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Old 05-20-2008, 07:02 AM   #41
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This is one area where I found out that I am darn good! I take two pieces of hides and use clamps on the shoulders and hold them in place that way while fitting and trimming. I use a piece of dress makers chalk and make lines down the sides of the body and make the first cut trimming out from the ground slowly upwards. When I am about a foot away from the armpit I stop and cut off the whole square below. Then I take plastic clamps that squeeze and put about 6 per side and hold the sides together. Then I retrim so it fits snugger. Then comes the boring part, punching holes and then, I take three strands of leather and braid them. I take a forth and go through the holes of the side of the dress and at the surface I go through the braided strands. This way the whole dress gets braided and not sewn.

If the dancers wants a real tight dress that shows her figure a lot more, insert velcro one one side of the dress from the armpit all the way down. Sew the velcro to the leather on the back and front, but remember to sew that on before the braiding is done to the suface. The gals up here have been standing on chairs while I do a part of the fitting for them. The results are always a joy. One gal has gotten to the point of always helping me, telling me she is still learning to pay it forward,,, On average we use 3 to 4 hides for a grown up and that is with long fringes that nearly touch the ground.

Here is a picture of my pride and joy, every year she gets better!!!
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Old 05-29-2008, 03:59 PM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tibiki Kinew View Post
This is one area where I found out that I am darn good! I take two pieces of hides and use clamps on the shoulders and hold them in place that way while fitting and trimming. I use a piece of dress makers chalk and make lines down the sides of the body and make the first cut trimming out from the ground slowly upwards. When I am about a foot away from the armpit I stop and cut off the whole square below. Then I take plastic clamps that squeeze and put about 6 per side and hold the sides together. Then I retrim so it fits snugger. Then comes the boring part, punching holes and then, I take three strands of leather and braid them. I take a forth and go through the holes of the side of the dress and at the surface I go through the braided strands. This way the whole dress gets braided and not sewn.

If the dancers wants a real tight dress that shows her figure a lot more, insert velcro one one side of the dress from the armpit all the way down. Sew the velcro to the leather on the back and front, but remember to sew that on before the braiding is done to the suface. The gals up here have been standing on chairs while I do a part of the fitting for them. The results are always a joy. One gal has gotten to the point of always helping me, telling me she is still learning to pay it forward,,, On average we use 3 to 4 hides for a grown up and that is with long fringes that nearly touch the ground.

Here is a picture of my pride and joy, every year she gets better!!!
Did you get the leather from the Tandy's going out of business sale?
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Old 01-01-2009, 03:52 PM   #43
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Found this thread and wants to say something to several points here.

I normally work with German tanned buckskin-- but not from CC-- I have my tanneries here.

German tanned leather is a real tanned leather.

Native tanning is a preserving method, but not real tanning as a tanner answerd me.

German tanned is done with fish tran-- I don't know, if it is the real word for it-- my English is not perfect-sorry for that!
You can wash the hides in hand war water.

--- don't do that with brain tanned---- huhhhhh..

Belongs to, where the hides comes from-- I don't know where there are from CC from-- maybe I think Tchech Rep--- A trader friend of mine had some problems with German tanned leather (normally just natural tanning) from Tschech Republic because of traces of chromium..... he had really troubles becous of these few hides he had from there--- later he bought just the little more expensive made in Germany.

...............................

Normally I do the beadwork on Canvas now--- on modern style dresses like this:

woman's traditional dress - Redstar-tradingpost
but the fringes here are not German tanned, but white tanned (Aniline tanned) from the same tannery.

Befor that- I made one - a large one on German tanned deerhide- and it was not satisfacting for me:


This cape is now finished and sold

deerhide is much heavier and it streches--and that kills!

But for Oldtime or Southern it works very well!
Kleid-Southern Cheyenne - Redstar-tradingpost

Kleid Arapaho - Redstar-tradingpost

Hope that helpes.

Elke

some do a cape separatelly and a leather skirt-- with a body like a tank top- to reduce weight- this is comon in the north.




