Bronc Rider

Western Scarves – a $12 whim at the Pony Express Museum and actual Home Station No.1 in Marysville, Kansas. (Wow! Talk about bring back memories when Jack and I discussed the last Pony Express places we had visited last year!)

 

Funnily enough we were just watching the 1953 film version of Pony Express whilst having this discussion.

The book became the inspiration for the B-Western ensemble for Comin' In Hot and Alamo Andy.

I spent many hours sorting designs, incorporating cactus, boots, horseshoes, rope and stars. The main feature would be the bucking bronc rider.

 

Back to the Western Scarves book. Cowboy's admittedly wore scarves in the practical sense. Keeping out cold, dust and other weather elements whilst riding the open range but it was later into the 1940's and 50's where gorgeous silk scarves were manufactured for rodeo and other events. Silk being the chosen fabric of the time as there was much produced for parachutes during the War.

They soon became a fun genre of rope twirling, bucking bronc cowboys with as many other western elements that could be crammed onto one 18″-36″ square piece of fabric!

Of course the rodeo and souvenir versions became bright and colourful, very different to the muted or 'turkey red' of range days.

In my wild imagination I could see brown, turquoise and red with all other colours made up in other elements. In reality, I found that to my organised eye some things just weren't to gel on this occasion and it became a slightly frustrating journey to the final product.

I found another interesting 1940's feature and injected that into the base of the skirt, with a vivid red detail trimmed in the same peacock piping as the rest of the garment. This would serve as a different trim than the usual fringe finish.

 

Finally the bronc, stars, rope and horseshoes all seemed to fit and with tiny 2mm (remind me when I say I am never buying that size again!!) Aqua and Amber coloured bling it is finished to a subtle vintage look.

 

I hope they like this matching ensemble, they did turn out nice and I hope Comin' In Hot has boots with similar colours to mine in the picture because they certainly picked up the rope detail in it and would be a great option to pair with it.

Kat xo

 

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Buffalo Gal Re-Visit

After the external embroiderer work on the large central back buffalo was done, it was time to set to adding bling and bring this beauty into sparkly existence.

 

Don't mind 'Manni', she is not exactly well endowed and doesn't often show gowns off at their best.

 

Suffice to say you can see now the gorgeous sparkle by added rhinestones that have completed this B-Western dress.

Kat xo

 

The Yellow Rose of Texas

Texas – red white and blue strong, patriotic to the core and proud.

The Yellow Rose of Texas – well I'd heard the song before, basically know the tune and had more than likely heard Pa's warbly whistling renditions of it as well.

Do you know the history of it though?

Where is all this leading to you might ask and indeed I though this would be a more straightforward reference to the spectacular B-Western outfit completed for Complicated Lady.

So I will give a quick insight into her outfit and then digress to the history lesson as such.

This one was to be a complete Texas themed outfit in red, white and blue to go with THE most gorgeous pair of boots.

I started it back in the US and the fabric that came was not to our liking, whilst the blue was a bit deeper than expected it actually will absolutely nail the colour in the boots but the red was giving me fits.

I'd ordered a true red and what came changed like a chameleon in many different light sources to the point that I had to disappoint and not have it finished for when she wanted to debut this beauty. It looked burgundy more than anything. Insert mild tantrums and tears from me here!!

So into the shipping container and wait on its impending arrival. In the meantime, I had managed to locally source the same sort of suiting fabric in the brightest red that made my heart jump for joy!!

 

I now couldn't wait for it and my machine to arrive so I could crack on with this project!

It turned out sensational! Finished with embroidered stars, Texas flag state, yellow rose and blue bonnet combination's, finished with white deer skin fringe and some serious bling! Happy days indeed!!

 

Now back to 'The Yellow Rose of Texas'. To start The Alamo – Medium tells me 'the term “yellow” was commonly used in the 1830's to refer to mulattos and “rose” was a popular euphemism for a description for a young woman' (mulatto meaning a person of mixed white and black ancestry)

Blackpast.org explains 'West's possible forced separation from her black lover and her placement in Santa Anna's camp. According to legend, inspired her lover to compose the song we know as “The Yellow Rose of Texas.” Publicity surrounding the hotel in San Antonio that was named after Emily Morgan asserts that West was a spy for Texas'

The song is a traditional American folk song that originated in the 1850's. The earliest version found in Christy's Plantation Melodies No.2, a song book published under authority of Edwin Pearce Christy in Philadelphia 1853.

The song has since been reworked and recorded by many an artist including Gene Autry, Roy Rogers, Elvis Presley and Willie Nelson to name but a few. It was chosen as one of the top 100 great Western songs of all time.

Mitch Millers version in 1955 became a gold record achieving #2 position in the UK and #1 position in Australia.

