Sewing the Sleeves of My Two Hide Elk Dress and A Decision Made

Clothes Pins are a Seamstress' Best Friend!

Basting with Real Sinew
Here I am preparing to sew the sleeves of my Two Hide Elk Dress, I used a Hunting bow for the support of the arms on my dress form, (how cool is that?). I used clothes pins to hold up the fold over while I stitched, using a Tandy Leather sewing awl and real sinew thread.

I intended to remove this stitching later but wanted to get a feel for using the sinew as thread. It worked very well, except for where I had to splice, but it turned out OK.

Here you can see the stitching through both fold overs.

After stitching, I pulled the dress off the form for a trial fitting. It was a disaster. The Elk hide is so incredibly thick I was literally drowning in the fold over!

I did some research and found that many other makers of Elk hide dresses had the same problem, which they resolved by cutting off the fold over and then reattaching the yoke later, albeit with less or lighter leather.

So with a great amount of trepidation, I cut off the fold over and set it aside, freeing the gorgeous dress underneath. Now I can resew the sleeve seams using and invisible stitch to hide the seam. I also cut the neck out at this time, it will be encased in the yoke when I get it done.

My biggest dilemma at this point is to Fringe or Not To Fringe.... I am not a huge fan of fringe, but if it is called for, I will just have to do it...I have found documentation that the original hide dresses used all of the hide and as little cutting to it as possible was done. This I interpret as "No Fringe" but I imagine I will fringe at the cuff and bottom hem, maybe just a little.

Then I have to decide whether I will attach the yoke at the shoulders and hang the rest of the dress below or tack it over the top of the shoulder like a fold over. I don't want to go any longer, (as it's already sweeping the floor), but it would be less bulky.

Then I have to finally decide if this is a true pre contact dress and decorate accordingly. Shells versus beads! I can't decide! Argh!

Today's little thrill was that I am finally thinner than my dress form "Josette", this is quite a landmark! I was shocked to measure myself and find I was an inch thinner all around! Yeah!

Here is the First Article about making my dress.

Here is the Third Article
Still Too Bulky
That's Better!

Back no Fold Over
Front no Fold Over

Font on me no Foldover
Back, on me no Foldover

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