The dress comes from Dakota people
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Old 03-29-2009, 12:08 AM   #44
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Hi,
I found that the whip stich is the easiest way to sew the leather but if you pull it to hard it will twist. A trick my grand mother taught me was to make the stitch into a x when you sew it. Do this by going back under the previous stitch and continuing the new stitch. made lots of pipe and tobaco bags using this method so they look really great when its done.
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Old 03-29-2009, 03:06 PM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elke View Post
German tanned leather is a real tanned leather.

Native tanning is a preserving method, but not real tanning as a tanner answerd me.

Hmmmmm? Not real tanning eh?
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Old 03-30-2009, 12:58 AM   #46
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Interesting albeit ancient thread! Just have a couple comments to add:

If you have "real" braintanned buckskin, use the slick side out, and the "X" whip stitch. If you have "commercial" tanned buckskin, the sueded side is usually out.

I cheated and used commercial tanned when doing my twins' graduation dresses, cuz geez, it took 5 hides per dress. 1 for the front, 1 for the back, 1 for the top, and 2 for the fringe - EACH!! It was hard enough to find 10 good commercial tanned hides, let alone PAY for them.

I won't even say how I cheated when I sewed them.
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Old 04-01-2009, 10:45 AM   #47
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I have started on a different way of stitching, first I punch the holes in the parts to be joined, then with clamps still in place I set it down and measure the lenght to be closed.
Then I take three strips of leather from another hide and braid it so that it is a bit longer by a few inches than the actual seam. Then when that is done I lay it on the top surface.

Now I take a fourth strip that can be long as you want. I tie a knot on one end and start inside of the seam. So from inside I come up through the 2 pieces of leather, pull tight and then go over the top of the braided strands and then, right back down through the same hole! Pull snug, not tooooo tight, you do not want the leather to change shape or position. Then feed the leather lace over to the second hole, pull through both layers again, then over the top of the braid and down through the same hole again. Repeat till the seam is done. When you get to the end and have the lace back inside make a knot inside again and cut off the rest of the lace. Now on top you have the braid with a few inches left to the top and bottom, this part of the braid can now be undone so that there are loose ends, here you can either let them dangle loosely or of course decorate them with beads!
By using a braid on the top you can hide all the holes and it makes for a more dressed up look than the x stitch. Look in my album, the dress there is done that way too!
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Old 04-02-2009, 11:31 AM   #48
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Or you can use a large gauge or leather needle in your sewing machine, set to large zig zag - long stitch length and go to town. When zagging to the right, the needle shouldn't puncture the buckskin - just land to the side. When zagging to the left, it should make a nice small seam allowance.

And this is on BUCKSKIN - even commercial. You can even do a welt if your pressure foot can handle the 3 layers.

I don't know if it would work on leather. That's where you'd probably want to do Tibi's version above - although I don't see the point of the braided strip. And I don't know why you'd want a leather dress - a little to Pocahantas for me! No offense to all you leather dress wearers - or makers.

Note on X stitch: stitches are on the INSIDE.
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Old 04-02-2009, 11:31 AM   #49
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Or you can use a large gauge or leather needle in your sewing machine, set to large zig zag - long stitch length and go to town. When zagging to the right, the needle shouldn't puncture the buckskin - just land to the side. When zagging to the left, it should make a nice small seam allowance.

And this is on BUCKSKIN - even commercial. You can even do a welt if your pressure foot can handle the 3 layers.

I don't know if it would work on leather. That's where you'd probably want to do Tibi's version above - although I don't see the point of the braided strip. And I don't know why you'd want a leather dress - a little to Pocahantas for me! No offense to all you leather dress wearers - or makers.

Note on X stitch: stitches are on the INSIDE.
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Old 04-02-2009, 01:24 PM   #50
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That's where you'd probably want to do Tibi's version above - although I don't see the point of the braided strip. And I don't know why you'd want a leather dress

well like I said, to hide the holes and make it a bit fancier!!!
I don't have the dress I only did the seams!!!!

I will take a pic of the inside and outside surface so that others can see!
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It is the year of the bear, I am sharpening my claws and will no longer tollerate harrassment.

