Where to get items that give structure to stays, bodices etc

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Merlon

Postby Merlon » Thu Nov 08, 2007 6:30 am

If you are making stays for teddy bears then you do not need to bone them. If you must bone them you need to be mindful of the scale, the boning could be 2mm plastic rod from a model shop



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Postby Tuppence » Thu Nov 08, 2007 11:58 am

aha - bears.

in which case I'd suggest going to your local model shop or art shop, or even b&q, and browsing to see what they've got that feels right, and is narrow enough.

and plastic is fine for anything that doesn't bend at the waist of its own volition!


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Postby Maerwen / Maria / Mary » Thu Nov 08, 2007 10:00 pm

Sorry - don't post here much - just wanted to say, if you are making an C18th corset, which extends below the waist, you will need steel boning, as has been mentioned. I made one with just plastic boning once and it took on (in a very short space of time) a definite curvature at the waist, which meant my stays stuck out and upwards in a very embarrassing manner! I ended up making a busk out of marine ply, which would've stopped a French cannonball!!! :wink:



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Postby lidimy » Thu Nov 08, 2007 11:16 pm

Hmm,

Well these are only meant to be very lightly boned stays, not as industrial as some. They're called Jumps. I'm going to trust Ian on this one - I reckon he knows what he's doing :D


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Postby myladyswardrobe » Thu Nov 08, 2007 11:30 pm

Hi Lidi,

An alternative that is absolutely authentic is to use split cane. This will give you a similar flexibility to plastic fake whalebone but will also "breathe" better.

I can recommend it highly as my Effigy corset (which is similar to an 18th century corset) is entirely boned in split cane apart from a couple of strategically placed 1/4 inch wide steels.

You can get split cane in bundles here: http://www.canestore.co.uk/

Ok, I'd better get back to my Victorian corset making now.

Take care

Bess


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Postby janes-wardrobe » Sat Nov 10, 2007 7:44 pm

Vena Cava stock the biggest range of boning I've ever seen in one place. They have synthetic whalebone in 6mm and 12mm. The narrowest boning they do is 5mm spiral wire though that could be a bit heavy for an 18th C corset.

I know a young lady in America who got some ash bents for her stays and when I asked she said they were about 3/8"thick - I'm not sure if she meant wide.

I think 6mm boning channels would be fine in 18th C stays. Tuppence is right about plastic not normally being up to the job but if you have boning channels adjacent to each other it should last at least as well as reed.


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Postby Mad Mab » Sat Dec 08, 2007 12:45 am

myladyswardrobe wrote:Hi Lidi,

An alternative that is absolutely authentic is to use split cane. This will give you a similar flexibility to plastic fake whalebone but will also "breathe" better.

I can recommend it highly as my Effigy corset (which is similar to an 18th century corset) is entirely boned in split cane apart from a couple of strategically placed 1/4 inch wide steels.

You can get split cane in bundles here: http://www.canestore.co.uk/

Ok, I'd better get back to my Victorian corset making now.

Take care

Bess


Out of curiousity, what sized cane did you use (and which part of the website is it in? Got awfully confused although that may say more about me than it does the web-site :oops: )
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Cane for boning...

Postby myladyswardrobe » Sat Dec 08, 2007 12:59 am

Hi Mab

The following I've taken direct from http://www.tudortailor.com website:

"8mm centre cane suitable for farthingale hoops, 6mm suitable for sleeve hoops, 1/4” chair cane suitable for boning bodies "


I used 2 pieces per channel of the 1/4 inch for my effigy corset. They don't need soaking, but a large nail emery board would be useful for smoothing the ends and any flaky edges. Works very well in conjunction with buckram.

The 8mm centre cane is very sturdy. I have a whole load of it in a corner looking at me plaintively because it wants to become a farthingale. This stuff needs to be soaked in a bath so its pliable enough to bend into shape. Once dried it stays in shape very well indeed.

Hope that helps.

Take care

Bess.


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Postby auldMotherBegg » Sat Dec 08, 2007 4:27 pm

At the risk of getting folks all over-heated again, what was the original heading of this thread? I'm dead curious now!
:?



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Re: Cane for boning...

Postby Mad Mab » Sat Dec 08, 2007 8:45 pm

myladyswardrobe wrote:Hi Mab

The following I've taken direct from http://www.tudortailor.com website:

"8mm centre cane suitable for farthingale hoops, 6mm suitable for sleeve hoops, 1/4” chair cane suitable for boning bodies "


I used 2 pieces per channel of the 1/4 inch for my effigy corset. They don't need soaking, but a large nail emery board would be useful for smoothing the ends and any flaky edges. Works very well in conjunction with buckram.

The 8mm centre cane is very sturdy. I have a whole load of it in a corner looking at me plaintively because it wants to become a farthingale. This stuff needs to be soaked in a bath so its pliable enough to bend into shape. Once dried it stays in shape very well indeed.

Hope that helps.

Take care

Bess.


