Sewing the Foldover Yoke On The Two Hide Dress

Blind hem Stitch with REAL Sinew
Yours Truly was up 'til all hours of the night sewing away on the fold over yoke.

So much so that I can barely type today, but I knew that would be the case, so I just kept on sewing.

Back half sewn
Here you can see my blind hem stitch using sinew. I broke three needles in all sewing this, so have plenty on hand. They didn't break going through the hide, they broke when pulling the needle through.

All my seams are sewn without going all the way through the leather. I just grab a good bite of the leather on the under dress, swing up and catch the lip of the yoke, as near to the raw edge as I can without it tearing through the lip.

Filing edge
Note to self: take the tape off within 12 hours, it bonds more than you would like after that!

Before sewing, I took the time to slightly upbraid the raw cut edge with a emery type fie.

This gives a softer edge and gives a more natural look. You can see the obvious difference before and after in these two pictures.

Filed on left, raw on right
This may seem like a small thing, but I see this important step left off on many an otherwise excellent work.

The difference is very obvious.

Simply take and emery board or fine file and lightly roughen the edge front, edge and back. You will like the results!

Here is the back yolk half sewn.

Back yoke seam sewn
And now for the big reveal, below is the project sewn and properly hung in preparation to being test fitted and then the side seams being properly sewn, or leather thongs inserted and tied.

At this point I will let it hang on the form for a day or two to see if the shape changes. It has been shifted around and stretched with all my alterations, it needs time to rest and flow back into shape.

Front sewn and properly hung
The fitting is super critical at this time, if you don't get it right now by pinning squarely on the median lines of the body, all your hard work will be for nothing and it wall hang on you like a sack. This is why a Taylor' makes so much money fitting suits. They take the time to "drape" the fabric and adjust it to the particular person to whom it will be worn.

You have to first set the garment on the form and make sure it is plumb, (straight up and down, even side to side, yoke adjusted so shoulder seams line up with form shoulder median lines). Then you pull up the arms and let them drop, seeing how they flow and if they are even.

Back sewn and properly hung
After this you carefully run your fingers of both hands down the center of the garment and smooth to the sides of the hip median line and quickly secure with pins to the form. Slide your finger up and secure under arm area, watching to be sure the fabric does not bulge at the belly, pin.

Then repeat for the back.

Do not pin the sides to each other yet, just pin to median line, (the crack running down your form), front and back. Now stand back and eye your work critically. Is the yoke straight? Do the shoulders hang right? 

twirl the form and then refluff the fabric. See if it still flows. Fuss and fidget with the garment until you have that "Ah-Hah" moment and then give it a break.

Take some pictures, pour a cup of coffee and look at your pictures. does it look right in photography? If it does, pat yourself on the back, walk away and let it sit for at least a day to "Get the hang of it", (yes, that's where that saying comes from!).

I made some decisions about where I am going with this garment. It will be pre contact, I will use dentalium and pipe stone beads for both the dress and headdress. I have a young man in Pipestone, MN making coin beads for the headdress, and found some great vintage beads on the net for a good price. I made sure they were Minnesota pipe stone and not some horrible import, so if you are looking for good pipestone beads this week, you are out of luck, I bought them all! I will also be adding natural copper accents, I am from "Copper Country"

The Young Man helping me with Pipestone is:
Alan Monroe

He has wonderful genuine pipestone and he is very reasonable! He is also very gifted as an Artist.


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