The Judge and the School Teacher

I had the pleasure of creating another beautiful gown for Annie D Vine prior to our leaving Oklahoma last December, unbeknownst to her, it was to be a surprise Christmas present.

Hawkshaw Fred had been in contact earlier with some details of a gown seen in the Court House Museum in Tombstone and we began discussing the Judge and School Ma’am concept.

They had seen a gorgeous bronze/copper and silver gown on display and so with what photo’s Fred had, I began pouring over the details to see how this could be interpreted for them.

Fred’s own idea was for him to portray a Judge of the time period and we discussed all things of robes, his research and ‘passementerie’ detailing.

The gown shown, belonged to a Miss Estell Maxim. She was the school ma’am n Tombstone circa.1884. From the photo’s it appears to be of a light silver grey silk with a bronze jacquard.

With similar fabrics sourced, I was ready to get to it. Not able to find an abstract design such as the diamond pattern from that era we settled on a bronze jacquard rose print that finished up quite nicely.

It features ruching to the back section, pleats/folds in an asymmetrical line to the overskirt. When part way through the construction of the skirt, I had been looking at the photos again only to realise that there appeared to be additional pleating underneath the very edge…….well of course I re-did it and added a pleated section!!!

The bodice carries the ruching in its details on cuffs, sleeve cap and front detail. The buttons were my challenge, photos only show so much and in keeping with what I could see it was determined that I should have fabric set behind a button. I managed to find a pearl and crystal button that I was happy with (after attempting, dimensional paints on others! she says rolling eyes) added a small amount of bronze paint antiqued and now I was satisfied.

Back to the Judge. Hawkshaw Fred had decided he would portray a Federal Judge, Robert Sloan. Sloan was an actual judge in Arizona and later became Governor of Arizona Territory (prior to it becoming a State).

His research took him to Judge’s robes and decided on a red lined robe, paying homage to John Jay, the first Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court. It was presumed the red was a throwback to robes worn by jurists in England.

His robe was worn over a grey suit and waistcoat, accessorized with a bowler hat, gold watch chain with a PH Dorrett watch and scarab fob. Both attached to a Sharpes four barreled Derringer carried in the waistcoat pocket. A great eye for detail, I love how Hawkshaw and Annie arrive at their costume stories with fact and great accoutrements from their antique collections!!

Along the theme of their presentation the Judge describes how Miss Maxim had requested his opinion on the content of a book recently published by a new author, Mark Twain. Miss Maxim was concerned about reading this book to her students as it contained such notions of playing hooky from school, not doing chores and fighting. Again to Annie’s credit, she was carrying an actual first edition of Huckleberry Finn!

School teachers at the time were not allowed to be married, smoke cigarettes, drink intoxicants of any kind and could definitely not be seen in any Saloon or illicit establishment for any reason. She would also be mindful that she should not be seen riding in a carriage nor accompanying any other man than her brother or father! But with a Judge? Surely no one would question her integrity!

And so we have, the Judge and the School Ma’am (or Schoolmarm). Hawkshaw Fred and Annie D’Vine won first place Best Dressed Couple at SASS World Championship, End of Trail 2019 and also at the Southeast Regional in Huntsville, Alabama.

Judge and School Ma’am
SASS World Championships, End of Trail 2019

I am so proud to have been a part of Hawkshaw’s vision of recreating this one. Congratulations to you both!

Hugs

Kat xo

Boo!

Did you miss me?? Lol!

Wow where does time go some days, oh I mean weeks!

Of course I’ve been busy, have been working, playing and trying to get sewing done.

Been visiting family, especially Mum and Dad xoxo

Jack and I have been house hunting! Now that right there is excitement plus!

We’ve been to a few club matches and suffice to say the Gunfighter practice is starting to come together. The thumbs and fingers are starting to get coordinated, so my new challenge is enjoyable to say the least.

I got a Cricut, so everyone’s getting pj’s 🤣🤣 it’s got so much capability, look out for more creativity from that as well. Look out Christmas!!!

For now it’s back to cowboy shirts, corsets, vests, gowns and more – even a kilt! 😉

Love y’all, take care of each other wherever you are.

Kat xo

Other Bits

In between the larger works these were a few of the others.

An Australian inspired shirt for Bat Masterson. The yoke representing the flag and then the Union Jack on the right hand cuff and southern cross on the left cuff.

An all red corset was the request from Sally Skull. So this is a light weight all red with an inside cheeky skull print.

Finally another skirt and a corset for Conplicated Lady. Some gorgeous red boot fabric that Omaha John had, teemed with black fabric and some brown fringe completed this cute little ensemble.

Next!!

Kat xo

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

 

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

 

Trippin’!

Yes folks it’s that time again where we get to go play on the other side of the world.

Only for a short stint now as this past crazy 6 months Jack and I have settled back into reality here.

Things have been quite on here but hectic nonetheless and will do some more blogs of costuming in the next day or so.

Today we head for Newcastle, bags packed and surprise surprise all under weight!!?? Yippee! More room to bring stuff back!

We fly out of Sydney tomorrow and head for the next adventure. Stay tuned!

Love and hugs to you all!

Kat xo