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!