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

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lidimy
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Re: Boning for corsets etc

Postby lidimy » Sat Dec 15, 2007 8:08 pm

The Castle Keepers wrote: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.


Ahhh! Why didn't I see it?! It was the first place I look (not many other places you can go in Norwich :roll: ) but couldn't see any boning at all.

I'll have to go for another look.


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Annie the Pedlar
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Postby Annie the Pedlar » Tue Dec 18, 2007 10:00 am

Dear Castle Keeper,
you have taken the first step on the escalator to boning anorak heaven. :lol:
Step two is being seduced by plastic whalebone. This is where you start to make your channels narrower and give yourself twice as much work on something that will never be seen. :?
I suspect milady the Vicomtesse and I are on step three - making corsets out things we think are going to snap, arguing whether the possible is probable and I'm about to start an argument about which species of bent (grass) might have been used. :roll:
I think the pinnicle must be deciding to stiffen a bodice with cardboard (like one of Eleanor of Toledo's) and then arguing over the kind of cardboard to use (I vote for layers of paper glued together with starch like the playing cards were but I wait with bated breath for Greg 23b to jump in an contractict me.) I'm not on this step yet as at the moment it seems plain daft ...but give me a couple of months...... :twisted:



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Postby Annie the Pedlar » Tue Dec 18, 2007 10:24 am

Madame la Vicomtesse,
spiffing idea.
Arcane basket makers secret things to know:
cut the willow in the winter while it's dormant. If you do it after bud burst they bleed to death (no they don't, but the sap is pumped up out of the cuts and it weakens the plants).
Cut above a bud as you would instruct your gardeners to prune your garden shrubs. Next year you will twice as many withies (techietalk for sticks/branches).
Withies shout be smooth, straight and unbranching. Use any abberations to support garden plants or plunge the cut end into the ground to start a new bush. No more! No more! I hear you cry.
Stack the withies upright.
If they are left outdoors they deteriorate.
Stacked in a shed or under a carport is better.
Basket makers need a variety of sizes. Organise your servant's children to sort the withies into bundles (the size of an illfed child's body) of 3 foot, 4 foot, 5 foot, 6 foot etc long.
They shrink a little after being cut so basket makers leave them for 3 weeks to dry out.....then they soak them in water before using them - ha..ha...ha....how mad is that?
Wanna start an argument about how long corset boners leave their willows before using them? Meet you in the town square after dark with a bottle of cheap cider.......oh yes and we should dress in minskirts and have bare arms in the middle of winter. What are kids like these days? Training to survive a Nuclear Winter or what innit?

And yes to everything else you said about Janet Arnlod and the Far East.
But apparently that centre cane stuff works on farthingales as does a hosepipe bought from a garden centre in a moment of desparation. (Apologies to Peronnel if she wasn't deparate and had actually spent many hours thinking deeply about buying the hose pipe...tee....hee....)



Merlon

Postby Merlon » Tue Dec 18, 2007 1:58 pm

The reed in question is juncus effusus can be found in gardens, on moors at the seaside, rarely in ponds. The vast majority of the time it is not in SSIs. Heres a picture http://www.plant-identification.co.uk/skye/juncaceae/juncus-effusus.htm

The bundles have never broken on me I made two pairs of bodies with them for the wife. Laid them end over end so the tapers canceled out whipped a bit of linen thread around them and slid them in the channels of the stays.

The bents never dry out enough to split as they are small enough to absord some moisture from the wearer. Whereas the willow is a little bit too thick to do so and will dry out and split giving you nice splinters.


Boning anorak heaven, is that a bit like cordage anorak heaven? Two blokes in a strip club arguing over whether threads should be S or Z twist. The strippers then getting angry because we were not paying them any attention.



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Postby myladyswardrobe » Tue Dec 18, 2007 8:50 pm

Annie the Pedlar said:
think the pinnicle must be deciding to stiffen a bodice with cardboard (like one of Eleanor of Toledo's) and then arguing over the kind of cardboard to use (I vote for layers of paper glued together with starch like the playing cards were but I wait with bated breath for Greg 23b to jump in an contractict me.) I'm not on this step yet as at the moment it seems plain daft ...but give me a couple of months......


