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Forum Home - Go Back > Pow Wow Arena > Men's Dance Styles > Grass Dancing ribbon shirts ribbon shirts

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Old 03-02-2013, 02:31 PM   #1
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ribbon shirts

Basketball season is over and now that I'm not dragging kids all over to play hoops, I've got time to get some sewing done!

I was digging for some patterns to make a shirt for a friend, and I found this. It works pretty well, but you need to be able to draw patterns proportionally larger by hand too make use of it (you need old school skills - or be willing to take a shot at doing it my grandma's way). You can get it done with some digital chops as well, but it's more time consuming than drawing (for me).

No dotted lines for ribbon placement.
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Old 03-06-2013, 11:34 AM   #2
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I'd love to see it!
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Old 03-06-2013, 09:16 PM   #3
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I'd love to see it!
Me, too. I REALLY don't like the Simplicity pattern.
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Old 03-07-2013, 08:04 AM   #4
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I think the gussets make a ribbon shirt look great. I have some patterns I would share except that I can only get on with my cellphone now. The new server doesn't like my PC I guess.

I am trying though...
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Old 03-07-2013, 08:49 AM   #5
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I am finally on!!! For some reason the new server doesn't like docats. Anyway I have a couple of resources and some patterns I'd love to share. The first is online.

Go to: http://www.nativetech.org/seminole/plainshirt/index.php

It doesn't show you where to put the ribbon. BUT the basic design for this shirt is perfect for ribbon shirts. One link on there is the pattern, the other is for the instructions.

It ends up looking a lot prettier than the pic shown. I gave the one I made away, so I don't have the piece to show right now...maybe I should make another one. One thing about this pattern, I cut mine way shorter than it said...so you adjust where it is necessary.

One other source is a book that is LOADED with patterns...

INDIAN CLOTHING OF THE GREAT LAKES: 1740-1840. By Sheryl Hartman. Cost me under 15 dollars from Amazon.

Inside are great measurement tips too. Patterns are for:

1/ Wrap around skirt
2/ Strap Dress
3/ Leggins--different styles
4/ Potawatomi style blouse/ Delaware style adaptation (cape style)
5/ Cranbrook blouse
6/ Linen jacket for women
7/ Ladie's Chemise with gussets
8/ Another jacket
9/ The "Canadian" dress
10/ Patterns for ribbon work
11/ Patterns for moccasins
12/ Breechclouts
13/ men's leggings
14/ 18th century men's trade shirt with variations
15/ men's coats

The 18th century trade shirt also works as a ribbon shirt. These patterns are SO COOL. I can't believe I got so much from a 15 dollar book. I just recently got it, so I haven't made anything from it yet. But just looking it over, it looks easy to make the patterns.

And I have some patterns I made myself over the years. I will see if I can make a template that you can copy from them by figuring in your own measurements.

In the meantime, I hope this helps!
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Old 03-07-2013, 09:42 AM   #6
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Docat, thank you!!!!!! I just printed out the pattern. I've been making Hubby's and BIL's ribbon shirts out of this pattern:

http://www.crazycrow.com/mm5/merchan...de=610-100-000

But I like the details stuff on your pattern.

And ohmygosh.....I got a brainstorm. My Mama (who passed on a year ago last Fall) was an avid quilter and had been experimenting with Seminole piecing (but with Thimbleberry print fabrics, not solid colors). The strips are beautiful, very similar to the ribbon appliqué the woodland ladies wear on their wrap skirts.....but I thought I would be hollered at for using the prints on the edge of a wrap skirt, and not solid colors. Using them on the closing placket front on Hubby's shirt???? PERFECT!!!!

And would be a great way to honor her, too.

I'm excited now! WOOOWheee!

ETA...I have the Hartman book (a very tattered first edition!). I second the review. Excellent stuff.
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Old 03-07-2013, 12:01 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeannB View Post
Docat, thank you!!!!!! I just printed out the pattern. I've been making Hubby's and BIL's ribbon shirts out of this pattern:

http://www.crazycrow.com/mm5/merchan...de=610-100-000

But I like the details stuff on your pattern.

