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Old 03-18-2002, 04:14 PM   #1
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Unhappy help...2-piece cloth dress?

Hello ladies,

I have 2 cherokee tear dresses made from the crazy crow pattern, but I look like a buffalo in those things :Cry.

I want to try a two piece dress appropriate for a Cherokee dancer...but don't know what kind of changes to make. The ladies I've seen in the two-piece dresses look so much better...and cooler. But, I think they're different in more than just "less material" and the fact that they are 2 pieces. I don't want to deviate too far, I just can't remember.

Can any one help me? Also, I'm not a good seamstress. Can anyone suggest any tips on my new project? One last question...lol...has anyone ever seen a solid colored tear dress? I have seen one black dress with colorful ribbons, but I think that was the only one. Just wondering.

Would really appreciate anyone's advice...
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Old 03-18-2002, 07:59 PM   #2
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2-piece dress

I, too, have made a Cherokee tear dress that took about 10 yards of material. I am now making my granddaughter one that is 2 piece. I am making the skirt minus one of the skirt panels and corresponding ruffle. The top will be by the same pattern as the dress, only it will have short sleeves and I will make the tail longer to be tucked in, the collar will be different(either just the ruffle or a plain collar or no collar). I have put elastic in the skirt waistband so it will hold the top in place. As she grows, the top will still be long enough to tuck in and I can always add another ruffle to the bottom. The ribbon will be in the same places as on the dress. If you ever find a pattern, would you share it with me? [email protected]
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Old 03-18-2002, 08:35 PM   #3
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To RVNMAD,
Yes, I have seen many tear dresses that are made from solid color material w/ the ribbon decoration. My mom used to make them, maybe I can post a picture in the gallery of some tear dresses.
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Old 03-18-2002, 10:13 PM   #4
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Talking thanks

That would be really cool if you have time to post pictures be sure to let me know. Someone told me that I shouldn't make my dress in a solid color, but I desperately want one for some reason.

Thanks for taking the time to respond. :)
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Old 03-18-2002, 10:24 PM   #5
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Re: 2-piece dress

Quote:
Originally posted by Polly Ritche
I, too, have made a Cherokee tear dress that took about 10 yards of material. I am now making my granddaughter one that is 2 piece. The ribbon will be in the same places as on the dress. If you ever find a pattern, would you share it with me? [email protected]
Thanks for the info, Polly. I couldn't believe how much material it takes for a tear dress, could you!?? And I wonder why I look so big in it. lol

If I find a pattern for a 2 piece I will be sure to let you know. I am actively looking. I can't even find any pictures of any as of yet. And, although I've seen them, it's hard for me to make one without looking at one, you know?

:)
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Old 03-18-2002, 10:40 PM   #6
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Question solid color tear dress

I 've now seen some solid color tear dresses, and I also learned something from the cloth store. I thought calico meant the tiny little prints, but it actually refers to the fabric itself. It's 100% cotton fabric that's pretty lightweight. :-D Learn something new everyday, I guess!

Last edited by shwk0961; 03-22-2002 at 01:56 AM..
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Old 03-18-2002, 10:49 PM   #7
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Tear Dresses Meaning

:Angel2
I am wondering what the meaning of the tear dress really signifies. I take it that it signifies one who cries. Maybe that is why someone recommended it not be of a solid color. However, if you have seen one, then that is a sign that a solid color is an acceptable fashion for that style.

If you think about the dress, wouldn't Creator tell you the color and how to adorn it for your own style. I believe that this is what the dressing is all about anyway. It seems to me that it is a personal expression of what is inside the wearer of the dress.

I am sure you will look beautiful and slim, not as the buffalo, but as the dear who runs through the forrest, if you love what you make and the way it feels when you put it on.

