I'll annotate the video when I have a chance.

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  6. Very nice! You explain things so well!

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  7. All I have to say is WOW!!! Maybe some day I will get to this level of sewing. WoW!

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  8. Great tutorial and thanks for sharing.

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  9. Really enjoyed the video! All that boning...

    Is airport security not a concern?

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  10. Actually, I have been stopped at a metal detector once for wearing a steel boned corset, at a concert venue. Fortunately, I was wearing it as outerwear and they were happy to let me through when I took off my coat and showed them the garment. That aside, the yellow dress is shaping up very well. Just one comment: I see you put the bones in the center front in vertically as well. I know that's how they are in a seriously confining bodice like a corset, but I was always told to put them in diagonally (center front to side bust) for a lighter bodice which is still supposed to allow the wearer to bend her upper body.

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  11. Thanks for this video! I've used spiral steel boning before but always got it precut. I didn't realize it was so easy to do yourself.

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  12. I've been searching for a proper how-to-insert-boning technique for a while now. Thanks for this Gertie

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  13. I just love your construction posts. You are really good at describing what you do in an entertaining and clear fashion. Inspired by you I have started to drape a dress of my own. I am definitely going to use the horsehair braid on the circle skirt of that one.
    Tania

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  14. The guts of your bodice are so pretty! I love looking at clothing inside out so much, it's silly -but that's what dressing rooms are for guess. It's certainly fun to see this dress shaping up.

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  15. I really love this method, while there may be more work end result worth it ! :-) great post

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  16. Silk organza makes into a beautiful dress. My wedding dress was made of silk organza and it is still beautiful today. When you come to AZ I will show it to you if you would like. I also have my 'going away' dress which was made of navy blue eyelet which was lined. It has a large navy type collar and it is a fitted sheath with a side zipper. I can no longer wear it but I love to look at it from time to time. Enough down memory lane. I was married 50 years ago, Sept. 4.

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  17. First, thank you for doing this, I love watching your progress and increasing skills. Your teacher, Sharon, is a gem. I have never made a boned item, but totally admire anyone who does ..... and wears it!

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  18. Well done! That is how I have done it in the past making tutu bodices and always felt like I was cheating as it is a non traditional method.

    thanks for sharing.

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  19. I have a dress pattern that I want to make, but I want to leave the straps off this time, which means I will need some boning. This entry gave me a place to start. Thank you! Where on earth do I get boning, though?

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  20. Oh wow, I would have never thought of airport security when using steel boning! Imagine being in a foreign country...
    I usually use the bendy cheap plastic boning that comes on a roll. It never quite flattens out! I'd love to try steel boning one day. Thanks for the tips!

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  21. Finally I'm ready to use boning and I have to tell you G, this video is excellent. Totally gives me the confidence to try it. So much so, I just ordered all kinds of boning and tips!

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  22. "Great video" thanks for shared here and I will try yellow one next time.

    Shyamle | Craftsvilla.com

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  24. Thank you so much for this lovely outfit.. I watched the video and it was very good and easy to learn..

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  25. I have a questions about this process and thought you might be able to help... I am curious that if I am inserting spiral steel boning between two fairly transparent fabrics and my outside fashion fabric on my bodice is white... won't the boning show through because it is such a dark color? What would you suggest here? Thanks!

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  26. I am also I bit curious to know why you choose cotton batiste as the lining instead of say Crepe de chine or another Susan Khalje favorite. Thanks for the help!

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Thanks for your comments; I read each and every one! xo Gertie

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