I've been experimenting with some products we have; it's a great escape from paperwork sometimes! We sell "millinery wire" a.k.a. "hat wire" in 3 different gauges but I must admit I've always found it a challenge to work with. I seem to have heavy hands and can never get a nice look as my wire ends up all wobbly. So I decided to try one of our more stable products: German Plastic Boning in the 5mm width (product number 50-8125-05). It's a narrow flat boning that can be sew to it's self or to anything else that can be sewn and it can be shaped a bit with heat from a warm iron. German Plastic boning is white to start and since I wanted black I threaded the 5mm German Plastic boning into a length of our black nylon braided lacing (the white is dyeable so I could to this in any colour) Product # 03-7176N-90. I took 2 meters of the boing and 2.5 meters of the lacing because I wanted to be able to cut lengths and close the lacing over the ends of each bone. The lacing melts with the heat of a "lighter" so I was able to seal each section of lacing over the bone which meant that the bone could not slide out and melting the ends was a lot faster than sewing would have been.
I did use a Styrofoam head to help me and I just played with the boning to create a simple shape but there seems to be limitless possibilities. The German Plastic boning does not kink like my wire did, so I found it easy to work with and the ability to pin through it into the Styrofoam head made working with it easy. I pinned all the joined sections first and then hand stitched the join. I hand stitched through the nylon braided lacing that covered the plastic boning as it was easier than sewing through the bone and it still created a secure join.
After the shape was completed I wrapped some fine net; a soufle type net, over the section that would be in front of the eyes. Hand stitching it to the nylon braid lacing. The net is very sheer but very strong and is product number 24-5510-90 (the white version of this net is dyeable).
This head piece does not fit the Styrofoam head well but it did fit the human head that it was created for.
This was my first attempt at this type of thing and while I would do a few things differently (like not have one of the connections under the chin as it's too obvious), I'm generally happy with how easy the product were to work with and how little time it took...once I figured out what I wanted where it was only about an hour to put it together.
I've included a close-up so you can see the mesh detail
Product can be found at www.farthingalescorsetmakingsupplies.com where they sell more than just corset making supplies.
German Plastic Boning specifically can be found at: http://farthingalescorsetmakingsupplies.com/products.php?cat=plastic+bones
Nylon Braided Lacing specifically can be found at: http://farthingalescorsetmakingsupplies.com/products.php?cat=lacing
and the Fine Soufle Type Net can be found at: http://farthingalescorsetmakingsupplies.com/products.php?cat=net