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Old 07-23-2003, 10:06 AM   #1
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Ideas on Bustle making

I am in the process of getting all the supplies needed to make a bustle. I have been using the Evans' book,but i've seen bustles with extenders, sinew and beads connecting the feathers, etc. Anybody has ideas on how to improve upon the Evans' book?
For the extenders, is there some type of reccommended length based upon your height? My goal is to make a nice bustle, easy to transport and store. Thanks for all your assistance.

Jerry
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Old 07-23-2003, 10:52 AM   #2
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for easy breakdown try this. my friend did it. make the bustle in 3 sections. right side left side and bottom. on the bottom of the shafts where it touches the backboard, attach metal snaps to the strings that string the feathers together. the other half of the snap can be attached to the backboard. this way you just snap each piece onto the board, tie up the top strings to the uprights and your ready.
they break down into 3 flat sections that can be put in a flat box and you dont have to worry about trasporting the whole bustle out in the open or bunching up the feathers into a cone shape.

hope i explained that good enough.
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Old 07-23-2003, 08:11 PM   #3
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Friends of mine rebuilt their son's bustle and added more feathers. Before, it was not flexible and the feathers were arranged in a semi-round, flat pattern. Now, they are in a semi-conical pattern, just not completely flat as before. Each feather is on a wooden dowel, tied with deerskin leather and glued. Each dowel is then tied to the center piece, a thick piece of rawhide with a 3/4-circle of holes punched through. This allows the bustle to have a natural "hinge" quality. When their boy dances, a flat spreader (beaded in his case) is tied to hold the feathers out against a limit that is set by a line of sinew that is tied to each dowel just below the base of each feather's quill. When the bustle is rigged for travel (just remove the spreader), all of the dowels collapse toward the center and the feathers come together to form a column. This saves space, and the bustle never really has to come apart (just remember to check over everything before each powwow, of course). The sinew tied to each dowel sets the position of each feather in the array, starting with the two pointers and wrapping down through the side and bottom feathers, and ending with the other pointer. Paint, quillwork, beadwork, or what-have-you can easily decorate the dowels, spreader, and even the sinew limiter line. Standard 3/8" dowels are fairly light, but strong.
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Old 07-23-2003, 11:06 PM   #4
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Thank You

Gentlemen,
I want to thank you for your ideas, please keep them coming. I like the concept of having the feathers attach to the bustle in sections, but I don't believe I am that advanced yet. ALthough I can definately see the benefits of trasnporting it flat.
I think W's way would be better for a beginner. 3 questions though:
1. Does your friend have a picture of his son's bustle on the net?
2. How do you get the conical effect?
3. Is six inch extenders, nine inches for the two spikes to big for someone six feet tall?

Again thanks for the help,
Jerry
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Old 07-24-2003, 05:03 AM   #5
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Jerry,

1. Go to http://www.nwpowwow.com/Pictures/200...Gen/index.html and click on the sixth picture, the jr. boy tradish dancer holding a silver shield with a red and yellow-spotted elk on it is wearing the bustle described.

2. The conical effect is from reducing the circumference of the circle made of the outermost tips of the feathers. Imagine cutting a small pie-slice from a paper plate and then bringing the new edges of the plate together to form a shallow funnel. The sinew used to control the spacing between the feathers is just slightly shorter than would allow the feathers to spread perfectly flat (experiment until you find the look you want).

3. The 11yr old boy wearing the bustle is about 4' 9" tall, and as you can see the bustle is a little big on him FOR NOW but he will be growing into it over the next few years. If I remember right the dowels are 6" in length. That would be almost perfect for a 6' tall man. The extenders for the spikes are the same length, they just use longer feathers and are positioned by the sinew to be more separated from the rest of the array. In case you are wondering, his bustle happens to have a little bit of horse hair on the tips of each feather.
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Old 07-24-2003, 06:21 PM   #6
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Thank you

Again thanks for the help! Now that my last class is almost finished, I hope to have enough time to complete it. I'll post a picture of it when it is finished if you guys want.

Jerry
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Old 07-26-2003, 12:15 PM   #7
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Just some thoughts from the last bustle that I made. Having done one previously with dowel rod extenders, I decided to use soda straws on my second. They are lighter than the dowel rods and are a little more forgiving if they get snagged on something. Not sure where you are from, but Sonic (the fast-food place) has pretty sturdy straws. They are red, but you are likely to cover them anyway. Instead of using leather strips at the base of the extender, I used bobby-pins. This worked pretty well and sped up the bustle making process. I know it isn't traditional, but it has worked pretty well so far. In regards to the length of the extender...trial and error worked pretty well for me.

Hope this has helped...

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Old 07-28-2003, 05:45 PM   #8
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as far as length, get on one knee and measure from the small of your back down to the back of your calf. then subtract the length of your feather and then subtract another .5-1 inch and that's how long your bottom extenders should be. that way you won't crush your feather tips during a sneak up.
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Old 07-29-2003, 01:34 PM   #9
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Friend of mine uses shish-kabob sticks. With the very bottom tip of the quill cut off, the hollow feather is then overcerted around the kabob after strong glue is applied. Then the quill and stick are covered with heat-shrink tubing.