Born in Winnipeg raised in the Pikwakanagan, Deutschland was never home! Army brat that had no choice in a parents duties to home and country. I Too Serve our flag and work for the uniform.
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Last edited by Tibiki Kinew; 04-02-2009 at 01:27 PM..
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Old 04-02-2009, 03:17 PM   #51
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Old 04-21-2009, 12:44 PM   #52
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My Buckskin is 2 pieces and ive used about 4 hides

The dress is sleeveless with a top piece to wear over.

There is no sewing on it, and has individually cut hide thongs ties along seams adding fringe. I custom fit when making, giving plenty of room in case i get pudgy

The Top piece is incomplete and im not crazy about it. the neck hole fits ackward and i need to cut pieces to fringe tie sleeves. Have one top that is a piece of hide with hole cut in top, non long sleeves and worn if im in heat with dress ( that didnt sound right at all) In case i am out in it on humid summer day. And another top that will be alot fuller.

This isnt the bestest pic but u can kinda see it with the shorter top.



Full beaded tops are not in my tradition so i would accent with Maybe a smidge of applique beading that is spaced out or beads/findings that are fitting and well placed fringe ties. Hope to decorate mine more in the next year. Didnt use pattern, just let it come to me as i configured, with lots of trying on inbetween making sure it was right

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Old 04-21-2009, 03:10 PM   #53
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The pic didn't get posted. Can you try again? I'd really like to see it.
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Old 05-07-2009, 03:21 AM   #54
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i was just reading what everyone had to say about buckskin dresses. i am the daughter of Pauline Whitebird whom made buckskin dresses. I remember that the skin does need to be stretched. Because i was th one one who had t o do it. two old women bossed me to no end. Pull here, rub there..It was hell...but I know how to do it. I had a brand new buckskin every year until 1999. I have danced southern buckskin since i could walk.

My mother always left it up to the person who was gonna wear the dress weather they wanted slick or rough side out.
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Old 05-07-2009, 06:09 AM   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asmajol View Post
My Buckskin is 2 pieces and ive used about 4 hides

The dress is sleeveless with a top piece to wear over.

There is no sewing on it, and has individually cut hide thongs ties along seams adding fringe. I custom fit when making, giving plenty of room in case i get pudgy

The Top piece is incomplete and im not crazy about it. the neck hole fits ackward and i need to cut pieces to fringe tie sleeves. Have one top that is a piece of hide with hole cut in top, non long sleeves and worn if im in heat with dress ( that didnt sound right at all) In case i am out in it on humid summer day. And another top that will be alot fuller.

This isnt the bestest pic but u can kinda see it with the shorter top.



Full beaded tops are not in my tradition so i would accent with Maybe a smidge of applique beading that is spaced out or beads/findings that are fitting and well placed fringe ties. Hope to decorate mine more in the next year. Didnt use pattern, just let it come to me as i configured, with lots of trying on inbetween making sure it was right
Wow you did a good job considering that you had no help!
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Listen to my heart, not just my mouth! The most powerfull thing we can do is,,,share,,, if we don't it dies with us.

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Born in Winnipeg raised in the Pikwakanagan, Deutschland was never home! Army brat that had no choice in a parents duties to home and country. I Too Serve our flag and work for the uniform.
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Old 05-07-2009, 10:15 AM   #56
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Originally Posted by Ayita16 View Post
Hey i do southern cloth tradtional but i want to make a buckskin dress. Like with the top part of it being cloth and it being decorated and the bottom being buckskin. I hope ya'll understand what i am trying to say. I want to know what i need to make it besides the buckskin lol. Like how i make it, what do i use etc. If anyone would please reply to this i would appreciate it b/c i have no idea how to make a buckskin dress.

wado
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You could get a buckskin dress pattern from E-Bay and follow the directions. You also could buy a book Identity by Design. Both will help you accomplish with patience what you want to do.
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Old 01-03-2011, 07:25 PM   #57
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Hi,

