The Novelty of Bags and Bones

Novelty dress update!  This post will cover a little bit on boning your garments and bagged edge finishing…

There are several types of boning available, but the basics are Rigilene, Steel Boning and Spiral Boning.  Rigilene is the most commonly available at fabric stores such as Jo Ann’s and is a hard plastic with a curve.  Steel Boning is straight pieces of thin steel, usually white and coated to dull the edges and has little give to it.  This type of boning is used a lot in theater in bodices from periods with a lot of structure such as Tudor and Elizabethan.  Spiral Boning is the funnest and most expensive type of boning.  It is made of steel wire that is wrapped and binded in a spiral pattern to provide maximum stability and flexibility.  This type of boning is used for corsets, tutu bodices, etc. garments that need to be highly structured but curve with the body.

IMG_2289 IMG_2333
Featherlite Rigilene Boning w/ Casing                                                                                                           Spiral Boning

Since it is the most affordable, accessible and appropriate, I use Featherlite Twill Boning.  It is a very thin, lightweight rigilene boning.  You have to be careful with the curve though!  If the garment is not fitted, it WILL bow out from the body and look really, really stupid.

IMG_2285 IMG_2287

For my Novelty Dress, I had added this boning to my center from seams, and will add it to the side seam and back by the zipper.  Since this garment will be halter top, I want to the bodice to stay straight and smooth.
The first image shows the inside of the garment where the boning is stitched onto the fashion fabric.  The second image is what it looks like from the outside.

Bagged Finishing

A bag-finish the edge is one way to provide a clean line to the neck-line of your garment.

  1. Lay your fashion fabric and facing/or/lining fabric together, matching lines but most importantly sitting as one.  Stitch along the line your want to finish from seam allowance to seam allowance, back stitching at beginning, end and any sharp corners.
  2. Clip away corners, being careful NOT to cut the stitching.  This will prevent bulk from building up in your corners.  Grade the seam allowance (cut away extra fabric at slightly different lengths to allow for a smooth transition.  Pink edges if possible.
  3. Press seam allowance towards FACING/LINING of the bagged edge and stitch down.  Turn edge right-side out and press the edge into a crisp line.
    (a. Understitching from right side of fcing/lining, pressed edge; b. Pressed edge from right side of fashion fabric)
  4. If desired, top stitch edge to keep line crisp and prevent any “rolling” from the lining.


Ta-da!  I have a bodice!

2 thoughts on “The Novelty of Bags and Bones

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