Angela Swedberg has a great blog on creating and restoring Native American clothing, you can access it by clicking HERE.
I can't tell you how exciting it is to find a seamstress doing things the traditional way! Take some time to look around on her site and enjoy!
Here is a small sample from her website:

Plateau Dresses

 Here are a couple of Plateau dresses I have made a few years ago.   And of course I don't have good photos of them as I would like.   Often one has to ship the work off as soon as it is finished.  Such was the case of the first dress.  It went into a important collection, but I never did get the photos of it once it was installed.   Sigh!

This dress was made from two large yearling elk hides.  It is beaded entirely of antique Italian beads using elk sinew.  And....all those teeth on it are real Elk Teeth.  Both front and back.   It took many elk to make this dress, as there are only two ivory teeth per animal.   Such a dress was as highly prestigious and valuable in historic times as it is today.   It takes many years of hunting and saving teeth to make a dress like this.
 This dress was made using Mt. Sheep hides, just like many of the old Pony Beaded dresses were.   It is a excellent hide for garments, as it is strong but thin.   And now impossible to get.   Mt Sheep today have had their numbers severely impacted with the introduction of lung worm from domestic sheep.   Mt. Sheep hides were the preferred species to make both dresses and war shirts from.  Now it is a rare garment made from them.

This dress was beaded using pony beads in a mid-nineteenth century style.  The drops on this dress are also elk teeth and very valuable trade beads.   It also took a additional 3 antelope hides just to make the thin, thick fringe on the bottom and sides.  I also retained the tails and hair on the ends of the legs for fringe like the original ones.
I originally made this dress for a traveling museum exhibit.  And I kept this one, and wear it from time to time.

My hopes are soon to start making another one.   A girls got to have new clothes :-)

1 comment:

  1. Those dresses are incredible! Props for the craftmenship! I've always been really fascinated by Native American History and dress.



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