The problem he had is that shish-kabob sticks can be flimsy. He had a feather get caught behind the support dowell of his rear apron and get snapped right off. A feather pick-up song and a public apology later, back to the drawing board.
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Old 07-29-2003, 01:38 PM   #10
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I use little dowel rods just cut the length you want and stick one end in a pencil sharpener. I put glue on the tip of the rod the push it into the quill and add glue around the bottom for more support. The Heat-shrink tubeing is a good idea, I may try that sometime.
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Old 07-31-2003, 10:37 AM   #11
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I've used the heat shrink tubing on my bustle with wooden dowel rod extenders. I glued the dowel rods in first, then put the shrink wrap on. I looked around on the web at electronics supply stores for the best price. If you get it from them, you can get it in quantity for a cheaper price. The stuff I ordered came in 10' lengths. The specifications on the shrink wrap state what the shrink diameter will be, and so I ordered it just smaller than the dowel rods I was using. Its pretty strong.
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Old 08-01-2003, 01:26 PM   #12
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Thans Travis!

Where did you find tubing in 10' lengths? Do you have a link?
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Old 08-02-2003, 02:44 AM   #13
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Lightbulb on a different note...

something else i wanted to add that actually isn't about shrink wrap :P...
when it's time to make the loops on the other end of your extensions, its good to use something stiff, and not leather strips. i did that on my first bustle and there was too much movement in there, i thought. dowels would bunch over each other and it wouldn't lay flat. the leather strips often end up being too fat, too.
what i used was thin plastic wire ties. noc bay now sells sheets of plastic strips that you pull apart to use as your loop ends. they help everything stay in line, they're very sturdy, and since they're thin, things won't bunch. i would highly recommend plastic strips!
oh, and to attach them, i lashed them all down to the dowels, then took a syringe and injected epoxy into the crevise between the lashing, plastic strip, and dowel, then painted over all the lashing with another coat of epoxy. that way the thread would totally be saturated with epoxy and i knew for sure that that mother ain't goin nowhere!!
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Old 08-04-2003, 09:25 AM   #14
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I don't recall where I got the shrink tubing. I did a search on the web for shrink tubing and looked at the websites of a few electrician supply companies. They have it in different colors as well, some companies have it in rolls of about 100' and some had it in 8-10' lengths. If I come across the company I purchased it from, I'll send you a message.
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Old 08-04-2003, 02:11 PM   #15
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You also might be able to purchase heat shrink tubing from your local hardware store. They probably only have black. They should also have various diameters of the tubing. You should be able to purchase it by the foot. As for the colored tubing you might have to go to an electrical contractor supply house. Most likely here you will have to buy the entire roll.

Hope this helps
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Old 08-04-2003, 06:33 PM   #16
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i use small dowel rods and plastic tubing, not shrink tubing, but the size that you would find in an ice maker kit. it comes in a coil which is benificial when make the the cone shape that's been mentioned in previous statements. when putting the tubing over the dowel, make sure that the curve of the tubing goes the opposite direction from that of the natural curve of the feather, so that it makes an "S" shape. once you string up the row of feathers onto the backboard and pull it tight it makes the cone shape.

as far as length of dowel, that's completely up to you. there is no set length. just make the bustle fit you. the old northern bustles only had one or two inch extenders at most, but the more modern bustles are little larger. bustles can be too big, though. on almost all the bustles i've made (4 or 5) the extenders are around 7". the next couple i make will be a little shorter.

one more thing. make sure that there are no gaps between the feathers. also, you don't want to have too many feathers in the row or it won't hang right. just play with the amount of feathers until you find the right amount for your bustle.
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Old 08-05-2003, 01:14 PM   #17
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Soda straws can be reinforced if you shoot some expanding spray-foam insulation into them. McDonald's straws are fairly sturdy, too.

One thing I've noticed while judging contest dancers recently is the lack of (or choice not to use) spreaders. Some dancers did not realize that their bustles were folding shut like sandwiches, or flopping over to one side entirely. Another item to think about.
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Old 08-06-2003, 03:05 PM   #18
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I want to thank everyone for the advice and ideas. I did use 1/4" dowel rods for extenders approx. 5.75" long. Used sinew for the outer loop and beads as spacers. I wound up sticking to the shoe lace as the bottom connector, couldn't get the round piece of wood in the imeframe I wanted to build it in. All I have left to do is die the uprights, glue them onto the extenders, and make the rossetta/spreader. I will probably use a rosetta I already have for the powwow next month, but plan to have mine made for LIHA in NOvember.
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Old 08-06-2003, 03:36 PM   #19
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Kewl Jerry! I'd love to see a pic of the bustle when it's done.

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Old 10-25-2003, 10:56 PM   #20
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greetings all,

pardon the delay, my son showed up 3 weeks early and the past 7 weeks have been interesting. I have not completed the bustle yet, the uprights still need to be completed. it mat be awhile because my wife and i may be moving to NC if she gets the job she wants within thde next month. any good powwows in the NC,SC, VA area?

thanks for all the help, i willkeep you posted.
jerry
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