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Dress ideas - Modifying Pattern

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  • Dress ideas - Modifying Pattern

    Ok, I have alot of questions and I hope maybe someone can help me, since I am not the best seamstress out there. This is my first attempt at a jingle dress.

    I have the Jingle dress pattern from Crazy Crow. As I have can count on one finger how many Jingle dresses I've seen at powwows around here (pa), I'm not sure if what I see in my head and what the pattern says to do, can be combined to make my dress.

    I would like to have a dress, with the back flap to lift to sit. Is it easier to make a whole seperate underskirt, or can I just sew on a flap that is only attached at the waist?

    I want my sleeves open, so they drape over my arms to my elbows, then maybe fringe or ribbon strips from there to my wrists. Do you think that would work? With my colors being dark (dark blue, black and silver) I tend to get very hot in the summer, so I thought open sleeves (kinda like I see on cloth dresses) would be a little more airy. Or will this look silly?

    I was thinking of making the top seperate from the skirt, but having the shirt come down to the bottom of my butt when belted, with a V shaped edge to it (I guess scalloped would be the word). But will the weight of the jingles pull the skirt down? Should I made a tank dress, that goes under my shirt so the skirt stays put?

    I wish I could draw so I could get across exactly what I want. But with these requests, how do I modify the Crazy Crow pattern to do these things? Anyone ever worked with this pattern? Will it do what I want it to do? Anyone with suggestions of better ways to go about putting these ideas together into something that resembles a dress?

    Thanks so much in advance, I hope someone out there can help me! I want to have this dress done by next powwow season. Once I get the dress sewn, decorating it with ribbonwork and the jingles should be no problem, its the whole sewing thing that kills me!!

  • #2
    ok... I'll give it a shot... just to get things started.

    I have worked with crazycrow/Missouri River patterns in the past... and sometimes the directions are vague or hard to understand. Read and re read them, then begin.

    I would suggest that you go to gathering of nations site and look at the jingle dresses there... and of course our gallery..and look at the sleeves. I don't think you will see the type sleeve you are talking about.

    Yes, a separated skirt will be pulled down by the weight especially if you are a teeny person.

    These are just a few thoughts, to get you started. Keep us posted as to the progress. I think it would help all of us in the planning of dresses .
    "We see it as a desecration not only of a mountain but of our way of life. This is a genocidal issue to us. If they kill this mountain, they kill our way of life." ~Debra White Plume


    • #3
      Dancing water:

      I make my niece's jingle dresses and they are separated-shirt and skirt. She hasn't had any problems with losing her skirt cause instead of using elastic in the waistband I put a draw string so that she can make it as tight as she wants it. I do suggest that you make a under skirt to have when you pull up your skirt cause with the flaps they swing back in forth when you dance. Make the dress how you see fit cause it is a personnal expression. Just a bit of advice.:Wave
      :Heart"If you love something, let it go; if it comes back to you it's yours. If it doesn't, it never was!!!! *DMX* :Heart

      :stooges: If you don't stand for something; you'll fall for anything! :stooges:


      • #4
        Thank you for the suggestions Mato and Dwnsouthndn. Yes Mato, I noticed that about the instructions, thats why I came to the board to ask about details!! I have started on a sketch of some sorts, I think I have a good idea about what I want. I think the first thing I will do is make a practice version out of scrap material. Just to make sure what I see in my head, and what I cut out will be the same thing.

        Thank you for the suggestion Dwnsouthndn about the underskirt, never thought of a flap swingin around too much. I am a small person, so I might just go with a tank dress of sorts just to make sure the skirt stays where its supposed to, with a seperate shirt then to go over it.

        I have about 150 lids cut and trimmed. My poor hands are feeling it!

        Thanks everyone! I'm still open for suggestions though! I'll keep everyone updated as the dress making progresses.


        • #5
          Just a quick update on the dress ideas. I found a great pair of needlenose pliers that rolls the cones very nicely.

          Went to the fabric store today. Found a nice black material that should hold up to the weight of the jingles nicely. Then I found the accent colors of blue and silver. Got my bias tape, ribbon, rick-rack, thread, and all that good stuff! I also found that iron on tape that you can sew thru to help with the ribbonwork.