You're a star! My thanks! :D


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Postby myladyswardrobe » Sat Dec 08, 2007 9:29 pm

Hi Mab,

You're very welcome.

Best wishes

Bess.


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Postby lidimy » Sat Dec 08, 2007 10:39 pm

auldMotherBegg wrote:At the risk of getting folks all over-heated again, what was the original heading of this thread? I'm dead curious now!
:?


Well, I didn't really get what the fuss was about, but apparently asking for boning is a bad thing to say! :? :evil:


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Postby Annis » Sat Dec 08, 2007 11:06 pm

Yes it is, especially if your boning is twisted or has blood on it.

Ok, I'll stop now...


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Postby lidimy » Sat Dec 08, 2007 11:18 pm

Annis!


Shush up, seriously! :shock:


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Postby Annis » Sat Dec 08, 2007 11:20 pm

FYI I was talking about the boning of the metal variety used for strengthening or giving shape to bodices and farthingales.

:P :P :P


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Postby Dave B » Sun Dec 09, 2007 11:07 am

lidimy wrote:Well, I didn't really get what the fuss was about, but apparently asking for boning is a bad thing to say! :? :evil:



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Postby lidimy » Sun Dec 09, 2007 8:45 pm

Dave - I was joking :wink:

But thanks for the, er, help...


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Postby auldMotherBegg » Mon Dec 10, 2007 7:50 pm

Ah! Thanks for that.

According to your slang site, Dave, a 'beggar' is a euphemism for a bug*er... oh dear... :oops:



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Postby Annis » Mon Dec 10, 2007 7:56 pm

auldMotherBegg wrote:Ah! Thanks for that.

According to your slang site, Dave, a 'beggar' is a euphemism for a bug*er... oh dear... :oops:


Yes - "You cheeky beggar!"


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Postby Annie the Pedlar » Tue Dec 11, 2007 10:14 am

Merlon - do you know the botanical name of the bent producing grass/rush/whatever it is.? The English one would do.

Do you think it's the same one as is used for rush lights? I've only got my hands on the stems and have never seen the tops but it feels like it to me.

For anyone buying bents from Ruth - believe her when she says one bunch will do a corset.
Mad Mab - if Ruth has run out I have a bunch to spare. :oops:

(As you might have guessed I'm putting the finishing touches to a bent corset.)

Annie



Merlon

Postby Merlon » Tue Dec 11, 2007 8:22 pm

I believe the plant for bents is Juncus effusus which is also the rushlight plant



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Postby mally ley » Wed Dec 12, 2007 2:15 pm

Lidi
instead of bothering with boning for something so small, if you just do the lines of stitiching (lots, as you would for putting the bones through), through several layers of the corset fabric, this might be enough to stiffen it without needing the bones. Or maybe just a couple of strategic ones - down centre front and centre back.
Have you counted how many channels are stitched in a full sized one, and then taken the proportions down to teddy size? There might not be room for the bones ...

Mally



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Postby seamsmistress » Wed Dec 12, 2007 4:21 pm

mally ley wrote:Lidi
instead of bothering with boning for something so small, if you just do the lines of stitiching (lots, as you would for putting the bones through), through several layers of the corset fabric, this might be enough to stiffen it without needing the bones. Or maybe just a couple of strategic ones - down centre front and centre back.
Have you counted how many channels are stitched in a full sized one, and then taken the proportions down to teddy size? There might not be room for the bones ...

Mally


I used to be product designer for Gabrielle Designs, the Paddington Bear Company and scaling was always an issue when dressing them as human characters, because no bear ever has human proprotins, scaled or otherwise. The heads are always larger, as are the general girth measures, whereas the length measures are proportionally much shorter.

I think Malley ley has a point on omitting the boning. I would reduce the stitch length on a machine down to the smallest achievable [proportion again] and then use something like narrow diameter string or better yet, blind cord which comes in at something like 2mm. This would add the structure, same as in a human corded corset, without creating undue bulk. After all, the teddy isn't going to feel the benefit of this corset! Also, if you're planning on cording or boning at this scale, I would mark your pattern pieces & channels out on the cloth and then cut around leaving a good margin. This means you'll benefit by working on something a little more substantial and less fiddly. Once the channels and cording/boning are done, you can then lay the pattern back on and check it hasn't shrunk or mishaped in the handling and still cut the right size even if it has.

If it really must be a more rigid bone, have you thought about cocktail sticks or kebab skewers? These can be rounded with sandpaper at the ends quite easily.

The biggest issue we always had was finding appropriately sized buttons, especially if the bear had a military bearing.....sorry, scuse pun!



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Postby lidimy » Wed Dec 12, 2007 5:55 pm

Yep - I know buttons are going to be an issue :( I was thinking maybe just securely but loosely sewing on some large beads to create the effect of buttons, haven't tried it yet though.

Thanks for the advice. I wasn't going to use cocktail sticks because of the pointy ends, and by the time they were removed they'd be too short I think.