During the American Civil War it became popular with Confederate soldiers in the defeated Texas Brigade of the Battle of Nashville. Texans remained ever gallant even in defeat.

Who was Emily West? Emily D. West (c. 1815-1891) also known as Emily Morgan, is a folk heroine whose legendary activities during the Texas Revolution have come to be identified with the song “The Yellow Rose of Texas”. West was a free woman of color, of mixed race, or a “high yellow”…….in 1836, with other residents, she was kidnapped by Mexican cavalry. Forced to travel with the forces of General Santa Anna as they prepared to face the army led by Sam Houston, she was in the Mexican camp on April 21 when Houston's men attacked. The Texans won the Battle of San Jacinto in 18 minutes.

According to legend, Santa Anna was caught unprepared as he was engaged in 'other activities' with West when Houston struck. This was reportedly recorded in a journal in 1842 when a gentleman was told the story by Sam Houston during a steamer trip.

In any case, historians question the reliability of such a story but as history often predicts (bit like Chinese whispers), stories get embellished, legends are made and so it becomes. Why shouldn't we think the defeat occurred by those means?

Emily West has been immortalised in history regardless and a hotel, The Emily Morgan Hotel, in downtown San Antonio, is named in honor of the Texas heroine.

Maybe this outfit should be called 'Emily'?

Kat xo

 

Tatanka (Buffalo Gal)

Tatanka, the Lakota tribe word meaning 'big beast'. For the American Northern Plains people, Tatanka meant life. The bison/buffalo, ruled the plains, clothed and fed many American Indian tribes and were revered by all, especially in sacred ceremonies.

 

Herds of buffalo existed from Alaska all the way down through the Gulf of Mexico.

 

During the 1800's they were hunted and killed mostly for the fur trade almost totally decimating the herds to extinction. By the 1860's it is said that less than 1000 buffalo were left and it was men such as Buffalo Bill, Pawnee Bill, Charles Goodnight and another 6 men (I had not heard of) that realised what lay ahead and purchased them for their own ranches.

 

At various points in time, cattle were introduced into herds of buffalo upsetting the DNA of true bison. Today there are some that have been bred from true stock with very little to no common cattle variety in them.

Today, over 400,000 buffalo roam freely in reserves and managed properties such as Yellowstone National Park, parts of Wyoming and Texas. Still a far cry from the once 30million plus!

So how come Buffalo Gal?

Now my Texas women friends pride themselves on all things Texan, and are very patriotic. The costumes I've been pushing to get finished lately from a few Texas ladies are in the B-Western styling keeping me very busy at the embroidery machine.

Lil McGill's latest is a recreation of a 1940's B-Western dress featuring flowers, scrolls and bison.

With a few pictures at hand of the original and paint chips of colours to match boots, I set out to pay homage to this spectacular gown. The buffalo proved a little difficult with not being able to find a design of a running buffalo closer matched to that of the original.

 

We don't want a football version of a running buffalo now do we! Lol! So the choice of a rather majestic looking bison standing in grass seemed appropriate.

After altering designs and reconfiguring flower sequences, I eventually had 17 different sections to this embroidery work, with 12 needing to be mirrored for left or right.

Some careful planning and lining up got it looking pretty darn close to the original.

 

The only thing I couldn't see in the pictures we had was something on the sleeve side. It looked like same colours so I could only surmise nothing new was added outside the theme. I eventually came up with the inclusion of bison tracks through the same floral detail.

 

With the buffalo complete around the bottom edge the dress is ready for the final larger one on the back. This had to be outsourced as my frames aren't big enough. Threads all numbered and bagged, 'Buffalo Gal' is headed for her final stage of embroidery. Only thing left to do from there is bling!!

 

Can't wait to see it worn, boots and all!

Photos to come later when it is blinged up!!!

Kat xo

😉 see, still alive, head down bum up, love y'all!

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_bison

https://www.storyofthebison.com/faq.html

 

Rework Red

“If you’re happy with the red, nod your head…if you’re happy with the red, nod your head…if you thought the cherry was best, then you really needed a rest…if you’re now lovin’ this red, nod your head!” 🤣🤣

Twit! When redoing work turns out for the absolute best. Not only was I not happy with the red, and clearly now I’m one happy seamstress, but after waiting and waiting for it to arrive back here I found I wasn’t happy with the colour of the zip and the machine hemming was atrocious too!

So new zip in, everything pulled apart and new piping done, everything back together, waistband back on, vest back together, hand stitching to hem, embroidery on right red done again, buttery soft deer skin leather cut (there goes a full day) and now the pièce de résistance – bling added to punched holes…ahhh onto the next.

You don’t get to see the whole lot until it’s wearer has it on! 😉

Kat xo