I've been using reed/split cane for my effigy corsets and it is absolutely fantastic! Moulds perfectly to the body and is extremely comfortable. Any future Elizabethan (or 18th century corsets) will be made with cane.

I have also made a working class underkirtle/red petticoat with buckram in it. I had minimal boning - just down the eyelets/lacing strip and two diagonal ones but those only went in because I had to cut the buckram away at the side fronts to enable me to BEND at the waist! Again, very comfortable. I can easily have done without the boning along the lacing strip. The rose wool side laced gown on top is stiffened with merely two layers (in the front) of stiffened muslin with one layer at the back. No boning at all though I have a pocket for a wooden busk. However, I can go without it and frequently do.

I have also used the heavier weight buckram on my sister Nicky's (http://www.gemmeus.com) side laced bodice. No boning in that whatsoever. Also, it was orginally designed to be worn over her boned underkirtle but she has dispensed with that as the buckram works perfectly for her all on its own!

Far better than the tent canvas I used to use way back in 1993 with my first gown!

Bess.


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Postby ViscontesseD'Asbeau » Wed Dec 19, 2007 4:15 pm

Ta Annie and Merlon

I've done the dirty and gone and got some hazel and willow today and a preliminary experiment looks promising... I have an outhouse full of dried weld as it is, so some willow won't make any difference! Will get up there in the week and see what I come away with. We read about this mad woman in our parish in the 19thC who was always wandering round nicking bits of wood for the fire - my husband says I must have some of her genetic material, the amount of kindling I 'poach'. Willow's just one step one from kindling, eh?

So Annie... how long should I leave it to age before I get going with the stays? I was just going to get on with it, to be honest, but sounds like there's some shrinkage. Cider sounds good - I go for the really cheap sweet ones. Babycham works, too.

Other thing is, again I don;t have the books to hand (typical) but I think one of them effigy bodies is 2 layers of fabric, so you can see all the knots on the underside from the channels. What's the considered view on that? 3 layers of cloth, or 2? As it's not against my skin and as I'm lazy I was thinking maybe I could get away with the 2... knots and all. Or was that lazily finished because it was never worn by a 'real' person? What's youse think? :lol:



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Postby myladyswardrobe » Thu Dec 20, 2007 12:29 am

ViscontesseD'Asbeau:

Other thing is, again I don;t have the books to hand (typical) but I think one of them effigy bodies is 2 layers of fabric, so you can see all the knots on the underside from the channels. What's the considered view on that? 3 layers of cloth, or 2? As it's not against my skin and as I'm lazy I was thinking maybe I could get away with the 2... knots and all. Or was that lazily finished because it was never worn by a 'real' person? What's youse think?


My effigy was made with Silk upper layer, one or possibly two layers of calico and a layer of linen lining. Tudor Tailor says - Top Fabric; Foundation Fabric and Lining.

Works very well. Knots would be on the lining side if the corset had been hand sewn but I've been there, done that and not doing it again except for needlelace and embroidery (and the cutwork/reticella lace smock I intend to make one day in the dim and distant future!).

Hope thats useful.

Bess.


Gentry/Tailor/Needlelace Maker - Kentwell.

www.myladyswardrobe.com

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Postby ViscontesseD'Asbeau » Thu Dec 20, 2007 12:52 am

You're right. I checked in Janet Arnold and the pair of bodies described there are silk which probably had two layers of linen - all the linen has rotted away but she postulates 2 layers as the stitching is loose. What I'm thinking of is a photo I've seen of effigy bodies where the knots on the linen lining are clearly visible - implying there were only 2 layers - but can't recall where I saw the picture, now?
Last edited by ViscontesseD'Asbeau on Sat Dec 22, 2007 3:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.



