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Help! Confused about Boning

ablakemo | Posted in Equipment and Supplies on

Hello. I am working on an off the shoulder gown which has a heavy skirt so it requires boning in the boddice. I haven’t used boning before and I am getting frustrated–any help or advice would be VERY appreciated.

I purchased from my local Joann’s featherlite plastic boning that comes with the channel, only it’s packaged in a tight circle – you cut it to desired length (this SEEMED like a bonus)–only it doesn’t seem to want to lay flat–it keeps curling and not supporting the boddice. Is there a way to make it flat–or am I doing something wrong? I need some long strips of the boning–it’s a dropped waist boddice.

There doesn’t seem to be any flat boning strips at any of my local fabric stores (Hancocks & Joanns), any suggestions?? HELP!


  1. rjf | | #1

    Maybe it's too late to suggest this but when I worked for a costume designer, she would make the skirt part with its own waist band and then attach the bodice to that.  The skirt held itself up and the bodice stayed put without strain.  The other suggestion it to make a channel with a piece of stay tape (or something the right width) and slide the boning into that.  If I remember correctly, the ends point to the outside of the garment.  Secure the ends tightly so the boning doesn't slide or puntcure your stomach.           rjf    ps.  picture when it's done????

  2. kai230 | | #2

    One other suggestion--have you tried to rewind it in the opposite direction to see if that will remove some of the curve?

    1. GhillieC | | #3

      Shouldn't you use it with the curve bowing outwards  the 'wrong' way  so that the dress itself straightens it?


      1. kai230 | | #4

        Sorry, I meant to rewind the wound boning in the opposite direction, so as to straighten it. But yes, I think the ends should be pointed out (as opposed to into one's body). I got the impression the boning was still protruding unfashionably. Maybe wrap in a damp towel and steam w/an iron on the curly ends?

  3. stitchmd | | #5

    Maybe this is too obvious, but have you contacted the manufacturer for advice?

    1. ablakemo | | #6

      Thank you all for your suggestions. I love this forum! Everyone is so helpful!! :)

      I tried rewinding-no use but steaming it with a wet towel did the trick!! It took the highest setting on my iron-but now it's perfect! It seemed so obvious! Thanks again!

      1. kai230 | | #7

        Well if that isn't good news, what is? So glad things are going smoothly now! I hope you can post a pic :-)

      2. rjf | | #8

        That's terrific!  I wouldn't have believed that a steam iron would do the trick.  I thought the material it's made from wouldn't be affected by heat or steam.  Well...it must be the "something new everyday".  You really can get good ideas on this forum, don't you think?                                    rjf

        1. ablakemo | | #9

          Lots of good ideas! It's like having a sewing buddy!

          I'll post pics once I am done--quite a ways off, I'm building the muslin right now.

          Thanks to everyone!!

  4. reddragonfly | | #10

         I recently made a corset for my wedding dress and in researching corsets on the internet I learned about spiral steel boning.  It's great because it comes straight and it's more flexible than plastic, especially side to side.  This makes the boning a lot more comfortable to wear.  You can either order it pre-cut and capped to the lengths you want, or you can get a longer piece and cut and cap it yourself.  You can buy it online from Farthingales and other corset suppliers.  It's definitely the boning I will use from now on.  You can also get casing to fit the boning and these casings are very densely woven to prevent the boning from poking through.  Again a comfort issue. 

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