          I also found a picture of a girl wearing a dress with the type of sleeves I want. My scanner is broke, so I will try to take a picture of it with my digi camera so I can post it, maybe someone else has seen sleeves like this. Her fringe is alot longer than I want though. But her sleeves are wide (maybe open), with long ribbon fringe past her hands!

          There was so much on clearance at the store, wish I was a better seamstress, coulda stocked up! But I'm happy with the colors and types of materials I bought, hopefully they'll all go together easy for me!

          Attached Files


          • #6
            You have some great ideas..... just remember depending on how many jingles you put on the skirt, you'll need support for the weight of the jingles! Its also a good idea, say if you put 200+ jingle on the skirt to sew a liner material or muslin to the inside of the skirt for added strength, before you sew your design and jingles, so that the weight doesn't tear or pull on the material of your dress. And double-sided bias tape (the sticky kind) is a lifesaver, by allowing you to layout you design and then just pull off the top paper and layout your cloth bias tape or ribbon on top of it and it stays in place until you can sew it.

            If you decide on making separate pieces, make a tank dress that would hold your jingles on the bottom and a top that goes over it, and don't forget to make an underskirt as well. If you make the tank dress a size or two bigger then it will be easier to pull up. Or you can create a split on one side to the hip and lift it up when you creative, your dress is an expression of you....

            *it may be helpful to make a test dress first out of a cheap material like muslin, until you get the sewing part down! Also once you have your design, you might want to sew each line as you go, the dress will get bulky and hard to get in the sewing after several lines.* Happy sewing........

            Many Blessings,


            • #7
              I have to agree with making the "test" dress. We did that for my daughter and still when the model fit and we made the dress it was too tight and had to add a strip to get it to look right.
              We made a one piece dress, then an overskirt that had the jingles. The skirt had a draw string and even pulling it as tight as we can she still has to come to me sometimes to hold the skirt of the underdress while she pulls up the skirt!
              The lining of the skirt material is a good idea if you are using a thinner material or a more fragile one. Just cut the lining and treat it and the outer material as one piece when you are sewing.
              Glad you found a photo. Yes, I have seen that sleeve done before. And you should be able to do what you want from the missouri river pattern. Pay special attention to the part about the gusset... it is not very clear. Read it a couple of times. ;)
              Good luck and happy sewing! :)
              "We see it as a desecration not only of a mountain but of our way of life. This is a genocidal issue to us. If they kill this mountain, they kill our way of life." ~Debra White Plume


              • #8
                Well, looks like I will have some time to get working on my dress. I broke my foot last nite at work!! I tend bar, and as I was getting a case of beer out of the walk in cooler, a quarterkeg of beer dropped on my foot!! So I'm stuck in bed for the next few days, maybe longer depending on what the orthopedic surgen says on monday!! I've gone 26 years without breaking a bone, and now this! My foot is all puffy and purple! But now I have time to cut out the pattern, roll cones, string them on bias tape....geesh!

                A question about the bias tape for hanging the cones, what size and fold type do you all like the best. I didnt know to go with single or double folded, or the 1/2 or 1/4 inch size. I grabbed a couple packages of each to see which one I liked, but I didnt know if it made a difference as far as holding up to the sharp edges of the cones.

                Thank you all for the suggestions. I'm sure there will be more questions coming!!

                Renea - the oh so accident prone!


                • #9
                  OUCH! Sorry to hear about your foot. Maybe working on your jingle dress while you are recovering will make it heal faster!! :)
                  As for what to string your cones on, the most popular choice seems to be the 1/4" wide double-folded bias tape. You can cut the lengths you need before or after stringing the cones. Once you string the jingles onto the the bias tape, crimp the top of each cone with a pliers so it stays in place.

                  I think you are making a good choice in making your dress with separate pieces. I have a 1-piece dress with flaps front and back and all the weight is on my shoulders when worn. A separate over or underskirt helps a lot by distributing some of the weight around the hips where you less notice it. Good luck!


