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Starting a young grass dancer out

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  • Starting a young grass dancer out

    my 8 yo son has decided he wants to be a grass dancer. I am going to get him the dance tapes so he can learn the basic steps and he has watched other dancers. My question is what items does he need for his out fit.

    I know there is a pattern for the outfit made by Missouri River Patterns, for adults. Is this worth getting and converting into a youth size??

    Any help would be much appreciated to both of us.

    thanks Joe
    The things you are doing today are the traditions of twenty-five years from now.
    -Daryl Baldwin: Miami

  • #2

    I wrote a nice long reply the other night and lost it, and i was tired after i wrote it so i decided to wait to post it again, here goes :)

    I would recomend that you make yoru own pattern. Adults have differnt proportions than kids, and sometimes its just easier to make your own patter than ruin one by cutting to much off ;) (learned the hard way) anyways. First measure his waist. lets say he's 27 inches around. You would want to make his drops at least 4 inches wide, so you would take 8 inches off the measurement leaving you with 19. add and inch (to make it nice and easy) for grow room. :) Divide that in half and now you know your aprons are gonna need to be at least 10 inches wide. You will probly gonna wanna take this aprons past his knees so measure the length that you want it and draw it out on a piece of newspaper. I use newspaper because if you mess up, youcan throw it away and start a new one. :) Add at least 3 inches on the length so that you can put a waist band on it. I use elastic for my little boy, but i would use a belt to hold on your son's aprons.

    My little guy wears both a yoke and a ribbon shirt. The Yoke is simply and oval with a hole cut for his head. i think that vests look really put together. (Niijii has a vest too) To get the measuremetn for a yoke you would measure from his shoulder to his waistband or to the middle of his chest, depending on if you want the material to show. Double that length and that is how long you want your oval to be, measure from shoulder to shoulder (usually about 15 inches on a kid about 8 years old) this will give you how wide you want your oval to be. For stringing on the fringe, you could put it around the outter edge, but i added a few pieces in the front for a little extra detail (and because i knew if i ran the fringe all the way around to the front you wouldnt be able to see the applique work on the front of the apron. you could avoid this by making the yoke to come down to his chest. (this would give it a shorter oval, kinda like a poncho)
    Niijii has applique work done on his front so it hangs down to his waistband. On the back i put two small appliques on the back so there was a lot of extra space so i added a little extra fringe to cover the extra space (looks cool too) On his vest i put no fringe on the front, but strung some on the back of his vest. it looks very nice :)

    For the cuffs i measure the lenght between his elbow and his wrist and dvide it in two. that is the width of his cuffs. measure around his wrist add a about 2 inches. this will be the top of his cuff. add about 2 inces again and that will be the lenght of the back of the cuff, angle your lines so that it comes down like a gauntlant, (does this make sence?) i added the fringe by punching holes with a leather punch then looped about 5 pieces of ribbon through it. when i got that done i sewed the two sides of the cuff together with a straight stich to keep them neat and keep the ribbon from pulling back out. (this also forms it into a cuff that you just slide your hand through.

    For the pants or leggings i purchased a pair of black pajama pants and let him wear those. if i were more ambitious i would run a few lengths of fringe around them starting at about the knee and comming down. (so that it gets a nice full look, you would want to layer it) If cant find pajama pants then you could make a pair of pants with an elastic waistband.

    This is how i put the fringe on Niijii's regalia (both of them) I tied a piece of ribbon (b/c it doesnt strech like yarn does) then i looped the ribbon aroudn it so that it held its self in place. You want to keep the fringe fairly close togehter w/o bunching up on its self. you dont want it ot be to loose or it will look sparce. of course you can always use a couple layers or fringing to make it look really full, but if you tie them close together, its not necessary. You could also tie two pieces on at the same time. You could aslo put the fring on one piece at a time by using a crochet hook or a awl to poke the fringing through the edge of your aprons or yoke. I used extrawide double fold bias tape for both of Niijii's regalia because its gives everything a nice clean line. i sewed down the bias tape as close the edge as i could. this formed a flap that i could instert the line of fringe into then sew it down. This keeps the fringe from falling out, or coming un raveled. *Hint, seal or singe yoour ribbon ends before you wear it, it will save you a lot of head ache!*

    I wouldnt fringe the sides of the side drops, just the bottom because it could get bunchy.

    You can make or buy ankel bells. i make Niijii's out of some scrap leather we had left from making moccasins, then i got the jingle bells at chirstmas time (Sleigh bells ;) ) Wal mart sells them year round and in differnt sizes. Jo Annes and Micheals sells them too, and even has differnt colors. Your not limited to gold and silver anymore. :)

    I made Niijii's Scarf out a piece of material that i had left over. it was a kind of material that doesnt ravel, so i didnt have to worry about binding it off, but if i had (and it prolly would look pretty sharp too) i would have done it with the double fold bias tape.

    Speaking of Bias tape, I LOVE IT!! it saves me a lot of time and effort. instead of spending time sewing the lineing and the outer piece of material together i just slap a piece of bias tape over it and sew it down, everything is tucked in nice and neat. I even made Niijii a pair of Suspenders because his new regalia was to big at first :) it is now just right, but i still have the susupenders. You can layer the bias tape to give diffenent effects and it follows along curves beautifuly, and you can even corner with it.

    Most of this you may already know if you make your own regalia, but this is what works for me :) Anyways Good Luck. Please feel free to look at Niijii's Pictures in my gallery, if something doesnt make sence in words, you might be able to understand it from the pictures. If you need anymore help, feel free to PM me :)

    Niijii's Mom


    • #3
      WOW!!! Thanks for the help!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hopefully mine turns out as nice as your son's did!!!!
      The things you are doing today are the traditions of twenty-five years from now.
      -Daryl Baldwin: Miami


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