Sunday, September 26, 2010

Revisiting projects

It's a gorgeous day outside (first full day of sunshine we've had in ages) and I really should be outside walking the dog, but damnit, I want to make tack!

Finished EJs bridle. I extended the grackle straps and the jowl straps. (The jowl strap is comicly long because I am not taking any chances!) I was also asked to make a new browband with a different gold feature (she didn't like my standard gold ink). I experimented a little and came up with using gold thread. The method's not perfected yet, as some loops are still a little loose; I think I'll need to use thicker leather in the future, so I can tighten the stitches without wrinkling the leather.

Then she asked for white padding. I made a face o.O and told her it would look silly. I even googled and couldn't find one image of a white-padded V browband, just to prove my point. She insisted and I caved. And... well, look at that! It's actually kind of nice. I am pretty thrilled with how it came out! Dan will probably not like it, so the old browband will still go along, just in case :P

Lisa also had some classic English jumping boots she ordered aaages ago. I redid these about three times: the first, because I used my glove/lining leather for the main boot section (this was before I had the offcuts from Amazing Lace); the second, because the strike pads were wonky, and the third time because the straps weren't long enough, and they weren't thick enough to hold the tension to keep the boot on.

The straps are obscenely long because I'm not taking any chances! Lisa can trim them once she's decided what the perfect length for her is. This was my first pair of making buckled boots, and I've learned that I need to find a new product to line them with (currently using trimmed polar fleece, but it's too thick for classics), and that boot straps in slip buckles need to be quite thick. There's also a trick to the placement of the buckle to make it easier to put the boot on. I haven't yet figured out that trick!

I think that is all of Lisa's order, aside from the racing saddle. Lisa leant me her racing saddle by Painted Daisy Studio (blue one, second from top) to copy and learn from. It's a very simple piece - just three sections, a very basic copy of a normal English saddle. Here's my first attempt (excuse the placeholder stirrup leathers):

I'm not too happy with it, especially because of the leather I used. (Again, this is before I had the offcuts). I imagine it would be fine for photo showing, but not for live showing, which is what she want. I don't know if I'll bother to finish it off (stirrups, girth etc) or just leave it as-is for posterity. I'm going to hang onto Lisa's saddle for a little while longer to refine my patterns and then I'll return it.

Dan has a friend who is a jockey, and graciously stole her racing skid to take pictures of for me. It looks very basic - just two layers instead of three, with a cut-out flap in the top layer for the stirrup irons. I don't currently have any leather on hand big enough to attempt this saddle, but I'm anxiously waiting to try it! I even have the racing stirrups waiting in my supplies box.

My project for the rest of today is to make an English bridle for Delta, and maybe finish off her silver show halter too. But, for now, it's lunch time!

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