What A Tangled Web We Weave

I've been doing these Tom Mix inspired jackets for Jack and I for some time now.

We first saw the shell jacket in one of our very first visits to the Oklahoma History Centre which was quite opportune at the time as they had a whole section on famous Oklahomans.

Right in the door way was a Tom Mix exhibit with his shell jacket (c.1935 from what I can tell from the plaque) a saddle and pictures.

Having wandered through the rest of the exhibit hall it really struck me that this would make a pretty neat costume and I should have a crack at it!


So a few photos later it's been sitting on the back burner for about 3 years, fabric purchased probably about 2 years. A good test of the soutache skills led to some eye rolling, tantrum throwing days but eventually a result that I was reasonably happy with!

A split/riding skirt for me and a new pair of duds for Jack – in coordinating fabric – and then it was procrastinate, research and procrastinate some more over the shoulder boards.

More super eye rolling and research eventuated in finding xmarksthescot.com and their question/how-to regarding the making of shoulder boards. Yes thank you! A decent blog/internet response regarding 'how to make shoulder boards'!

So step 1 – skip the part about some program that helps you develop some template on how to make a shoulder board.

Looks about an inch apart………that will do she says! Let's do this!


Step 2 – out to the shed. Acquire a scrap piece of timber from Jack, yep that'll do, and look at pic again from Internet conversation. We can do this!


Step 3 – draw up (a presumed) 1″ grid on piece of timber as per picture. Got it! Sorted!


Step 4 – nails, find nails, yep, hot enough. Hammer nails in to create a 'loom' type piece for making shoulder board weave on.


Step 5 – acquire internet picture again. Yep, should be able to do this……..get so far and use drawing to complete required weaving pattern.


Step 6 – follow through with braid again as per instructions. Hmmmm yeah, nup, not liking this look.


I decided that the 3mm flat soutache braid is too narrow and flimsy looking, not the required look I'm going for so it was off to Jo-Ann's and Hobby Lobby. I settled on some coordinating braid that would probably work and set about to again make the shoulder boards.


I will add the guy was right when he said the easing and tightening of the weave took longer than the actual weaving itself. Eventually I got 4 even looking epaulettes I was happy with.

Next I needed matching military braids. How am I going to make these? Back to google I go, found a link and a YouTube video by Tieing It All Together. You ripper, here we go!

So two goes and I got it! Yee Haa!


Had also ordered bugle cord ends – usually used on bolo ties – and completed the cord end.


Hmmm not too bad.

Oh and I did a bit more research on Tom Mix, he was actually born in Pennsylvannia but did spend a lot of time in Oklahoma?? I know the saloon in Guthrie has a claim to fame with Tom Mix having tendered there and the Tom Mix Museum is in Dewey, so I guess Oklahoma can claim him as one of their own.

Have a good one!

Kat xo


Edwardian Hat Making

I was asked by a couple of ladies from the club if I would like to Attend an Edwardian Hat Making class at the Oklahoma History Centre. Well yeah! A day out, didn't have a shoot on and to learn something new? Of course!

So today was the day. Met up with 'Sagebrush Sadie' and 'I B Real Slow' at the History Centre and together with 5 other ladies we sat and listened to Barbara regale us with stories of her various persona's she plays whilst giving education classes, history enactments etc. A lovely lady.


This class was well worth it just for her stories, however did learn new tips for making Edwardian hats. Time period you might ask? 1901 to 1910.

You know, the big hats with feathers, flowers and as much as you can fit on it just about.


Well not being one to be totally unprepared I did some research into gowns and period clothing from this time as I usually sit well in the 1870'-1880's. I didn't know whether there would be choices I would have to make so I searched for ideas so I could make a hat and later make the clothing to match.

I was getting a little ahead of myself because all supplies were of the same colouring of which I am grateful for the tuition anyway. NOW however (and I know I could have worked it out for myself should I have wanted to engage in this time period) I am wanting to indulge one day in an Edwardian outfit and of course up to 1910 still fits with SASS ladies.

Now I have visions of loveliness in cream lace and fabrics of muted colours with trims and a gorgeous voluminous hat of epic proportions!!

So thank you to Sarah of the Oklahoma History centre, in charge of class schedules and the lovely Barbara and her other volunteer assistants for a great day.

Oh! Did I tell you we got to make a hat pin as well? And 'Velvet Glove', Barbara also knows the secret of 'flag wire'! I have to make more.


Thank you lovely ladies for inviting me to go with you today, thoroughly enjoyed it.


Kat xo

P.S. Lunch was provided with class and had the backdrop of the Oklahoma State Capitol with the Winnie Mae of course!