And ohmygosh.....I got a brainstorm. My Mama (who passed on a year ago last Fall) was an avid quilter and had been experimenting with Seminole piecing (but with Thimbleberry print fabrics, not solid colors). The strips are beautiful, very similar to the ribbon appliqué the woodland ladies wear on their wrap skirts.....but I thought I would be hollered at for using the prints on the edge of a wrap skirt, and not solid colors. Using them on the closing placket front on Hubby's shirt???? PERFECT!!!!

And would be a great way to honor her, too.

I'm excited now! WOOOWheee!

ETA...I have the Hartman book (a very tattered first edition!). I second the review. Excellent stuff.
Does the Cherokee shirt pattern have gussets? Those are those underarm squares that make a dropped sleeve. I think that is what MAKES a ribbon shirt when it falls properly on the man's shoulder, and the gusset allows him to have free motion.

This is important for women's blouses too, to have that free motion but also to have the dropped sleeve that is typical.

As far as the Seminole quilting on your regalia, I don't know about that. If it were me, I would feel more comfortable putting it on my street clothes. It's gorgeous work, and if you aren't putting it on regalia, then it isn't like you are being someone you aren't.

I live in Florida and have spent some time on the Seminole rez, and they generally LOVE it when others attempt the craft. It is WAY more difficult than it looks. Some of those pieces are smaller than a postage stamp. But people who are not Seminole, I have seen them put the strips on modern skirts and jackets and even on the outter seam of a pair of jeans. It looked great!

There are even gift shops that sell Seminole made skirts and jackets (all modern) with the patchwork. They are beautiful. They make them for sale to the general public.

I don't think anyone would complain about using your patchwork that way. But maybe someone is Seminole here and can say for sure. I don't think it would be a problem on modern clothing. It would be a shame to have your mother's hard work not be used somehow.

Glad you have that book of patterns. I can't wait to try some. I am going out tonight and I work tomorrow, but soon, I will see if I can reproduce the patterns I made myself in template form so you can see some other patterns.

I'd just throw Simplicity away. :)
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Old 03-07-2013, 12:33 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by docat View Post
Does the Cherokee shirt pattern have gussets? Those are those underarm squares that make a dropped sleeve. I think that is what MAKES a ribbon shirt when it falls properly on the man's shoulder, and the gusset allows him to have free motion.

This is important for women's blouses too, to have that free motion but also to have the dropped sleeve that is typical.


NOPE, the pattern I posted does not have gussets, just the curved, more modern set in sleeve. I do agree that gussets are important. We have been doing historical reenactments for years and I cannot count the number of shirts that I have made for Hubby, sons, and sutlers. They were made from the Missouri River Boatman's pattern, and I haven't had one guy complain about the fit after I started using that pattern, and it has gussets, as do all the old historical shirts that I have found. Yeah, guys gotta move, huh?

But I wanted a style with a set in yoke, and that is why I used the pattern I posted. The guys haven't complained about them that I remember. But when I make powwow shirts for our almost four year old, I have no pattern. And I revert back to the gussets for him.

Quote:
As far as the Seminole quilting on your regalia, I don't know about that. If it were me, I would feel more comfortable putting it on my street clothes. It's gorgeous work, and if you aren't putting it on regalia, then it isn't like you are being someone you aren't.

I live in Florida and have spent some time on the Seminole rez, and they generally LOVE it when others attempt the craft. It is WAY more difficult than it looks. Some of those pieces are smaller than a postage stamp. But people who are not Seminole, I have seen them put the strips on modern skirts and jackets and even on the outter seam of a pair of jeans. It looked great!

There are even gift shops that sell Seminole made skirts and jackets (all modern) with the patchwork. They are beautiful. They make them for sale to the general public.

I don't think anyone would complain about using your patchwork that way. But maybe someone is Seminole here and can say for sure. I don't think it would be a problem on modern clothing. It would be a shame to have your mother's hard work not be used somehow.
Thanks. I kinda wondered if that might be the case.

The NDN Museum in Indianapolis has Seminole patchwork for sale in their gift store, and it is beautiful (and expensive, as well it should be; the time spent on the items must be amazing). We go camping at the Alafia Rendezvous in Homeland, FL every January, and there are several Seminoles there, In their traditional garb. In a lot of aspects, their clothing look very much like pre clearance Shawnee and Miami, etc.

