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I need major HELP w/ making a shawls and dresses for the first time!!!!!!

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  • I need major HELP w/ making a shawls and dresses for the first time!!!!!!

    Okay.. this is my story... My mama had just passed away a few months ago... I am 16. I have
    a sister that is 15... This is my first time making an outfit on my own... I have all my beadwork done
    that is the simple part for me... its the making the shawls and dresses I really need help with. My
    mother was very old fashioned.. so my design is traditional w/ no flouresent colors or shiny beads..
    or rhinestone banding... i read the posts on applying applique and lining shawls... I understand but
    it seems so difficult... my mom made all my skirts and shawls before.. so i am starting out w/ no
    experience... HELP!! My lil' sister knows wat she is doing but i need a second opinion...
    -How do I start making the shawl?
    -How do I start making my dresses?
    -How do I do the applique?
    -Will it be okay do sew on my designs by hand?
    -Is it really necessary to use a full sized sewing machine? because my family I live w/ now doesnt have one..
    and right now the sewing 'instrument' I am using is a hand held miniature sewing machine..

    Kimmy T.

  • #2
    First of all ...relax...

    Heres my opinion...over the summer i made two grass dancing outfits for the first time...i didnt have much clue what i was doing...but they turned out beautifully..(ill have to put pics up later)..everything i did was handsewn...its lots of work..but the end result is so cousin is coming out next weekend and it will be the first time i get to see him dressed up..

    The designs came to me as i was doing it..i didnt sketch anything out..i just waited and in the end it all came together...

    I dont feel like there should be a pattern to do things...every pow wow outfit is different and it represents the dancer who wears it..

    Do what you feel...take your time and be the end it will work trust me..

    If you are handstitching...just make sure everything is secure..fabric glue works awesome..
    Happiness is like peeing your pants, everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth


    • #3
      Nice to see someone else start fancy dancing!

      Welcome to the world of fancy dancing! Much condolences on the loss of your mother! My ma is still around, she's the one that got us girls dancing! there's so many pictures of outfits to look at! Gathering of NAtions web site is a good place to look, your local pow wows are good too, my first dresses were very simple, i still like the very simple looks, shawls can come in just about any shape, size, color, you can think of! I hope you have a good sewing machine, my forte is beading! i sew when i need to! decide on teh sahpes and colors of your shawls, there are people that will sew FOR you, trade, etc............ i suggest using alot of "fusible" lining, it'll make the fabric stiffer and easier to work with, especailly of you are going to do alot of applique work..........ribbon panels always work, you can get people to amke them for you too, then sew them on, or you can try and make ribbon panels your self............let your imagination soar! sewing takes alot of time........but the end resluts are worth it, whn you get out thre and can show off! good luck, thank you for posting such a wonderful message.........i hope you make some very nice items, and share them with us when your'e done! :h3: :huddle: :clap: :clap: :helpdesk:
      Attached Files


      • #4
        I am making my first dresses too. I have looked at alot of of dresses, shawls. bead work, and colors that are used. From what i have noticed it really is up to the individual that is making the outfit. We are all different and all think differently and i think the dance outfits help show our diffrences both inside and out. So i have decided to just wing it, use what i like, while of course taking advise that i think that i can use and respecting the rest for thier differences. This is what i like about Pow Wows they bring a very big world of differences together so that we can share and borrow.
        Condolences on losing your mother and I wish you the best in your dress making endeavours.
        Angel Feather

        ~~~ Never look down on anybody unless you're helping them up. ~~~


        Join the online community forum celebrating Native American Culture, Pow Wows, tribes, music, art, and history.

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