                  • #10
                    Definately 1/4" wide double-folded bias tape!
                    I found it easier to open the bias tape and tie knots at even points until all of it is finished, then cut into separate pieces. This saves time and sore fingers, and you can make them all even by looking at the one before.
                    I got so good at it, I could watch tv and before I knew it, I was done with 4 packs! Though you don't have to watch could say alittle prayer at each knot...sealing in those good blessings!

                    I pray your foot will heal fast and well and good sewing to ya!


                    • #11
                      Sorry to hear about the foot and hope you have a speedy recovery!

                      I agree... 1/4" bias. What I have found the easiest to do and will continue to do on the dresses I make is, to sew all the bias tape, with the cut and knotted pieces, on first. The when the dress is completed you attach the cones. Man, did this save alot of frustration while sewing. There is no extra weight to have to manipulate and cones that you have to keep moving out of the way. I found this out when my daughter washes her dress she takes all the cones off and I had to make some repairs. We used to wash the dress with the cones on and still may once in a great while, but she prefers to do it this way. Said it saves on rust.
                      "We see it as a desecration not only of a mountain but of our way of life. This is a genocidal issue to us. If they kill this mountain, they kill our way of life." ~Debra White Plume


                      • #12
                        Thanks for all the great suggestions, I decided to go with the 1/4 inch double folded bias tape, glad thats what you all suggested.

                        But Mato, how on earth do you get the cones on the knotted bias tape if you sew it on before pulling it thru the cones? And how do you get the cones off to wash and repair? Wow! Sounds like that would be alot easier, but I just cant see how I would do it!

                        I found that cutting all the pieces of bias tape, then knotting them all went pretty quickly. I just used my finger as a point of measure. So I got almost 50 pieces to each pack. Does that sound right, or am I making them to long?

                        What I've found to take the longest is rolling the cones. I'm so anal about having to make sure the copenhagen is straight up and down, and that there is no angled parts (I'm rolling them with needle nose pliers.) LOL But I'm almost done with that also. I just hope I can get ahold of some more lids soon, my friend Bill Seven Antlers gave me the initial 175, just 190 more to go!!

                        The last 48 hours have been awful! Just knowing that I can't get up and move around is killing me! I've been wishing for time to work on my dress, but I could do without having to hop around on one foot, or crawl up and down 2 flights of steps! (I live on the 3rd floor of my parents house, kitchen and bathroom are downstairs)

                        But I try to alternate between beadwork and jingle dress making to break up the monotony. I have a needlecase almost done, first attempt at that, turned out ok, still working on getting my beadwork pattern to get it where I want it. I'm trying to get a star/meteor thing going. Oh, and then me and my son had to watch Monsters Inc a couple times!! What a cute movie!

                        Well, thanks again everyone! I'm sure the suggestions will help me and many other jingle dress makers out there, they're great tips! Off to put my foot up! <sigh>


                        • #13
                          But Mato, how on earth do you get the cones on the knotted bias tape if you sew it on before pulling it thru the cones? And how do you get the cones off to wash and repair? Wow! Sounds like that would be alot easier, but I just cant see how I would do it!
                          It really is easier than it sounds. We use the needle nose too. Take one of the ones that you have already rolled and look at the top end. Just open it enough to fit over your knot. Then you squeeze it back to original form and then pinch the end flat like you normally would. I hope that made it clear and didn't confuse you. :p ;)
                          "We see it as a desecration not only of a mountain but of our way of life. This is a genocidal issue to us. If they kill this mountain, they kill our way of life." ~Debra White Plume


                          • #14
                            No, no, didnt confuse me! Guess I was thinking that you were somehow rolling them around the bias tape...geesh. Makes perfect sense now!

                            Do you reuse the cones you take off the dress when you wash it? How do you uncrimp the end without boogering it up?


                            • #15
                              How do you uncrimp the end without boogering it up?

                              Veryyyyyy caaaarefully!! Seriously, we watch how we do it and try not to open it out more than we have to.

                              Do you reuse the cones you take off the dress when you wash it?

                              You bet we do.. that is one reason why we take them off... they rust too bad the other way.
                              "We see it as a desecration not only of a mountain but of our way of life. This is a genocidal issue to us. If they kill this mountain, they kill our way of life." ~Debra White Plume


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