Sunday, June 24, 2012

English saddle #2, part 2

I'm scowling. Lucky for you that you can't see it!

Following on from my last post re: my classic English saddle, I went ahead and added one long strip of piping around the edge of the knee rolls and upper flap, up into the pommel and down the other side. (I also took out some of the skiver bulk under the seat, and it fits better now.)

From the side, the saddle actually looks pretty good! If it weren't from the size I would quite happily photo show with this saddle. (In photo showing you wouldn't notice that the flaps are different sizes :P) I promise it looks better in real life - it's dark here and the flash washed out a lot of detail, and highlighted the unfinished edges.


The first photo is of it on a Mozart resin (very small classic), and the second photo on the loping QH mare (small classic).

Unfortunately, there's still a lot of bulk in the pommel area, despite the pieces I cut out. I only used 6mm lace to make the edge piping, and that wasn't wide enough to make the area look a little neater. And you can see the gaping big hole!

I went back to look at the KeriOkie pattern for the lower flap to see if there's anything I can modify.

The pommel area is just a flat piece of area - not very good for getting a good triangular shape underneath. It doesn't fit neatly into the pommel like on a real saddle.

[picture removed]

I dug out this saddle construction link (here's page 1) which I bookmarked some time ago. I was looking for a good shot of the lower flaps, to see what was different between KeriOkie's pattern. No cigar on that link, though there is lots of information on there if you haven't seen it before.

Next step is to look at the book 'To Handmake a Saddle' by J. H. L. Shields. I bought this last year on Fishpond (Australian version of Amazon), and promptly put it aside as I didn't think it would be that helpful. But now, I take a look through it and what do I find? Patterns for a real life saddle!

These pages show the two side of the lower panel, complete with point pockets (pockets that hold the points of the tree in place). (Sorry about the angle, the flash washed out the pages.

[picture removed]

Immediately I can see what I think will fix the panel problem. If you look at the cut out at the top of the real pattern, you can see it's at quite a steep angle, and the cut out is narrow near the cantle, but widens as it gets closer to the pommel. A quick look at the KeriOkie pattern shows that this cut out is relatively the same width the whole way along.

So I think that after cutting out the lower flap panel and slicing it in half, I will try arranging it to make the gullet wider at the pommel end, and lengthening that little bar at the front. That should make that section of the lower flap lift up to fit more neatly into the pommel space, and reduce the space in that area. Huzzah!

And for the curious, saddle #2 was reduced from the original pattern by 25% (75% of the original). The flaps are still miles too small, but the seat is a pretty good length for the classic QH mare. When making a pattern that implements the change above, I'll also try my hand at making the flaps bigger too. Wish me luck!

1 comment:

  1. To Handmake a Saddle is an excellent reference book! I made a saddle using that book as inspiration and it really helped push my tack along. I even went the whole hog on that one and did a stitched and stuffed panel, something I haven't done since as it took so long, but it did look very good and fit very well.