My reed came yesterday from Wm Booth, Draper! (The reed I bought weeks earlier from Benfranklin.com has still not arrived - never order from them, I'm going to get the bank to take my money back somehow.) This morning I spent about an hour and a half cutting it and boning the stays with two pieces back to back in each channel.
I'm especially happy with the curved channels on the side back pieces - you can see that they do pull the fabric into a three-dimensional shape.
Really, I could have made them longer in the front. They're a little bit low on top and could also probably flatten my stomach a bit more if they went further down. (Part of why they look extra short is that I'm short-waisted, though.) Next time! These aren't issues that should drastically affect the fit of a gown I make for these.
Best thing: those tabby bits close to my arms really do make all the difference. In my blue stays, I got a more pronounced curve up the front but my bust was completely flattened because nothing held it in from the sides.
The top of the back kind of stands away from my body. I'm not sure what I can do about that besides try steaming it into shape, as I saw suggested in Cherry Dawson's workshop notes.
The back lacing kind of shifted to be wider at the bottom while I was putting it on. Hm.
And the other side. All in all, I'm very happy with these! Tabs where the bones run straight down from the body are infinitely more comfortable than tabs that are boned separately, in my opinion. Hopefully I'll get these bound by the end of the week and then I can start on the gown! My lining linen is out on the line, drying, as I type.