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!





Seeing Double

Why yes, yes I am!

Matching B-Western shirts for Greenhill Bart and Bashful Kate.

Gingham fabric was often used in the 1930's and 1940's in dresses and shirts, from country music stars gracing the stage of the Grand Ole Opry and later in movies by John Wayne and of course Dorothy wore a dress of it in The Wizard of Oz.

It has actually been around for centuries having been imported into Europe in the 17th century, as a striped fabric. Later during the 18th century in Manchester, England it began being milled and woven as check, usually in blue and white.


Happy trails!

Kat xo


Sew On, and Sew On

Lol, I crack myself up when I think of a funny play on words! At least I'm amusing someone I guess.

Sew, I mean, so! What's been happening in the world of Kat and the sewing machine.

Well, I got a $70 you beaut machine when I got back here to take the strain off the embroidery machine and it goes like the clappers! Even had Jack doing some straight stitching for me at one stage.

So before Land Run hit, yes cast your mind back to beginning of April, I did a new set of frillies and petticoat for my friend Belle Vaquera, another smart looking guerilla/Jesse James shirt in vivid red for Gunkiller, a sweet little aqua and silver grey corset for Annie's Shadow, a top for Missouri Mae, throw one in for me and a couple of repair jobs.

Photos?! Yeah someone forgot to get one of Gunkillers shirt! (Rolls eyes in disbelief.)


Then it was finish Jack's sack suit and finish our Tom Mix inspired outfits. Well mostly, I'm still working on the buttons for the Tom Mix jackets and still pondering the epaulet (did I even spell that right? You know the shoulder board thingy's?) and cord. Buttons are car projects though, so all in good time.


THEN Jack gets another outfit. One lucky man at the moment. His 'Thomas Durant' (hee hee I have a thing about voice overs, this time I hear that being said like 'the Swede' says it in the show. Have to have watched it to get it though) I think it is pretty slick and looks the part! Only to find similar hat now and if you have paid attention through Season 4 Ep 1 then he needs a map of Wyoming to simulate the land sale to complete his prop's for a costume contest.


Since then it's been hem cowboy pants, make cowboy pants and seems to be “have you got it in black?” season with everyone wanting black frillies, black skirts and black shirts.


Have had a small injection of colour with the Judge and Justice Lily Kate's gorgeous brocades though and fabulous welt pockets I did make! Happy dance!


NEXT!! Gorgeous blues, deep green's, splashes of gold, off whites, hopefully some silver in my direction, day of the dead, and a bit of gingham to the mix.

Oh and Greasy Creek Slim will be happy to hear that Belle Vaquera and I have finally found fabrics I am happy with for her 'Eva' outfit (another Hell On Wheels inspired ensemble that I have been dieing to make!)

Better get cracking!

Kat xo



They say 'blue and green should never be seen, unless a colour in between' but that fashion saying is way behind in the colour stakes these days.

Humour me here as I describe the scenario for the making of this shirt (and certainly no offence meant whatsoever!!)……'Grace can you make me a poofy shirt?'….looking a little startled and having to think quick, my come back was 'do you mean a B-Western shirt?'…..'Yeah, some sort of fancy, poofy shirt!' – this coming from a shooter with a wicked sense of humour and wants to shoot B-Western black powder or something along those lines.

I had to laugh and take the order. Sure, no worries, coming right up. So in the book he went, his turn came round and here's what we have.


Not too extravagant on embroidery detail, different colours which I really do quite like – blue and green, together – and blinged out.


Hope it works for you CTM and that you shine out from the crowd when you wear it!

Onto the next!

Kat xo

(Should have pressed it properly before taking pics!)


Sewing F……..P…’s

Faux Pas! Faux Pas people, what were you thinking? I know, most of you know me very well and that was NOT what I was thinking at all but just trying to be polite. Stuff it I'm really NOT a lady either! Haa haa haa. Well maybe sometimes.

So yesterday I set out making Jack two new shirts, fabric he picked out and we bought in LA garment district last year. (I know bit slow but finally getting round to it) well the first mistake was putting the placket on the wrong side for a mans shirt.

Yes there is a difference in case you didn't know. Men's buttons left over right, women's right over left. Or as our friend 'Aspen Filly' described it “women are always right and men are just left overs”. Too funny. Fixed that one and carried on.

Anyway in the past I have cut out Jacks shirts and had to cut an inch off in the side seams so I did the usual. Now my Pa always taught me with woodwork to measure twice cut once, so why, when Jack's been grazing in the best paddock for the past couple of months did I not remeasure?

Stupid girl, be more smart. So here I sit after tossing them aside and determined to change the over locking/serger thread back to white will grit my teeth and unpick yet again and fix this!

Sighhhh and I only had collar and button holes to go.

Well – suck it up Princess and get on with it!

Thanks for listening, or laughing, or shaking your head. Have a great day!

Kat xo