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Turn of the Century Seamstress (Western Costumes – Part 1)

In a 3-part series, CLN is sharing the Bridge Over Time & Wyoming Classics story which provides a glimpse into a authentic woman seamstress. Read Part 1 here!

Elaine-Bridge-Turn-of-the-Century-Seamstress---Part-I-(FI)

Part I (Country and Western Costumes)

In a three part series, Cowboy Lifestyle Network is sharing the Bridge Over Time & Wyoming Classics story, which provides a glimpse into a real authentic woman seamstress.

Turn-of-the-Century-Seamstress---Part-I-(Frontier-Collage)

Turn-of-the-Century-Seamstress—Part-I-(Frontier-Collage)

In February 2012, the producers for the NBC pilot “Frontier” ordered a significant amount of 19th Century clothing from a Montana seamstress Elaine Bridge.

The Corvallis resident sewed four buckskin coats, seven buckskin pants, belts, shirts and 16 aprons as well as other miscellaneous items for the producers to fill their country and western costumes.

“There are unwritten chapters in the history of every new settlement, which no pen will ever write, but could they be written, they would tell of many heroines as well as heroes, women as brave and deserving of credit as those who landed from the Mayflower. They have had much to do in “winning the west,” and a higher civilization has always followed closely in the footsteps of the woman pioneer.”    -Lucia Darling Park (1839-1905)

At a picnic table outside Fort Missoula in the spring sunshine Elaine shared her passion for sewing country and western costumes.

Three hours later Cowboy Lifestyle Network discovered Elaine’s story and style are so similar to pioneer diaries.

The book, “More Than Petticoats” about remarkable Montana Women by Gayle C. Shirley could also contain Elaine’s story and pioneer spirit.

Twenty years after Elaine started her business Wyoming Classics a piece of her hand sewn clothing ended up in the NBC property department in California.

Elaine Bridge

Elaine Bridge displaying her country and western costumes. Depending on her Turn of the Century attire, she can twist it to synchronize with a Pioneer Woman or portray her Cowboy Action Shooter persona Amazin’ Grace Spencer.

Each item she creates includes a custom label hand sewn into the garment so her work is identifiable.

Elaine has beautiful thick waist length brown hair.  Depending on her Turn of the Century attire she can twist it to synchronize with a Pioneer Woman or portray her Cowboy Action Shooter persona Amazin’ Grace Spencer.

Amazin’ Grace Spencer is modeled after a real person from the 1800s. Grace Spencer was the widow of Dr. Spencer from Greybull, Wyoming.  Grace built a drug store in Greybull after her husband’s death, Elaine explains.

Cowboy Action Shooter personas can be fiction or nonfiction characters in competition.  “I wanted to be a real person,”  Elaine continued,  “Amazin’ Grace is a reflection of my faith.”

Interact right here at Cowboy Lifestyle Network below and tell us who your favorite country or western costume character is from the past. Or start the conversation via social media!
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Turn-of-the-Century-Seamstress---Part-I--(NEW-FI)

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Gretchen Kirchmann is a veteran journalist covering a variety of events across the country each year. She founded Kirchmann Media Group in 2009 and works as a marketing consultant with a forte for the western lifestyle industry, festivals, fairs and rodeo world. Her work includes 15 national communication awards plus coverage of Nashville's CMT Awards and CMA Fanfest. A favorite assignment was attending the all cast reunion of the Dukes of Hazard in 2006 and 2007 at Dukesfest. In December you will find her covering the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo and Miss Rodeo America pageant live from Las Vegas. Her favorite color is orange, favorite song "Rocky Top" and she loves to dance especially clogging.

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