I just wanted to know if beading or shells can be added to a dress after it has been sewn together? I have seen many dresses I liked a lot but wanted to do more to them but needed to know that before it was attempted.
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Old 01-04-2011, 01:42 AM   #58
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Sure, no problem cuz it's all sewn on by hand.
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Old 01-04-2011, 01:57 PM   #59
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Yes, you can sew on beads and shells by hand to a completed dress. It is more difficult to do than before dress construction since your thread will likely get tangled in fringes, on edges/corners and whatnot. Just use shorter lengths of thread.
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Old 02-10-2011, 04:44 PM   #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buckskinlady View Post
Hi again! Thanks for your very kind words Friend of Bear..if you really want to make a dress, I wouldn't wait that long!!!
Your hands and back and eyes might be worn out by then!!!
Aaaayyyy! Seriously, I feel very fortunate that I do what I love for a living and I do thank God every day. Of course, I don't get a steady paycheck or perks and I drive an NDN car and don't get to take cool vacations (except if you call workng at Pow-Wows in different states a vacation) like I would get to have if I had a real job...but I guess I need to be my own boss. My own idiocy is the only one that I can tolerate. Aaaayyy!
But what I really wanted to say was that I did not realize at first that our friend mofi48 was from the Netehrlands, and I didn't mean to be so harsh about usuing the "g" word (glue), but there really is no place for that in a Buckskin. She did say she uses only glass beads and no plastic, so I appalud you, mofi48, for that and please continue to give us your input because every one who is serious about something has something valuable to share.
Uh, just don't use glue! :D Or a sewing machine!! Yuck!! No!!!

I guess I also wanted to add more info. When I first read the original post by Ayita16 I thought, "Oh no! Such a huge question...how can you answer it without going on for a year!!!" But I guess, just like everything...one step at a time. If everyone wants to continue this and we all add our two cents...we can make this a v-e-r-y long "thread"!!!
About the hand stitches...just in case someone doesn't know....they are not the flat stitches that machines make...like a basting or a running stitch. It is called a WHIP stitch and it is done over the top (edge) of the two (or 3) pieces of buckskin that you are holding together. You just go over the top and don't make them too long...about less than a 1/4 of an inch from the top and continue along trying to space them pretty closely and evenly but not right on top of each other. Spacing is hugely important, it is the first thing critical people will look at.
Pull it firmly, but not too tight and it will make a perfect seam, with no stiching showing on the "good" side. Uh, we use the "suede" side out here, never the slick side (on commercial hides). Many reasons, number 1 being that is traditional and number 2 being that your beads will nestle nicely in the rough nap. They will slide if you bead on the slick side. I really don't know of any tribe that uses the slick side for ceremonial or contest dresses, but please let me know if you know of any.
If you pull too tightly it will pucker and if your stitches are too loose or if they are too far apart..you will not have a tight seam and you might even see some "air" in there.
One other thing that I still struggle with..when you hold the skins in your non stitching hand, try to too pull too hard, because you will stretch the bottom skin and then you will wind up with skin longer on the bottom piece when you get to the end.
Well, there are most of my secrets about stiching. Anyone else?
Wow, thats great! I make moccasins and dance outfits for younger dancers (mostly the grandkids), lately I just want to do that but I have to work and all that stuff, but I have been wanting to do a buckskin dress for my youngest takoja who has just turned two and I dont want to miss making this for her, but your instructions were great I read all the posts you had here, just wondered about the pattern, I know about the tops and bottoms for regular size buckskin dress, she is a little skinny girl and I have a light thin piece of buckskin but I may just look for some different pieces for her. but I was wondering if I should make it two piece with a little tank top under the top part? I am not sure about that part - how can it be cut and I've sewn with buckskin before, of course and deerhide I just dont want it to be bulky for her. She is Northern Cheyenne/Oglala/Oneida (like me) and I will probably do the Cheyenne beaded style on top for her. Her Great Grandma on her Grandpa's side was Southern Cheyenne, so she can go just about anywhere! aye but anyway if you could give me suggestions I would appreciate it. (I've never used glue either and my moccasins last long time!)
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