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Old 03-18-2002, 11:48 PM   #8
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OK, I have just posted 3 pics in the gallery of 2 different Tear Dresses - these were made by my mother Delores (she passed on 2 yrs.ago). Delores was one half Cherokee and an enrolled member of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma. Her father ,Levi Downing, was an original enrollee.
Tear dresses can be made from calico or solid color fabric, it's your choice !! Tear is pronounced both "tear" as in Trail of Tears and "tear" as in torn fabric. For more history of the tear dress you should go to Cherokee Nation website www.cherokee.org and click on Cherokee Culture. There is alot of interesting info there !
Hope this helps,
Marie
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Old 03-18-2002, 11:50 PM   #9
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Oh yeah, the pictures are in the gallery under Dancing/ Women/Cloth category .
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Old 03-19-2002, 12:04 AM   #10
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Friend of Bear and other ladies. Just because "you have seen it" does not make something correct. Many people make this mistake, but it is always smartest to research first to make sure you are correct. But is this case, yes it is alright to have a solid dress. I have seen them in a small star pattern as well, not just calico. Also, just a hint, try making the waistband wider when you make the outfit 2 pieces, it seems to keep the skirt tucked in better.
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Old 03-19-2002, 12:32 AM   #11
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If you must have a pattern or picture -- I used an older McCalls Pattern #4736 for the skirt portion of your dresses, when I first began sewing for others. It is a simple gored or wide aline skirt with a ruffle at the bottom. Make the waist 1 1/2 to 2 times your waist measurement, add a waistband or elastic and attach a ruffle that is 4 times the bottom width of the skirt. Add your trim (ribbonwork or whatever above the ruffle and you are set.

Why make it harder than it has to be....
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Old 03-19-2002, 08:28 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by catsmeow
Friend of Bear and other ladies. Just because "you have seen it" does not make something correct. Many people make this mistake, but it is always smartest to research first to make sure you are correct. But is this case, yes it is alright to have a solid dress. I have seen them in a small star pattern as well, not just calico. Also, just a hint, try making the waistband wider when you make the outfit 2 pieces, it seems to keep the skirt tucked in better.
Thank you catsmeow. I knew that seeing it didn't actually make it right, that's why I asked. ;-) I appreciate your input.
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Old 03-19-2002, 08:38 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by waleli
Oh yeah, the pictures are in the gallery under Dancing/ Women/Cloth category .
Thank you for posting those, they are beautiful dresses.
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Old 03-19-2002, 10:04 AM   #14
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TEAR DRESS PATTERNS

RVNMAD AND POLLY--- I too am searching for a tear dress apttern-- I found a site yeaterday in reading some history of the dress- it is chagnons outdoor world [native amreican products] the pattern shown does not look like 10 yards but that is how the origionals were made. thier phone number is 1-800-795-5157- if it is the same as crazy crow-- please let me know. i found this sight linked under cherokee clothing in the search mode. i too am a ver y heafty person-- 10 yards of anything around this body would look like a heard of elephants. blessings to all db/az:)
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Old 03-19-2002, 11:37 AM   #15
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I made exactly one Tear dress for a friend to get married in and I used the Missouri River pattern. The pattern is for a one-piece dress. I have to say that the sewing directions were poorly written. I had to rip apart several times before I figured out what was missing from the instructions. In spite of this, this pattern is the only one I know about. I suppose you could modify it to make the two-piece ensemble.
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Old 03-19-2002, 08:10 PM   #16
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this is deltadawn not fancystar

OKAY, Cherokees as most everyone knows did not pow wow.
So an appropriate dress for pow wowing is mostly up to you. and who brings you into the circle. But if you want a tear dress, then the cloth is up to you, tear meaning to be able to rip the material to sew into a dress. (We borrowed the style of dress from the europeans) I have a shirt and skirt the shirt is solid red and the skirt is calico red, also have a black solid tear dress(one piece) with ribbon work, also have several tear dresses out of calico. with the peak and with ribbon work. so its pretty much up to you how you want your dress to look.
Being that PW's have become intertribal most tend to borrow ideas from others and incorporate into thier work.
I'm am by no means the b all end all on cherokee and dresses and pwing, but this is just from me and what i've seen over the past 10-15 years.

deltadawn
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Old 03-19-2002, 08:59 PM   #17
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Re: this is deltadawn not fancystar

Quote:
Originally posted by FancyStar
OKAY, Cherokees as most everyone knows did not pow wow.
So an appropriate dress for pow wowing is mostly up to you. and who brings you into the circle. But if you want a tear dress, then the cloth is up to you, tear meaning to be able to rip the material to sew into a dress. (We borrowed the style of dress from the europeans) I have a shirt and skirt the shirt is solid red and the skirt is calico red, also have a black solid tear dress(one piece) with ribbon work, also have several tear dresses out of calico. with the peak and with ribbon work. so its pretty much up to you how you want your dress to look.
Being that PW's have become intertribal most tend to borrow ideas from others and incorporate into thier work.
I'm am by no means the b all end all on cherokee and dresses and pwing, but this is just from me and what i've seen over the past 10-15 years.

deltadawn


Thank you for the info and your pov, Deltadawn. However, I think we all know that Cherokees do in fact, powwow now ;) and have been for a while now. And, although I realize the dress is up me, I do prefer to dance in a tear dress (and have been for a while now) which was adapted from an old pattern and is now accepted as a Cherokee style dress at powwows (as you know, since you own a few yourself also). Although we obviously adopted the general style of the dress from Europeans, it was altered in many ways (I don't think we had the Europeans physically helping us make our dresses).