Quote:
Glad you have that book of patterns. I can't wait to try some. I am going out tonight and I work tomorrow, but soon, I will see if I can reproduce the patterns I made myself in template form so you can see some other patterns.

I'd just throw Simplicity away. :)
LOL! I might, but it is handy for one thing. The measurements are pretty accurate, so I use the measurements to make stuff for folks I don't have living with us. But don't try to make something with it and try to put it on them. The neck lines are small enough to choke a person.....ouch.....

You'll like the projects. I tried making a cape blouse from it, though, and the cape does not drape well. I need to figure out what I did wrong. I still wear the blouses, but I'm not too happy w/ them. Operator error, I think!
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Old 03-07-2013, 03:36 PM   #9
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LOL! I might, but it is handy for one thing. The measurements are pretty accurate, so I use the measurements to make stuff for folks I don't have living with us. But don't try to make something with it and try to put it on them. The neck lines are small enough to choke a person.....ouch.....

You'll like the projects. I tried making a cape blouse from it, though, and the cape does not drape well. I need to figure out what I did wrong. I still wear the blouses, but I'm not too happy w/ them. Operator error, I think!
It might not have been your error. THANKS for the warning. I will watch necklines on those patterns! You know something, people are heavier than they used to be even 5-10 years ago. Necks are thicker (oh my, bodies too).

I have a cape blouse pattern I made that you might like better than the one in the book...at least it worked for me. That is one that I am going to see if I can make a template of. I like my cape a little longer than what that book pattern looks like.

I'm guessing it was developed more for modesty really, since the Indian women were not wearing corsets and bust covers. Eu, I can't imagine wearing the laced up European undergarments...but that extra piece of fabric sometimes covered a woman enough that she didn't have problems not having those binding foundations. It's a really pretty design.

The other design I have seen a lot of is a form of the man's ribbon shirt for women. Our tribal women in the late 1800s were wearing them with lightly gathered skirts, and the skirts had usually a single matching ribbon near the hem. They looked very fashionable, I think.
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Old 03-07-2013, 05:10 PM   #10
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LOL! I have worn the stays....made them myself. Actually, they aren't that uncomfortable (very supportive of a sore back!), but I gave them us when our youngest arrived and we started camping native. It's hard to cuddle a baby with steel and basket caning on your front.

I do also wonder if the cape blouse was also a female adaptation of the then popular men's hunting frock coat. It had a very similar cape on it. Decorative, and was an extra layer against rain and cold across the shoulders. I do know some sects of the Amish and Mennonite community wear cape dresses for modesty, too.

Hey, it's ribbon and fabric! Why should the guys have all the pretties?

Nifty old photos! My, that young lady shown in profile looks scared half spitless, doesn't she?

I'd love to see your pattern. I need to make some more blouses.
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Old 03-07-2013, 11:51 PM   #11
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LOL! I have worn the stays....made them myself. Actually, they aren't that uncomfortable (very supportive of a sore back!), but I gave them us when our youngest arrived and we started camping native. It's hard to cuddle a baby with steel and basket caning on your front.

I do also wonder if the cape blouse was also a female adaptation of the then popular men's hunting frock coat. It had a very similar cape on it. Decorative, and was an extra layer against rain and cold across the shoulders. I do know some sects of the Amish and Mennonite community wear cape dresses for modesty, too.

Hey, it's ribbon and fabric! Why should the guys have all the pretties?

Nifty old photos! My, that young lady shown in profile looks scared half spitless, doesn't she?

I'd love to see your pattern. I need to make some more blouses.
Yes, she does look frightened. I have some other pictures of Stella (the girl) where she is not so bad off. Poor thing. LOL I can imagine that it was quite a different experience for her.

In the first pic is a group of Meskwaki women in different blouses. The women in the first row have paint on their cheeks. It is not rouge but a family religious distinction (the color would have been blue too). I believe the woman in the back row that has the black eye has the cape style on. I have often looked at that picture and wondered what had happened to her.

In the second pic of Meskwaki women, you can see a good example of the cape style. This blouse has a generous ruffle on it. I noticed that in older pictures, the ruffle is wider and over time, the ruffle got thinner. The wearer is an older woman too.

In the third pic is a Sac woman in a blouse with a collar. I have seen this style mostly on young girls...and I call it the "school girl" style, but that isn't the name for it.

