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Straight Dance Ribbonwork

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  • Straight Dance Ribbonwork

    I've had dozens of emails and questions about making ribbonwork. I'm staring a new set of ribbonwork and will try over the next couple of months to post pictures of the project.

    I'm using the metal template method for doing the ribbons. I will be doing a two template pattern.

    Hope this will be helpful to those wanting to start doing ribbonwork, and to those already making thier own suits maybe we can share helpful hints.

  • #2
    Below is the pattern that I will doing for this suit of ribbonwork. I developed this pattern with the help of Orville Gates.

    In order to produce this pattern, I will be using two metal templates to cut the material. Below is an image of what the templates will look like:

    Once the templates are created, I will then begin cutting the material. Below is an image showing which color and template to use:


    • #3
      I cut the fabric on a template, fold it back and iron it down. Then sew theses pieces together by shingling them.


      • #4
        This is my two cents on the current status of straight dance ribbon work here on the East Coast. The quality of of the cut and tuck method is outstanding.
        I would like to see more research done on traditional colors and patters instead of (my observation) of making "Designer" Straight Suits


        • #5
          I have a great deal of reserch on ribbon work and MANY patterns and old color schems.
          Been doing ribbon work for over 25 years.
          But styles are changing along with the colors. I like the old colors but you can hardly find then in the stores let alone the right moire or tafeta ribbon to do the good old work. Since I found of souce of old ribbon in France, I have been able to reproduce the old ribbon colors. THis does add to the cost of a set.

          Being bored is boring.
          Nothing like a night in a tipi or a day.


          • #6
            I assume that when you all are talking about 'old colours' you mean the wonderfully vibrant silks from the 18th through the early 20th cent. and not the faded old things seen in museum collections or those worn by people for several years and bleached out by the sun. If you want to check out 'old colours', examine the thread with which the sewing was executed. For some reason thread seems not to fade like the ribbons or cloth. The results may surprise you and change your thinking about 'traditional colours'.

            May I further assume, since you are all so interested in doing things in a traditional manner that you do all your sewing by hand, or at least a treadle machine? Probably not, as this is the cusp of the 21th century and we have many more modern conviences. Why not let the arts and designs of Native Americans change to reflect modern tastes and materials?

            I think pgowder's effort is a fine amalgam of a traditional type of design that has been updated to current colors and materials and most any Indian man I know would be very content to wear a suit with those ribbons. Many hobs as well. I can recall old Henry Crow Dog back in the psycedelic seventies wearing a very fine bald eagle tail traditional bustle with flourescent pink plastic feathers on the trailers at the 1973(?) Pine Ridge Fair. Who are we to judge


            • #7
              Comment: There is a company online - Jas. Townsend & Son (I think) that sells old style silk ribbon in old-style colors. The ribbon is kind of thin (compared to the taffeta stuff), but I think it would be okay to use as straight dance ribbon work if you're putting it right onto the wool. The upside is that it looks like it would fingerpress well until you could actually hit it with an iron. The downside is that the widest ribbon available is only 1&1/4 inches, but there are several color choices if you want to get into old colors. Price is, if I remember right, $3.60/yard for the widest ribbon.

              If you don't find them by searching on the name, try looking for traders who sell to re-enactors (ca. 1750 re-enactment). If I think about it in the morning, I'll go dig my sample cards out of the basement and post a follow-up message.

              Question for Paul: Metal templates? Did you cut them yourself or have them cut? If you cut them, what did you cut them out of and what did you cut them with to keep them precise?

              Be the change you want to happen.


              • #8
                The templates I'm using for this set, was cut for me. I have cut others though. I use alumunin flashing. To cut them I use an old pair of scissors usually.

                The templates for this set of ribbons were cut using a drill press with a metal blade on the end.


                • #9
                  I know the ribbon you are talking about from the trader....It will be hard to work with as I have used it.
                  Try a "little" spray starch.
                  Has a tendency to frey.

                  Good luck



                  • #10
                    Originally posted by tipis:
                    It will be hard to work with as I have used it. Try a "little" spray starch.
                    Has a tendency to frey.
                    Thanks for the heads-up, Tipis. I hadn't ordered any yet - just looked at the samples. I was pondering on whether to order it to make some ribbon work for a long-time family friend. Maybe I'll look some more before I do that!

                    Be the change you want to happen.


                    • #11
                      Gail Jewetts husband Brad and son Matthew both dance. Matt is also an awesome southern singer. He is small in stature but his voice is that of a big fat man. (no offense to anyone, Im fat also.)

                      A member of my drum got a ribbon set from her, she does very nice work. Most of the people up here in the NE have either Oklahoma sets or Gails sets.
                      The brighter the light, the deeper the shadow.


                      • #12
                        I haven't finished it yet. I just about have all the ribbons cut.


                        • #13
                          Ponca Wannabe: just Like Poncagirl, I am Ponca as well.I want to share something with you. As Poncas we dont say things like that to others, its just not right!
                          Paul does some outstanding design work and the colors are great.I would like to have some of his work! I appreciate it, I want to thank you Paul for sharing your hard work with all of us. I think its great! you know Ponca wannabe,
                          paul doesnt have to share his work for all to see, perphaps you might want appologize to him. Not trying to put you down. just letting you know, if you are gonna travel under our name. please show repect to others . no hard feelings.
                          and to paul hope you continue to share with us. good work!


                          • #14
                            Hey pgowder, think that ribbon work looks neat. Are you going to have it done in time for White Bear??

                            [This message has been edited by bbv (edited October 23, 2000).]


                            • #15
                              No unfortunately it won't be done for White Bear.



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