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Need Fringe Help

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  • Need Fringe Help

    I hope someone can help me. My first dress I had someone make for me and the fringe was already done. I am now trying to do the fringe myself for my new dress. That is all I have left. How do I cut the fringe to make sure it is pretty uniform and straight? I am trying a rotary cutter on a quilters board for the straight edge. But it seems to be taking me forever. Can someone please help? The next dress I get I will have the honor of having someone else make it for me. I give alot of praise to the women that do their own and make others their dresses. Remember the old saying about walking a mile in someone else's moccassins. My son was watching me do this last night and saw the frustration on my face and said, mom you should smudge and maybe it will be easier for you. He's so cute that was what I told him this past Saturday when he was making a drum for a friend of his. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    49: :49:

  • #2
    I'm posting because I need to be watching this thread. I got my first buckskin dress last weekend. It's about 30 years old and I want to re-do the fringe. I'd love to go into the amazing story of how it came to me, but we're talking fringe here, not miracles... Tipis, if you're reading this...MUCHOS HUGGIES!! LOL

    Anyway...I got the Fisker's thingy that's attached to the board, but haven't given it a try yet. I think it should do the trick. Mostly, I've been told that the ol' trusty cork bottom metal ruler with the round cutter is the best way. Takes patience and practice.

    ...and maybe a bit o' smudge?
    Instead of telling God how big your storm is, tell your storm how big your God is!


    • #3
      I like doing long fringe (you can see examples on my website:

      I take a ruler and score lines along the area where fringe is desired. These lines are as wide as the ruler (about 1 1/4" apart).

      From there I use a VERY sharp pair of leather scissors and cut along the first two scores. Then I cut the fringe within that 1 1/4" section. I usually cut my fringes about 1/8" wide. When you get to the end of the section, any piece that is off on a bit of a diagonal can be adjusted to 1/8" then start the next section.

      Cutting in sections allows for you to hide that diagonal slant that just seems to happen when cutting fringe.


      • #4
        I had my first dress made for me.

        I went to get my dress as the lady was putting the finishing fringe on the dress. And I think she acutally had a pair of electric scissors. I think she just eyeballed the width of the fringe.


        • #5
          I just eyeballed it, too.... for my daughter's fringe on her dress. I used regular scissors, tho. This way takes longer, but it worked. Much to my suprise, I've had a couple of people ask me how i got the fringe so straight and even! I just smile and say, "I don't know, I winged it... must be beginner's luck". ( it was the first traditional dress I made)

          Good luck to you.
          I am who I am. No more, no less.


          • #6
            I make a lot of dresses and a lot of fringe!
            I just use a VERY sharp pair of GOOD leather scissors and a BIG table and go for it.
            When I lay the hide out...I kind of square it. I draw a straight line across the top and cut a straight line on the vertical edge that is closest to me and then just eyeball the width. I take it slow and steady..always keeping my eye on the width and just go. I pull the whole hide closer to me about every five inches so that I am not reaching across the table and if I see that the remaining hide is slanted...I adjust by cutting off a sliver to make it even again. Don't try to will get done.
            Walk away if you get frustrated and do something TV..pray..then attack it again. I don't recommend joining a party that is in progress in your house (it was my birthday) and having a few margaritas (it was my birthday!!) and then going back to the fringe that someone brought to you that morning and they are leaving for Schemitzun at 5 AM so you can't say no! (Well, I have a hard time saying no!)
            You do need to concentrate..but I find that the intense concentration and the controlled breathing puts me in a "zone" or in runners' speak "I hit the wall" and my mind is emptied of all the trash and I do some of my clearest thinking when I am cutting fringe. Well, that's just me and my 2 cents:Chatter
            Last edited by buckskinlady; 04-17-2002, 02:33 PM.


            • #7
              Thank you to everyone for all the help. Cutting the fringe was a very humbleing (sp) experience. My patience was definetly put to the test. Ok,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, now that that is done, I have to attach the fringe. My sewing machine seems to hold onto the material and leather and I have to push and pull it through. I don't do alot of sewing and now I know why.....whewwwwwwwwwwww.
              Should I have a different pressure foot? I do know a little.