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Postby Annie the Pedlar » Sat Dec 22, 2007 2:18 pm

How long to let the willow dry out?
Allegedly 3 weeks.

Don't tell Jorge but I jammed some fresh hazel sticks into his basket and they did shrink and work loose. Oooops. :oops:

As to the layer's of fabric - it might depend on how dense the fabric is. If the weave it loose the ends of the sticklets will poke through.

Shall I confess how I cheated?
I used 2 layers of calico and machined channels and stuffed the reeds in. Then sandwiched that between 2 layers of pretty linen. Then hand stitched along the lines of machining which were dead easy to feel and mark by running a needle in between the bunchlets of reeds.



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Postby ViscontesseD'Asbeau » Sat Dec 22, 2007 3:14 pm

:lol: Annie, I wish you'd explained that rather brilliant shortcut before I spent 3 mths handstitching channels! Thing is, I wouldn't care if the stays were flattering but they always make me looks like a smartie tube.



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Postby Annie the Pedlar » Sun Dec 23, 2007 8:58 pm

Well I've got pancakes on a plate but I made my last bodice really, really tight and gave myself a cleavage for the first time in my life :D ......
then I fainted....... :roll: ............so now I wear it looser with a stomacher tucked behind :?



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Postby lidimy » Sun Dec 23, 2007 9:24 pm

ViscontesseD'Asbeau wrote::lol: Annie, I wish you'd explained that rather brilliant shortcut before I spent 3 mths handstitching channels! Thing is, I wouldn't care if the stays were flattering but they always make me looks like a smartie tube.


Fashionable, remember, it's fashionable! :lol:

Annie - I know how you feel! My Tudor gown is the most that-way flattering of all my clothes. And being fitted for my stays with the first toile was the most uplifting experience I've ever had! :lol:

Can't wait til they're done!


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Postby janes-wardrobe » Wed Jan 09, 2008 12:15 am

Vena Cava have just added cane boning onto their website. As in two days ago! it's very reasonably priced at 25p per length of approx 2.3m or £10 for a roll of 76m


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Postby Annie the Pedlar » Thu Jan 10, 2008 11:09 am

Going back to the Remnant Shop comment: they are a remnant shop so it can be hit and miss as to what's in stock. They are sympathetic to reenactors so it's worth asking and they would probably buy in what you wanted.
And as it's Colchester we are speaking of I found Franklins always had the steel and plastic stuff in and were excellent at getting stuff if you asked - even posting it to you.
Now I live far, far away from that wonderfully enlightened town that sells heavy wool in the middle of summer (well when do the other shops think we want it!!!!!!!???????!!!!!!!!!) I find those really well stocked craft shops/revamped wool shops stock boning.

And I AM REALLY CROSS at the way every word in the English language is being kidnapped and made into something smutty. Hmmmmph! Sulk......



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Postby GOK » Tue Mar 18, 2008 9:11 pm

janes-wardrobe wrote:Vena Cava have just added cane boning onto their website. As in two days ago! it's very reasonably priced at 25p per length of approx 2.3m or £10 for a roll of 76m


**first posting!**

Just to let you know that VCD has now raised the price of the 6mm flat oval reed to £1.50 per 2.75m length/£24.99 for a kilo bundle, so it's still cheaper to buy from Jaki at the Cane Store.



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Postby janes-wardrobe » Tue Mar 18, 2008 10:08 pm

b**ger - I've not got enough to finish my latest stays commission. I'll have to reflect the price increase in my next one...


currently available for costume and corset commissions mail me on janes.wardrobe@gmail.com
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Postby GOK » Tue Mar 18, 2008 11:19 pm

janes-wardrobe wrote:b**ger - I've not got enough to finish my latest stays commission. I'll have to reflect the price increase in my next one...


Just out of interest, how much have you used so far for this project?

