Misses 4-20; Girls 4-10.
This pullover blouse was traditionally made of velvet, lined with calico, embellished with silver buttons, and worn with a calico "broomstick" skirt made of three tiers to represent the stages of a woman's life (infancy, adulthood and the elder years). Our sewing pattern includes complete blouse instructions, historical information, and drawings for tiered skirt (and tips for broomstick pleating effect).
The traditional clothing often associated with Navajo women and girls evolved from the post-Civil War days of the late 19th century, and was influenced by white American dress of the time: a high-necked, tight-fitting velveteen blouse with a long and very full gathered skirt, often in a contrasting calico print or solid color. This blouse shows more influence from men's shirts or work smocks of that time, but it is a style that was and remains popular. Before European influence on their culture, Navajo women wore finely tanned animal hide clothing, and skirts and shoes woven from yucca fibers. After the Spanish introduced churro sheep and the vertical loom, typical dress evolved to a large woven garment with a hole in the center to slip over the head and two holes for arms, much like a poncho. A wide strap around the waist, covered with silver and turquoise jewelry, secured the blanket over tanned hide leggings and sewn moccasins. These blankets were often brightly colored and beautifully decorated. This style dress was called a biil.
This is the paper pattern. For the PDF version, go here.
Suggested fabrics: Velvet, velveteen, velour, lightweight corduroy, light to medium-weight cottons, blends, and wool. For optional contrasting facings: soft, lightweight cotton (calico is traditional) or blends.
NOTE: There are not pattern pieces for the skirt, but a diagram and instructions - since the skirt is made only from rectangular fabric sections.
NOTE: If you are Navajo, please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org before purchase.