OK State Capitol and History Centre cont…

So it's been almost a week since we went to the State Capitol building and the History Centre and I haven't reported back on the History Centre!

Sooo…..after visiting the Tribal Flag Plaza we walked over to the History Centre to see what was within.

Outside both the Capitol and the History Centre are a series of flag poles, 14 in fact, with plaques that recognise each of the flags of Oklahoma before it became the flag it is today. The ones at the State Capitol weren't flying so we were happy to see them all flying when we got to the next stop.

There is also an area recognising the Oil Pioneers as well but we didn't really explore this part as it was a warm day and wanted to get inside in the air con!

At the entrance to the History Centre is a magnificent bronze statue of 2 indian warriors and I must confess I did not get the details of this statue.

We walked in passing the Museum Store and Governor Mary Fallin, first female governor and the 27th governor of the state of Oklahoma. Here was a politician experience like I've not often seen or heard of in Australia. The kids visiting the museum ran up to her straight away and politely asked questions and if they could have their photo taken with her. She listened to each one and then asked her secretary or PA guy to take a photo as well. She had been there for a fairly large function, there was no masses of press hanging around and bumping the kids out of the way and he took photos on his camera, the kids cameras, iPhones etc and the. She talked more with them and their carers before leaving. I was a little amazed to say the least.

Moving into the main foyer is the 'Winnie Mae' hanging up in all her glory. A Locheed Vega single wing aircraft of Wiley Post, achieving his first win in the National Air Race Derby from Los Angeles to Chicago in 1930.

Moving into the museum there is so much to see!! We aren't even finished it yet!

There is 'Oklahoma at the Movies', 'Steamboat Heroine 1838', 'African Americans', 'Military', 'Civil War', 'Oil and Gas', 'Land Run' (and lots more over time), 'Century Chest', 'We Are Who We Are American Indians in Oklahoma', 'Oklahomans and Space' and there is also an outdoor 'Red River Journey'.

In short this museum honours the many people from film and music industry, space, adventure, and native Americans in short, that came from Oklahoma.

So I'm not going to show you some pics as I've got new ideas for costume from a couple of the exhibits for both Jack and I. Sorry folks!

BUT some of the notable characters from Oklahoma? Tom Mix, James Garner, Vera Miles, Joan Crawford, Will Rogers, Alan Ladd, Tony Randall, Chuck Norris, Gary Busey, Brad Pitt, Ed Harris and of course Gene Autry to name but a few (and they are only the ones that I know about prior to visiting, there are so many more great people!!)

I have to feature this bit just for the shirt alone! The Miller Bros, 101 Ranch a large cattle ranch back before statehood in Indian Territory of Oklahoma near modern day Ponca City in 1893. It was the birthplace of the 101 Ranch Wild West Show not only featuring the Miller Bros but others like Lillian Smith, Tom Mix, an elderly Buffalo Bill and Pawnee Bill.

This stage coach was used as part of the Wild West Shows.

Here is the shirt in question, I feel I will be making a replica at some stage!! it's embroidered, it's fringed and blinged up!

I think my new word is 'dandified' a word or term used by Gene Autry to describe his clothing.

And of course where would we be without Rodgers and Hammerstein's, Oklahoma! Made in 1955.

Now quickly touching on the Steamboat Heroine – a steamboat, 136 feet long, paddled its way up the Red River laden with supplies for US Army stationed at Ft Towson in the Choctaw nation. It hit a submerged log and sank just before reaching its destination in 1838.

It is one of the oldest steamboats to be found, a single piston dual paddlewheel boat, the wreckage was uncovered in a 1999 flood and took around 5 years to recover and restore some of it and collect many personal artefacts from the wreck.

I checked out Kevin Durants size 17 basketball shoes and jersey – Go Thunder! Yes I am following the OK team. Why not?!

There is so so much to be seen in this Museum, I will add more pics on Facebook.

There is lots about Land Run which I love to read about, the Civil War which Jack loves too, way too much to be going on about here but it was another fantastic experience. There is much about outlaws and famous outlaw couples, prohibition as well.

The Century Chest was quite unique and interesting to see. It was a large copper chest that was placed in the floor of the First Lutheran Church in Oklahoma City on April 22, 1913. It was dug up and opened April 22, 2013.

Here is the chest.

The skyline 1913 and 2013. The earlier picture found in the Century chest along with letters, items, shoes, etc

Anyway, as I sit in my recliner writing and pouring through the some 418 photos taken this day, I really must get back to the sewing machine.

We will be returning to the History Centre on Wednesday to finish two other sections so I will cover the Native American area in that one.

Stay tuned!

Kat xo