I tend to think you are correct and that cape dresses for the Amish I think were pretty much used for the same reason. The Amish weren't wearing the stays and whale bone and such either because they needed their torso muscles to work. So the modest coverage in their cape dresses afforded that some of the womanly silhouette would be hidden.

My elderly aunt told me that the older women (before the advent of newer foundations like bras) would wear more than one shirt to be more modest. Also the addition of many necklaces would help as well.

One other thing that I read that was often done was that women's clothing was fastened with pins rather than buttons. I read about that, but in almost every picture I have, I see buttons. So perhaps the Meskwaki / Sac and Fox used buttons while some others did not.

One other regalia thing that I have done was to make faux concho brooches. I can't afford all that silver, but the brooches really make that cape style blouse. I will show how to make those too. They are fun and kids can make them too and they really make a pretty blouse look great.
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Old 03-08-2013, 07:34 AM   #12
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LOVE the pictures!!! I'm really liking the ribbon on the shoulders. And the ribbon applique on the blankets (match coats) is so beautiful! I wonder what happened to the gal with the black eye. She doesn't look happy, does she?

Docat, you would love a book I have. It is called The Art of George Winter. He was an English born artist who came to America and lived in Indiana. He developed friendships with the Potowamanie and the Miami Indians, and drew lots of pictures of them before the clearances. If you like cape blouses and lotsa broaches, you'll love this young lady's outfit:

http://www.tcha.mus.in.us/images/large/d-mouche.jpg

Purdue e-Archives : Miami Indian girl no 26

Here is his Biography:
George Winter (artist) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

If you scroll down to the bottom of his page you'll find references to museums and such and find pictures of his paintings. I have the book (found it for $5 at the Library book sale!!! YEAH!!!! It was originally $50 and is a great resource).

A lot of the NDN ladies that Mr. Winter painted wore pretty paisley scarves under the cape of their blouses. They were BIG scarves. Paisleys were all the rage back then for white ladies, but they wore them differently. Now I am wondering if the scarves were for modesty, too....

Yeah, I would love to have the brooches, too....but can't afford them, LOL! Maybe if I get a few at a time.....
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Old 03-08-2013, 08:50 PM   #13
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LOVE the pictures!!! I'm really liking the ribbon on the shoulders. And the ribbon applique on the blankets (match coats) is so beautiful! I wonder what happened to the gal with the black eye. She doesn't look happy, does she?

Docat, you would love a book I have. It is called The Art of George Winter. He was an English born artist who came to America and lived in Indiana. He developed friendships with the Potowamanie and the Miami Indians, and drew lots of pictures of them before the clearances. If you like cape blouses and lotsa broaches, you'll love this young lady's outfit:

http://www.tcha.mus.in.us/images/large/d-mouche.jpg

Purdue e-Archives : Miami Indian girl no 26

Here is his Biography:
George Winter (artist) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

If you scroll down to the bottom of his page you'll find references to museums and such and find pictures of his paintings. I have the book (found it for $5 at the Library book sale!!! YEAH!!!! It was originally $50 and is a great resource).

A lot of the NDN ladies that Mr. Winter painted wore pretty paisley scarves under the cape of their blouses. They were BIG scarves. Paisleys were all the rage back then for white ladies, but they wore them differently. Now I am wondering if the scarves were for modesty, too....

Yeah, I would love to have the brooches, too....but can't afford them, LOL! Maybe if I get a few at a time.....

You can make these brooches to use until you get the silver ones. They really turn out nice hitting them with a little German Silver spray paint. If you click on the link, you can see what they look like. NOTE: the 2 on the far right are the type I make for the blouses. The blingy ones were just an experiment my girls did for fun with crystals and such.

We generally make the kind with the flower on the right. Anyway, these are made out of the bottom of a soda pop can...hence the dome shape. I use a hole saw to put the hole in. I make them into brooches then by adding a brooch pin. Works for us anyway...at least until we can afford some silver.
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Old 03-08-2013, 09:23 PM   #14
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I wanted to add a few more beautiful blouses to show the placement of the ribbons. These are Meskwaki women.

