Marty Indian School Sewing Project

Last year we started helping Marty Indian School in Marty, SD with school supplies and stocking their Feather Store with clothing, toiletries, toys and other things students can purchase with feathers they earn for good behavior and attendance.  Several of our members participated in a room parent project which will continue this year. Those of you just joining us please read our July and August blogs from last year to learn more about the school.

This year we’ve been asked for our help with starting a sewing program for girls, and boys if they’re interested.  Feather Store manager and teaching assistant, Paulita Drapeau, who is also a very talented seamstress and crafter, would like to teach a sewing class for  students this school year.  Those of us that learned to sew in Home Ec class back in the day can remember how exciting it was to finish our first skirt or pair of shorts.  We also learned how to use an iron and mend our clothes and for some of us it was the beginning of our love affair with sewing and creating.   We want to help Paulita give the students at Marty the same opportunity we had to learn a new skill and maybe they’ll develop their own love for sewing.  Students now have the advantage of computers with YouTube videos, Pinterest, sewing blogs, and many other craft sites that provide an endless stream of free patterns and ideas to stimulate their creativity, the sky’s the limit!

Paulita is expecting 30 students to participate and their first project will be learning to make a ribbon skirt.  Women and girls wear these skirts to Pow Wow’s during the summer months although they may be worn any time of the year. While girls will most likely make up the majority of the class, boys are welcome to join in and make a skirt for their sister etc  They will need sewing machines, irons, fabric, thread, notions and ribbon.  We may apply to the Sewing Machine Project to see if they can help but the form has lots of questions that need answering before they would consider us. In the meantime Janet S. is visiting the Rez this summer and will be delivering 3 classic sewing machines to the school.  Janet is a collector of vintage machines and picks up most of them at garage sales and resale shops for less than $20.  They are easy to operate and maintain, very reliable and can take the abuse new students may give them.  I think we might get some from Nancy M too.  If you would like to donate a basic non-computerized machine please contact Janet here.  Thank you Janet for your donation of 3 of these machines.


Sewing Project Needs

  • Sewing machines – in good working order….non-computerized.  Please include bobbins if a special size is required.
  • Ribbon – Washable satin ribbon 7/8″, 1″, 1.5″  all colors and small prints,  minimum usable length is 1 yard
  • Fabric – Dress/quilting weight cotton or blend in solids or small prints, 2-3 yards per skirt depending on size.
  • Irons, etc. – Steam irons in good working condition, ironing boards with covers
  • Scissors – Dressmaker shears 7-8″, small scissors or thread snips.
  • Elastic – Non-roll 1″
  • Notions – Heat n Bond Lite, sewing machine needles, hand sewing needles, pins, pin cushions, good quality thread, seam gauges, tape measures, seam rippers, wash out chalk pencils, bobbins class 15 and 66, bobbin boxes, tins or baskets with lids for students to store supplies.

Please send your donations to Marty Indian School (scroll down) with a note stating it’s for the ribbon skirt project.   Please add your donations to our spreadsheet.

We’re really excited about this program as it’s taken quite a while to get groups on the Rez working together on a sewing project and we’re so happy kids are still interested in learning to sew.  We’ll keep you updated on their progress and hopefully they’ll share pictures of their skirts with us.

Thanks as always from Sew For Kids.


2 thoughts on “Marty Indian School Sewing Project

  1. Would love a picture of a ribbon skirt so I would have a better idea of what I have that might be useful to the project. Just to get a general idea.

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