              Thanks to you all.

              My prayers to all of you for the help and insight...

              Last edited by Creebead; 04-18-2002, 01:37 PM.


              • #8
                In my opinion.......
                Don't ever sew your buckskin dress on a sewing machine!
                I hand sew everything... you could have easily whip-stitched the fringe on the underside of the would never see the stitches on the other don't make as many holes in the buckskin (it may eventually weaken and tear with all those little holes) have complete contol over stretching when you hand sew... you can use thicker (sturdier) thread when you hand sew...and lastly ... I was taught that you never use a machine.
                The work is so much more a part of you, I guess, when it is done by hand. Maybe that's just the way it is expected to be done around here...and as I said..that is just my opinion!
                Anyone else????
                I think we covered how to hand stitch before when someone from a different country said they glue their fringes on and glue their seams together.
                What does everyone have to say?


                • #9
                  You might want to adjust the pressure on your pressure foot.

                  I also use rubber cement to hold the leather in place in the seam instead of pins.

                  I also cut the fringe after the garment is finished. This way the fringe doesn't get in the way of any sewing.


                  • #10
                    Your next trip to the fabric store.......................check out the sewing machine needle section.

                    They have "leather" needles.

                    The last dress I put together, I used my sewing machine to attach the fringe to the cloth top. Piece of cake. Over and done with :) No :Cry poking my fingers trying to get the fringe attached.

                    I bet buckskinlady has some SERIOUS callouses on her fingers. My finished piece turned out just fine.


                    • #11
                      I agree with Buckskinlady. Hand sew your buckskin. I have had the "privledge" of sewing my Moms dress, and our daughters dresses to help my wife, she can't use her hands that way. I make all of our mocs, our leggins, etc.. The sewing was nothing special.
                      I also cut all of our fringe with extra sharp scissors.


                      • #12
                        I handsew all my buckskin. It's relaxing to me. I think you get a stronger seam with the heavier threads (I use artificial sinew) that you can't run through a sewing machine.


                        • #13
                          When y'all hand sew buckskin, do you use a regular leather needle or is there some secret weapon you can share with us newbies?
                          Instead of telling God how big your storm is, tell your storm how big your God is!


                          • #14
                            I use a Glover's needle (size 8)...which is the only leather needle that I know of other than a leather sewing machine needle.
                            All leather needles have a three edged very sharp point that go right through layers of buckskin! Yeah, sometimes it is tough, and sometimes you have to use pliers (flat edged jewelry pliers) to pull the needle out the other side...but I wouldn't do it any other way! Yeah, sometimes I get callouses, sometimes I bleed...but you can tell the difference between handsewn and machine sewn in a split second! The seam is actually smaller when hansewn and the the stitches kind of pull and squeeze the layers of buckskin together in a natural rounded and very tight seam! The machine seams are flat and make the fringe kind of stick out unnaturally. And, I'm telling you, all those little machine made holes that are so close together will eventually weaken the buckskin and there will be tearing along the seams.
                            I just get a great personal satisfaction from doing it by hand and that is the only way I would call my dresses hand made. And, I'm sorry, but around here, anything machine made is just looked down on. To say it the way the elders love to put it, "It's just not done. That's the way it is!".
                            I'm sure all you who use a machine have made very beautiful dresses that are lasting a long time and you should be very proud of!
                            As I say...all the above comments are just my opinion!!


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by buckskinlady
                              I use a Glover's needle (size 8)...which is the only leather needle that I know of other than a leather sewing machine needle.Yeah, sometimes I get callouses, sometimes I bleed...but you can tell the difference between handsewn and machine sewn in a split second!
                              I got my buckskin dress from Tipis and I am SOOO happy with it.. it is of course, hand sewn.

                              When I saw it...I told Linda that I could see how much of herself went into it...and how can you really put yourself into a work of art if ya don't add some DNA? heh-heh

                              Here's the dress, btw. It's almost 30 years old.
                              Attached Files
                              Last edited by MuzeBl; 04-20-2002, 05:04 PM.
                              Instead of telling God how big your storm is, tell your storm how big your God is!


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