ETA: My cane arrived this morning - less than 24 hours between ordering and delivery. That's what I call efficient! :P



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Postby janes-wardrobe » Wed Mar 19, 2008 7:43 pm

I haven't even started it yet - I have done two sets of fully boned stays from the bundle I bought and there might be enough for my next commission but I don't want to start it until I've got more supplies as this pair of stays is a bit bigger than the previous two and a good bit longer. Once started I like to work things through til they're finished - I'm a bit impatient and hate waiting for supplies to arrive.
Next day might well be normal in the UK but as I live in France I like to allow four days to be on the safe side. I am in the Notts area tomorrow, I might see if we have time to drop in to the cane store. Thanks for the address :D


currently available for costume and corset commissions mail me on janes.wardrobe@gmail.com
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Postby GOK » Wed Mar 19, 2008 8:24 pm

janes-wardrobe wrote:Once started I like to work things through til they're finished - I'm a bit impatient and hate waiting for supplies to arrive.
:D


I agree - I like to have everything to hand before I begin a project...it's infuriating to suddenly find I don't have everything I need. Thankfully it doesn't happen often - I'm rather anal about keeping updated spreadsheets of stock! :wink:



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Postby janes-wardrobe » Thu Mar 20, 2008 10:24 am

I know what you mean - not only do I have spreadsheets I have everything stored logically (for me anyway) so I can see at a glance where certain things are.
I need some shelving for my fabrics but at least my fabric is all sorted into fabric types in boxes. When I do get my shelves it will probably be categorised into fabric type and rainbow order! :oops:


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Postby GOK » Thu Mar 20, 2008 10:37 am

janes-wardrobe wrote:I know what you mean - not only do I have spreadsheets I have everything stored logically (for me anyway) so I can see at a glance where certain things are.


Ditto - even down to boning lengths!

I need some shelving for my fabrics but at least my fabric is all sorted into fabric types in boxes. When I do get my shelves it will probably be categorised into fabric type and rainbow order! :oops:


My atelier is lined with shelving units on two walls; all my boxes are clearly labelled and sorted by fabric type and colour, trimmings for lingerie, trimmings for clothing...and period too! Same goes for my pattern library!

Ummmm, I'm the same with my clothing too. My wardrobes are arranged by colour and type!

And with hanging out the laundry! :roll:



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Postby janes-wardrobe » Thu Mar 20, 2008 10:43 am

scary - with the laundry I also hang out in size order - eg if I have a load that's just denim, size order it is. I think I may have OCD ;)


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Postby janes-wardrobe » Thu Mar 20, 2008 10:51 am

GOK wrote:
Ditto - even down to boning lengths!



I have mine separated into purpose made rolls with sections for all the different lengths I use, one for sprung steel, one for spiral wires and one for busks! My 'by the roll' boning is sorted into type and width and I mark how much I've used on the packing.

It may be anal but when I need to order from my suppliers it's a quick job and if I need a few bits to make an order up I know exactly what will do the job!


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Postby GOK » Thu Mar 20, 2008 10:59 am

My partner says I am delightfully anally retentive....I think that's a nice way of saying I am a bit on the OCD side too! :lol:

Back on topic - have you made front-lacing stays/bodies? I've made hundreds of corsets but am about to make my first bodies. Question is, what do I use for the support at the sides of the lacing? For corsets I always use 7mm steels for the inner sides and 13mm for the outer but since I am using cane for these, I'm wondering whether that would be ok...possibly doubling it up? What do you think? I don't really want to use steels as I'm trying to avoid that flat look that you get with those.

I have a mental image of how I want them to look (am not bothered about authenticity as this is not an historical project), and flat isn't it!



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Postby GOK » Thu Mar 20, 2008 11:04 am

janes-wardrobe wrote:
I have mine separated into purpose made rolls with sections for all the different lengths I use, one for sprung steel, one for spiral wires and one for busks! My 'by the roll' boning is sorted into type and width and I mark how much I've used on the packing.


OMG that's what I use too! I got the idea from my knitting needle (and makeup brush) rolls, so I made several for all of my boning! It really does make life easier - plus they store really conveniently too. We obviously think alike (and judging by your website, have similar views as to what constitutes reasonable charges for costume)!




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