Using “wiggle bones” in Lila Rose’s stand-up pleated collar

Brooks Ann Camper Bridal Couture

As you may recall from the mockup and sketches, Lila Rose’s dress will have a pleated stand-up collar.

Our original inspiration photo had a very deep V neck with the collar folding in a bit, but for Lila Rose’s eighties-inspired wedding dress, we needed the collar to take on pretty much a 90º angle from the body.  Throughout our process, I had been brainstorming ideas to achieve this shape.  I did not want her collar to collapse into her beautiful neckline!

I remembered reading a post from Gertie’s New Blog for Better Sewing about “wiggle bones” (also known as “zig zag wires”).   I remembered using these before, back when I worked in professional theatre.  These bones, which seemed to be extinct, were mainly used in Edwardian times.  A corset company in Canada has begun to reproduce these in rust-resistant steel.

Though I’ve never heard of anyone using wiggle bones to keep a stand up collar like ours “standing up” at a right angle, it seemed like I could make it work perfectly.  So I ordered a couple dozen as an experiment, and I was finally ready to try it out.

First I needed to prep and pleat the collar.  All of this involved carefully pressing, clipping and turning the fabrics.  Did you remember that the hot pink collar was lime green on the inside?

Brooks Ann Camper Bridal Couture

Brooks Ann Camper Bridal Couture

Brooks Ann Camper Bridal Couture

Then I pinned and basted the collar onto the neckline.

Brooks Ann Camper Bridal Couture

Brooks Ann Camper Bridal Couture

Next I cut my wiggle bones to length carefully turning the ends under so they never poke through the garment.

Brooks Ann Camper Bridal Couture

Then I inserted them all the way into the pleats.  The top of the bones end up at the edge of the collar and the ends of the bones are long enough to bend and attach into the body of the dress.

Brooks Ann Camper Bridal Couture

Brooks Ann Camper Bridal Couture

Once my bones were placed exactly where I wanted them, I machine stitched the collar into place, carefully sewing over the bones and securing them into place.

Brooks Ann Camper Bridal Couture

I trimmed out all of my excess fabric…

Brooks Ann Camper Bridal Couture

…and I carefully bent my bones to my desired angle.

Brooks Ann Camper Bridal Couture

Finally, I pinned and stitched my (now L-shaped) wiggle bones carefully and secretly to the underlining.

Brooks Ann Camper Bridal Couture

My experiment worked perfectly!

Brooks Ann Camper Bridal Couture

Wow!

No one (who doesn’t read this blog) will know about my tiny hidden wiggle bones that are holding the stand-up collar for Lila Rose’s custom wedding dress perfectly in place!

 

Next post:  I’ll tackle the creation of the “space bustle”!  Keep following along…

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3 Responses

  1. This is gorgeous! I just love these colors and the way the design of the dress and colors compliment one another.

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Hi there! I'm Brooks Ann.

I’m an independent designer and couture dressmaker for one-of-a-kind bridalwear located in Hillsborough, North Carolina. I also teach the sew-curious both in-person and online.

My blog follows along with the couture process of how each heirloom-quality custom wedding dress is made from idea to wedding day, as well as other interesting tidbits related to sewing, weddings, and body positivity.

Stay in Touch!

Sign Up for my FREE Newsletter!

You’ll get blog posts right in your inbox, plus extra goodies in your roughly twice a month. Plus, “Peek Inside My Sewing Library” in the first email!

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

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