This was standard wear for Eastern woodsmen from the French & Indian War until well after the Revolution. Includes several options for cuffs, cape and fringe treatment. Sizes M, L, XL and XXL.
About Your Tradecloth Dress Pattern
Clothing styles among Plains & Plateau Indian women have remained basically unchanged over the last 100 or so years, with this conservative attitude being further reflected in the rather long, straight cut dress styles as compared to today’s modern styles. Our pattern presents a very traditional style tradecloth dress that was popular among most of the Plains tribes from Texas to Canada.
Materials used range from plain wool cloth to the more elaborate “ stroud cloth” with its characteristic white, sawtooth edge, and to the highly desired rainbow selvedge broadcloth that is so popular today. Many times, the upper portion of a dress made using these heavy materials is cotton lined, especially when the yoke is decorated with elk teeth, dentalium, or cowrie shells. This makes the dress more attractive as well as providing extra support for the decorations.
Our pattern will make a basic Comanche or Sioux style dress and information is included to allow easy modification to any of the following styles: Blackfoot, Crow, Cheyenne, Kiowa, Kiowa-Apache, or Plateau. Also included is information on layout & cutting, ideas on ribbon placement, tribal variations, and decorations using elk teeth, dentalium shells, or cowrie shells, along with detailed, illustrated instructions for assembly.
For additional ideas on design variations such as shell placement, ribbon decorations, etc., we strongly recommend that you visit your local museums and examine existing specimens. It is also advisable to study old photographs as well as the fine photos found in museum and exhibition catalogs such as “Dancing Colors”, “The Flag in American Indian Art”, “Hau, Kola!”, “American Indian Art: Form & Tradition”, “American Indian Art” by Norman Feder, “Circles of the World”, and “A Persistant Vision.
Notions & Tools
Needles, thread, 1 yd. of 1/4” to 3/8” ribbon or seam binding, and 3-1/2 yds. of 1/2” to 5/8” ribbon. Additional decorations may include cowrie shells, dentalium shells, brass sequins, and elk teeth (plastic, simulated or
genuine), or a limited amount of lazy stitch beadwork. Simulated sinew is needed for attaching shells and elk teeth.
General Size Info
SMALL: Women’s 6-8, Men’s Small MEDIUM: Women’s 10-12, Men’s Medium LARGE: Women’s 14-16, Men’s Large EXTRA-LARGE: Women’s 18-20, Men’s Extra-Large
NOTE: The length of the finished dress will depend on the height of the person wearing it. Sizes indicated here are for an average height of 5 to 5*4”. A taller person may require slightly more fabric, so check your pattern before purchasing your fabric.
Adapted from the hide dresses that were cut in much the same way, this style dress can be made from any heavy, solid colored fabric such as a wool, wool blend, or velvet. Most highly desired, however, is either the white-edged stroud cloth or rainbow selvedge broadcloth, which is the ultimate choice for special occasions. Traditionally, this dress was made from navy blue wool, with red or green being seen infrequently. Today all these colors are popular, along with purple, yellow, and black.