My questions of what is appropriate were really meant to apply to the present day and to the time frame after the tear dress was adopted by Cherokee dancers at powwows, not necessarily in the past or before intertribal powwows. I'm sure you know there are certain characteristics about tear dresses other than just the "torn" fabric that make them specifically cherokee tear dresses (ie; the gussets, the placement of the ribbons, the triangles and squares of fabric, etc.). My intent was to make a more comfortable dress to dance in without changing any of the essential features that make a tear dress a tear dress. And, since I'm not an expert on what those essential features are, I decided to ask.

That is why I posted, because it is good to draw on the experience of people like you, who have been dancing for many years. If we do not share our knowledge, if we are stingy with it, it is possible that our traditions can be lost...whether they be traditions from hundreds of years ago...or new ones. And, as catsmeow pointed out, just seeing it done at powwows doesn't make it right. So, the best option is to ask as many people as you can and hope for valuable and honest answers, and to do additional research on your own. I wanted the opinions of many people, because every one's advice is usually different. You probably know the more informed a person is, the easier it is to make a decision.

Not all of us have had the opportunity to grow up within our own cultures, and may not know everything there is to know. Personally, I think anyone who struggles to regain her own cultural identity is admirable...because it's not easy. And, I admire those who ASK and SEARCH for the right answers to their questions and not just settling for what is easy for them. In other words...if you don't know...ASK! So, I try to follow that model myself. Fortunately, I have many good friends who share their lives and knowledge with me...and I am eternally grateful. And I want to sincerely thank each and every one who has posted a response to this thread.

wa'do

:)
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Old 03-19-2002, 09:20 PM   #18
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why make it any harder?

Quote:
Originally posted by luvstraightdancrs
If you must have a pattern or picture -- I used an older McCalls Pattern #4736 for the skirt portion of your dresses, when I first began sewing for others. It is a simple gored or wide aline skirt with a ruffle at the bottom. Make the waist 1 1/2 to 2 times your waist measurement, add a waistband or elastic and attach a ruffle that is 4 times the bottom width of the skirt. Add your trim (ribbonwork or whatever above the ruffle and you are set.

Why make it harder than it has to be....
Thanks...but now that I think about it I think I'll use Polly Ritche's advice and alter the tear dress pattern that I already have. I'm just not talented enough to make a dress (of any kind) without a pattern. Not trying to make it harder...just trying to make it right ;) And, as any of you who have used that pattern know, the tear dress pattern is not a very good one unless you're an expert seamstress...so any little tips help.
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Old 03-19-2002, 09:37 PM   #19
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Re: this is deltadawn

Quote:
Originally posted by FancyStar
I have a shirt and skirt the shirt is solid red and the skirt is calico red, also have a black solid tear dress(one piece) with ribbon work, also have several tear dresses out of calico.
deltadawn
By the way, DeltaDawn, since you own a black tear dress, I'm betting that it was your dress that I saw a few years ago at the ETIL powwow in Knoxville. It's the only solid-colored tear dress I've ever seen, and it's really beautiful.

You have a skirt and top...did you make the top exactly like the tear dress top (collar, long sleeves) or did you make changes? I'm thinking I might change the collar a bit on mine and go with the more traditional 3/4 sleeves. Are you Eastern Band? I think the dresses can be a bit different from the OK style if so. just wondering

thanks
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Old 03-20-2002, 02:22 PM   #20
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rvmad

The shirt and skirt style i have, the shirt does not have ruffels except at teh cuff, it's a plain rolled collar with a small tie in front, with ribbon work on the front and back with the peaks, being that i hardly sew my cousin sews my outfits for me, i can change an engine but sewing is not me,... anyway
we talk and she makes my dress, i'll bring her my material and ideas, she is Osage, married my cousin.
And i did not grow up pwing, i grew up in GA. never been to a pw till i was 20. And i'm enrolled in the eastern band in Cherokee, NC where i now reside.

Like i said before, we use the basic pattern for tear dresses and adjust from there, long sleeves, mid sleeves, all long skirts adn ruffled.
If you want some pictures i can send some to you
D
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