I cut two of my pattern pieces out of heavy cotton canvas. A strong trigger, linen canvas, or coutil would also work. I used what was buried in my stash. I draw my boning channels directly onto my fabric, as this layer will not show at all.
|The brand of zip ties I used|
|Close-up of bones - left is filed, right is not|
Some people also dip the ends in a plasti-dip. I find this is less necessary for the zip ties. Metal bones do tend to need something as they are more prone to break-through, because they are not as thick. I have also had some luck with wrapping the ends of metal bones in medical tape in lieu of plasti-dip or nail polish.
I then number the bones from left to right, so I know later which bones belong in which channels without having to re-measure. I use a fine-tipped sharpie or similar so the ink doesn't rub off immediately. After this is done, I sew down my boning channels, with the two pattern pieces sandwiched together, creating channels in which to slide the boning down.
It is important to always sew the channels in the same direction, such as from top to bottom or bottom to top, but not to switch directions half-way through. This may cause some awkwardness from bulk of fabric under your sewing machine arm at some point, but if you change directions your fabric has a much higher chance of warping and causing wave-like wrinkles along the channels.
Once I am done sewing the channels, I give them a test drive and slide all the boning inside to make sure all pieces fit properly - if the channels are sewn too narrow, it will have to be picked out and sewn again as the boning won't fit. So far, I've yet to need to take that step thanks to careful measuring.
I will continue the next steps in another post soon!