Re proportion, I too have found that it's useless to assume that teddy clothes will just be scaled down himan ones - there are so many differences in body shape, there's no point using existing patterns except as a rough guide to the pattern pieces. The most frustrating part is definitely the size of the head though - how to make the neck hole large enough without the shoulders slipping halfway down the arms!


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Postby Annie the Pedlar » Thu Dec 13, 2007 5:56 pm

Thanks Merlon.
The rushlight thing - It's nice to know I'm not as geen as I'm cabbage looking :D
Annie
off to find the Suffolk seeds catalogue and my eyes are turning to groats.



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Postby ViscontesseD'Asbeau » Thu Dec 13, 2007 8:14 pm

Re. bents/boning for folks not bears... anyone ever tried the thinnest branches of hazel or willow? You can get really fine ones and it's the time of year, now. Occurs to me they're native - and free! Anyone tried it? I'm thinking of giving it a go. We also have stacks of reeds round here but I aren't sure which are the 'right' ones? There are abandoned stands of willow all over this area as into the 19thC it had a big basket making industry going on and I am wondering if it wouldn't make more sense for these latest bodies, to go for them...

Lidimy - Ted Menten's books tell you how to make clothes for bears and there's often how-tos in the latest bear mags you can get in Borders &c. Many bear folk do more elongated bears if they want to make a dressed one - it's an art in itself but made easier with a few tricks! :D Dressing your own bears is easier than other folks' because you have all the dimensions to hand. I've read that stays that needed less might be 'boned' with cords, so that's another one for the bears. :D



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Postby lidimy » Thu Dec 13, 2007 11:15 pm

I dunno, I like elongated bears enough, but I really want to do the more standard squishy bears than the more formal looking elongated ones. I just prefer a good old cuddly bear TBH!

I've already drawn up and completed a table of measurements of the two teds I intend to use, it saves so much time!

Cording might be an idea but it could get bulky... I like the idea of rows of stitching, though.


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Postby Annie the Pedlar » Fri Dec 14, 2007 10:27 am

For the ViscontesseD'Asbeau.
yes I've thought of willow then I thought in the Janet Arnold book the bents look very thin and I'm sure I read somewhere there were 10 in a channel.
I thought I'll only get one willow withilette in a channel.
I thought my two year old willow has got very brittle.
I thought if there's only one in a channel it's bound to snap.
I thought the bents must be acting like you can tear a piece of paper but not a telephone directory/divided we fall united we stand/there's safety in numbers but...... when I put them into my channels I could only get 4 max in each one and the whole corset does seem very brittle and only fit for handling by a well trained lady's maid. I was having kittens about letting children handle it, which is it's destiny. (The museum and I agreed on hedging our bets with some hidden modern technology.)
I have tried using willow in farthingales and couldn't get that to work.
In the books it says bodies were stiffened with carfboard, whalebone, bents and reeds so I thought about reeds. There are the ones you use for thatching - too thick. There are the ones you use for making hats and baskets. They squash flat. So it must have been a smaller kind with thinner stems........
In thinking about bents it says in Janet Arnold they are the stems of a seaside grass. It was a Spanish corset so it would have been a Spanish seaside grass but anyway I started to think of marran grass (cuts your hands to pieces) and I couldn't envisage any other so I thought I might travel 300 miles to visit my mum for Xmas. She lives at the seaside......
ThenI thought of all that willow going to waste around you and looked at the cheque for £60 I was about to write out to the Somerset levels to stock up so I can complete my arrow basket orders and the tears welled up in my eyes ........
and then I thought all this thinking had used up every braincell in my peasant brain so I reached for the cooking sherry and the TV remote control.



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Postby ViscontesseD'Asbeau » Fri Dec 14, 2007 12:08 pm

LOL Annie Tell you what I'll go and cut some willow (the basket making sort not the boning stuff I have in mind) and leave it out all winter and then if we coincide at an event will bring it along for you, next year? Gratis, of course. I'm thinking of a particular stand of willow by the river that we walk the dog upto - judgng by the 1841 census, this area was crawling with basket-makers so I suspect that's why they're there. There's also lots of reeds in ponds etc but they're almost impossible to get (also in SSIs, so I daren't try).

What you say about loads of thin reeds is what was going through my mind too - is it the Janet Arnold book, there's a picture of that pair of bodies where you can see the grasses, and it is a whole bundle... But I got this mega thin and whippy willow in my own garden that has tempted me to do what you did... I've seen about chair cane etc but isn't that from the Far East or summat? Have also seen this reed/grass stuff growing by ditches and in wet areas but not actually in the water, like rushes... and that looks like a likely candidate... Ah I'm just going to busk it. (Geddit?)



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Boning for corsets etc

Postby The Castle Keepers » Fri Dec 14, 2007 12:30 pm

I got some plastic-clad steel boning from Anglia Fashion fabrics in Norwich earlier this year, it was fine in the bodice of my Elizabeth I costume. I also used the perforated plastic stuff which you can stitch through with the sewing machine as extra stiffening zig-zagged all over the panels, it worked a treat.




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