How to Make Native American Ojibwe Dolls Clothes

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The premise of this study is to create a Ojibwe family, a birch bark house for them to live in and all the Ojibwe bits and bobs to go with a lifestyle congruent with the Ojibwe tribe.  The first thing we did was attempt to make a wigwam from twigs and fake Birchbark.  I’ll reveal this when we have finished.  The next thing was to dress our Ojibwe family, who consist of a male (actually a female doll who we hope will become a male as time passes and we add traditionally male accessories to his/her body!), a female and their baby.  We have chosen the simplest of clothes which they would have worn in the past.  We will be adding to them as our study progresses, but for now I thought I would show you all how we went about making them.  It really was very simple.

The Female Ojibwe Doll’s Clothing

Buy large soft shammy leather
Buy large soft shammy leather
Wrap doll in it until it overlaps
Wrap doll in it until it overlaps and cut out
make under arm slits
Make under arm slits
fold material over either side of shoulders
Fold material over either side of shoulders
fold over left hand flap and pull it up to meet the flap at the back of the right hand shoulder
Fold over left hand flap and pull it up to meet the flap at the back of the right hand shoulder
Do the same with the right hand side flap
Do the same with the right hand side flap
Stitch, leaving enough room for the head to fit through
Stitch, leaving enough room for the head to fit through
Secure at the waist with a leather belt
Secure at the waist with a leather belt

The Male Doll’s Ojibwe Clothes

cut a thick strip of leather, enough to go through the legs and fold over into a loin cloth, and a thin leather strap for a belt
Cut a thick strip of leather, enough to go through the legs and fold over into a loin cloth, and a thin leather strap for a belt
Place between the dolls thighs
Place between the dolls thighs
Secure with a belt around the waist area
Secure with a belt around the waist area
Fold the front flap over the belt to create frontal coverage
Fold the front flap over the belt to create frontal coverage
Do the same to the back
Do the same to the back

And here are the two dolls together, one male and one female (can you tell the difference yet?):

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Dressing a Ojibwe baby

Take a piece of leather and wrap snuggly around baby
Take a piece of leather and wrap snuggly around baby

 

14 comments

  1. I like the dresses. My youngest was standing beside me, when I was reading your post, now I have to dress some dolls myself… Yes, he´s still active, but he will soon go to bed with his Ojibwe-styled babydoll. Thanks for sharing!

  2. We are enjoying watching the transformation of your Ojibwe family. The children are going on every day to see what is new. We are looking forward to seeing the completed clothing. Fun!

    Have a lovely evening, Claire.:))

    1. We’ll be adding bit and pieces as well as head gear. It’s quite hard to sew leather with a normal needle so certain projects are taking a bit longer.

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