The first one is of the hauntingly beautiful Lilya Pukachee. She was famous in the late 1800s when she ran away from a boarding school. She was 17 and MARRIED, and she was forcibly taken from the settlement and taken away to school. Some men, including her husband, rescued her from the school and brought her home.

The men who had removed her spent a lot of time in jail for it. Later they were acquitted. But Lilya died before it went to trial. She died of Small Pox...which she had contracted at the school. She is so pretty and her blouse is as well.

The second is of Pearl Leaves making twine.

The third is of Nina Roberts, and her blouse and silver conchos make her eyes sparkle. Note that she is wearing some sort of a scarf at her neck.

Just thought I'd share them so you can see more of the female version of the ribbon shirt. According to my aunt, it was always more modest to wear more than one shirt in the old days.

Paisley scarves sound so pretty! I have not seen them among all my pictures, but it makes sense they would use them since they were in style.
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Old 03-10-2013, 06:42 AM   #15
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I wanted to add a few more beautiful blouses to show the placement of the ribbons. These are Meskwaki women.

The first one is of the hauntingly beautiful Lilya Pukachee. She was famous in the late 1800s when she ran away from a boarding school. She was 17 and MARRIED, and she was forcibly taken from the settlement and taken away to school. Some men, including her husband, rescued her from the school and brought her home.

The men who had removed her spent a lot of time in jail for it. Later they were acquitted. But Lilya died before it went to trial. She died of Small Pox...which she had contracted at the school. She is so pretty and her blouse is as well.


Oh, what a sad story!!!!!She was a beautiful young lady. WOW.....

Quote:
The second is of Pearl Leaves making twine.

The third is of Nina Roberts, and her blouse and silver conchos make her eyes sparkle. Note that she is wearing some sort of a scarf at her neck.
One of them is wearing a sleeve that comes just below the elbow. Might be a nice option for hot summer events.

Quote:
Just thought I'd share them so you can see more of the female version of the ribbon shirt. According to my aunt, it was always more modest to wear more than one shirt in the old days.

.
How wonderful to have elders who could tell you tidbits like that! We have lost ours. Everything we know we have had to dig up from research. It would be so nice to talk to someone who remembered the old ways.
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Old 03-10-2013, 06:49 AM   #16
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You can make these brooches to use until you get the silver ones. They really turn out nice hitting them with a little German Silver spray paint. If you click on the link, you can see what they look like. NOTE: the 2 on the far right are the type I make for the blouses. The blingy ones were just an experiment my girls did for fun with crystals and such.

We generally make the kind with the flower on the right. Anyway, these are made out of the bottom of a soda pop can...hence the dome shape. I use a hole saw to put the hole in. I make them into brooches then by adding a brooch pin. Works for us anyway...at least until we can afford some silver.
Those are wonderful, Docat! How did you cut them out? Tinsnips, maybe? How do you keep the sharp edges from tearing the blouse fabric underneath?

(I can imagine your DD's doing the rhinestones. One of my DD's had one of those little machines that set rhinestones (I think it was called a Bedazzler). Any fabric that she could fit under that thing got all sparkly!)
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Old 03-10-2013, 08:15 AM   #17
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Those are wonderful, Docat! How did you cut them out? Tinsnips, maybe? How do you keep the sharp edges from tearing the blouse fabric underneath?

(I can imagine your DD's doing the rhinestones. One of my DD's had one of those little machines that set rhinestones (I think it was called a Bedazzler). Any fabric that she could fit under that thing got all sparkly!)

I used common kitchen shears, the type you get at Walmart for 2 dollars in the kitchen section...they are usually used to cut chicken up, but they are heavy duty and surprisingly cheap and work great. I've used the same pair for hundreds of them.

Here's the best way to do it and a shorter way to do it:

Best way:

Freeze some water in a used pop can.
Put something like a dishtowel to protect your sink and get a hole saw in your drill. We had a bunch of them around, but you can get the drill bit at any hardware store. You get one for metal. Stick it on your drill (I stuck mine on a battery operated drill driver!). Drill your hole in the middle. Aluminum cuts really easy.

After you have your hole cut, let the thing melt. Dump out the water. Then get a nail file and file the hole so it is smooth. Any sort of file works.

Then you get your kitchen sheers and poke a hole in the side of the can to get it started and then carefully go around the edge, right to where it starts doming out. I go around a few times, getting closer and closer to the edge. You'll find that those sheers cut very smoothly. But then I get some regular sandpaper and do the edges. It ends up smooth.

