Monday, November 9, 2009

How to Make Native American Outfits for Your Little Indians

My Children learn all about the Native Americans this month, as we aproach Thanksgiving.  They learn about how they lived, and what they ate.  The kids also learn about what they wore.  The teacher has the kids sing and read to some elderly folks at a nearby retirement home.  The kids also take a trip this month to visit the Native American hall at the Museum.  So, the teacher thought it would be nice to have the kids dress in "skins" for these two events. 

It was so easy to make these little vests and loin cloths.  Maybe your little ones want to dress the part this Thanksgiving?  First, you'll need a pattern.  A paper bag will do as raw material.  Cut the bag into a  basic vest shape, (more or less a rectangle with arm holes.)  Then, you'll need two front panels.  Use the vest back as a guide for a side front panel.  You may want to fold the vest back in half to get the correct sizing for the side panel.  Once you have cut a shape that you are happy with, flip it over, and outline in pencil the pattern for the opposite side.  This way, you'll have matching sides. 

If you are making loin cloths, just cut two squares (sizing is adjustable with the velcro straps).

The next thing you'll need is the fabric.  Take special care that anything you use will not fray. (Polarfleece and felt are good options, but there are some others).  You'll also need some ribbon and some velcro.

Cut all of your pieces and sew the four seams for the vest: one up each side, and the two at the shoulders. You won't need to hem anything if you've chosen a fabric that won't fray. Easy.

As shown in the photo above, add velcro straps at the waist of the loin cloths.  These make it easy for the boys to adjust for size, and it's easy to get them on and off. 

A little trick to save some time is to use a flame to melt the edges of a polyester ribbon.  This will stop any fraying. Sew this ribbon onto the loin cloths, across the waist, on the front only. 

Snip along the bottom edges of both pieces for a frayed effect. 

The kids will decorate their "skins" with some Native American symbols.  These outfits are a great, meaningful project that helps the kids tie together what they are learning about. And, anythime they get to wear a costume, they get excited about it!


the treat girl said...

You Rock!!! I'm wondering what the real Native American mommies would think if they saw how you were making yours :)

girlinthesticks said...

Really cute!!

Jennifer Juniper said...

Very cool. My kids once tried to make wrestling uniforms like on Nacho Libre like this - awesome!