The Making of a Book Cover: Finding Costumes

By CrossRiver editor Debra L. Butterfield

puzzle piece to book cover Road to Deer RunIn yesterday’s post The Making of a Book Cover: Prep Work I discussed the prep work that went into creating the covers for the Deer Run Saga. Today is the journey to finding costumes.

And what a crazy journey it turned out to be.

My first stop was Alexander’s Blind and Drapery Shop, run by Janet Alexander and her husband. Janet is also the costumer for Robidoux Resident Theatre here in St. Joseph. What better place to look for costumes than at the local community theatre?

Ah, but like I said yesterday, I live in the Midwest, and costumes for the 1777 era are hard to come by. Janet didn’t have what I needed; however, she took time out of her busy day to discuss my project, give me more suggestions, and we got to know one another. Gotta love the benefits of living in a small town.

Janet Alexander, costumer

Janet Alexander, costumer

Next I headed to the local university’s theatre department. Here I hoped to find both costumes and potential models. I struck out on both counts. Next I visited several of the local museums—St. Joseph is loaded with them! It was a hub of westward expansion. Here I got another “No, we don’t have those,” but got more names and phone numbers of people who might.

I continued my search. The weeks passed and I was still no closer to finding costumes or models. My optimism waned.

Finally, I had to admit defeat in finding a British army Revolutionary War uniform (at least one that fit within our non-existent budget). We gave up the idea of depicting Daniel Lowe on the cover, which did simplify things since now we would no longer need a male model.

We turned our focus to the lead female characters of the Deer Run Saga, sisters Mary and Sarah Thomsen. We still needed their costumes, and finding a woman’s costume for that era didn’t look any better than it had for the uniform.

The project marched toward a possible defeat by the British army, but retreating wasn’t an option. What was I going to do?

Come back tomorrow to find out how God brought a win out of what looked like certain defeat.

In the meantime, if you haven’t already signed up to receive our newsletter, do so today. Our November issue will include Mary Thomsen’s cornbread recipe, an excerpt from the book, and a discount code to purchase the book.

Related Articles:
The Making of a Book Cover: Prep Work

Leave a Reply