Then take the sandpaper and rough the whole thing up.

Next take a pink FOAM flower sticker from the kids' craft section at walmart. Those flowers are a nice size and they give some texture. They come in a pack with leaves too. Whole pack is like 3 dollars and makes a bunch of them. It's just something we found that would work.

Then we took a regular paper hole puncher and punched a hole in the sticker. Then we placed the sticker over the concho hole, and the hole from the punch is smaller, so what we did is took a dowel rod and shoved it through there so that the backing of the sticker went through the hole tightly and the rest of the sticker ends up stuck to the underside for a smooth hole and a nicely finished look.

Then because we had roughed it up with sandpaper earlier, it will take metal paint. I get German Silver paint. Then after it is dry, I usually hit it with some clear for protection.

One thing my daughter did on some of them that looked pretty good...she took a black sharpie and outlined the outer edge of the flower. That gave it some depth and you could see it easier. She did that after the spraypaint and before the clear coat on top. Sealed up, it looks really good.

Then we got brooch findings from walmart. To reinforce, we used a glue gun because it came with a sticky bar, and that's fine for flat objects, but this is domed. We kind of built up the glue a bit to make it work. We also did some with plain safety pins.

The blingy ones were actually crystal stickers that they had gotten when Michael's was closing out some paper craft items. Hitting them with the clear, seals them in place. We hit them with clear on the back too, because on some of them, some sticky was in the hole area. Worked OK, but I wasn't too fond of the blingy ones. The others worked great...also, when you make them, you want to make a lot of them that match.

They had some of those blingy stickers, but not enough to make the many conchos needed for one blouse.

I haven't tried it yet, but I am thinking about making some with the smaller soda cans. They would make a smaller concho...but in reality, if you have a steady hand (which I don't have) you could cut the regular ones into a smaller concho.

Oh, and the shorter way to do it is to eliminate the frozen water in the can part and just use an empty can. That will work, and in fact I stopped freezing them. If I spoil a can, I just throw it in the recycle bin. You have a little better control when they are frozen, but if you are doing a hundred of them, you'd rather just get it done and be through with it. Out of a hundred, I might spoil 8 or 10. We have so many...it's no big deal.
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Old 03-10-2013, 08:40 AM   #18
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How wonderful to have elders who could tell you tidbits like that! We have lost ours. Everything we know we have had to dig up from research. It would be so nice to talk to someone who remembered the old ways.

I have one aunt by blood living. But evenso, I've had to do research too. I believe we should share more. That's why I want to give out my patterns and do tutorials and such.

LOL and probably a hundred years from now an ethnographer will be looking at the archives of Powwows and learning how to make aluminum can conchos. LOL For us, it is because Silver is expensive, but really we are just doing what our ancestors did...using what materials were available to us.
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Old 03-23-2013, 11:41 AM   #19
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I used to own a Delaware blouse with a large ruffled cape on it. Somewhere I have the pattern for making one, from an old hobbyist magazine. The blouse is similar to Potawatomi examples I have seen.

I have made lots of Hochunk Winnebago style blouses with ribbonwork and brooches on them. To be traditional, you definitely need the underarm gussets. Have made the more tailored armhole too when requested. If you are going to put brooches on the top, it is a good idea to line the yoke with an extra layer of fabric to help hold the extra weight.

Ring brooches are less expensive than the wider washer brooches and might be an option for you docat.
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Old 03-23-2013, 06:15 PM   #20
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I used to own a Delaware blouse with a large ruffled cape on it. Somewhere I have the pattern for making one, from an old hobbyist magazine. The blouse is similar to Potawatomi examples I have seen.

I have made lots of Hochunk Winnebago style blouses with ribbonwork and brooches on them. To be traditional, you definitely need the underarm gussets. Have made the more tailored armhole too when requested. If you are going to put brooches on the top, it is a good idea to line the yoke with an extra layer of fabric to help hold the extra weight.

Ring brooches are less expensive than the wider washer brooches and might be an option for you docat.

Yeah, I definitely need brooches. The thing is, I need a ton of them. I wish they made them in aluminum and made them in bulk. LOL
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