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dresses with cloth yokes

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  • dresses with cloth yokes

    Hi everybody!

    I'm thinking of making one of those buckskin dresses with a cloth yoke for the grandaughter of some friends. What's the best way of making the yoke? This will be for a really young girl. What's the best thing to do in order to add for room for growth? I was thinking about adding a gusset, but what else could be done? I'm open to all suggestions. Thanks!:)

  • #2
    You would make the yoke without the gusset.

    The sides would have a tie of some sort.

    For example I use 2 buckskin ties for each side where you'd think the gusset would go.............. You could also use velcro or hook & eye closures.


    • #3
      I guess I wasn't really clear about how I was going to use a gusset on the dress. The gussets would be used on the main part of the dress (not the yoke) to provide for growth room. What's the best way to go about making a cloth yoke?


      • #4
        This might be a really silly question.. buut.. umm.. what's a gusset?
        ~* Keep smiling, it makes people wonder what you're up to *~


        • #5
          Miss_Nishnab, that is by no means a silly question. (No question is ever silly or stupid as it is better than being ignorant.) I'll try to describe it since I don't have any technical definitions. A gusset is the part of a dress that gets inserted between the front and back of a dress to provide more room. In the case of some cloth dresses, the tabs you see sticking out from the bottom are extensions of gussets inserted in both sides. If you have ever looked at the Missouri River cloth dress patterns (trade cloth & the other pattern for a t dress I think) both include a gusset. The use of a gusset and tabs extensions at the bottom of the dress usually depends upon what style of dress you are making.

          I hope this helps to define what a gusset is.


          • #6
            I've been making regalia for kids for 20 years... they usually grow up faster than they grow out. For example, the waist size on most young Indian women (no kids, not overweight) is around 28 to 32 inches. A toddlers waist is often 24". Not a lot of difference in circumference, as compared to their height.

            Cut the skirt longer than it needs to be, like up to her chest. Attach it high on the cotton undershirt, with the top on the inside of skirt. That will also help to keep commercial-tanned hides in the skirt from leeching the chromium (used to dry hides) onto their own delicate skin when they sweat. You can also attach the t-shirt with velcro so that you can launder it.

            It's easy to let down the skirt at the waist when she grows taller. Traditional buckskin skirts fit rather loose, even at the top of the A-line, so make it loose and that will allow her the necessary room to grow out while she's growing up. You can see about how loose the buckskin skirts are on our website at or my friend's website at
            Janet Littlecrow
            Littlecrow Trading Post, LLC


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