After you have inserted your boning, you may have an issue with the potential of the boning channels showing through your fashion fabric, particularly with zip ties under a delicate fabric like silk. Fear not!
Insert the bones and cut a piece of felt or flannel that is big enough to cover the bones, but smaller than the inside to your seam allowance. You don't want to bulk up your seams, just smooth out the bumpy boning lines. The thicker the bones, the more padding you will want- I have found felt to be the most effective over zip ties. Flannel would probably work well over spring steel. For this project, I'm using cheap synthetic felt due to the dollar cap set for the gown. I would prefer wool, but c'est la vie. For any concerned about added warmth, don't be. I overheat easily and used this method on my chocolate linen kirtle, which I wore several times in the heat of Utah's desert summer and was fine. I did not pad the back piece, which may make a difference for some.
|Pad-stitched felt over bodice front|
This use of thin padding to disguise wire/stiffening is also used in millinery, and this layer is called mulling, if I recall correctly. You only need to pad one side, as the other will be facing your body. I pad-stitched everything in place with the boning already inserted, as I wanted to make sure not to stitch through boning channels, and to ensure this layer is firmly attached, with a smooth final product.
|Inside of pad-stitched bodice|
After lining and turning, the padded layer will fall behind your fashion fabric and disguise all those unsightly boning lines!
|Bodice front - not yet pressed or finished! It'll look even better soon.|