Tack Tip: Blanket Fitting

One of the questions I often get about blankets is how to fit them to the model. I touched on this on a recent Instagram post, but since social media posts get buried and lost quickly I wanted to expand on it here.

My blanket pattern is simple. It’s basically a rectangle with a rounded V (like an acorn) cut from one end. Pattern making is all about trial and error, and this one, as simple as it is, has gone through several revisions over the years to get it how I like it. I never get a pattern right on the first try.

To get that fitted look, I first add a seam at the back. For most of my blankets it looks like this:

This seam follows the curve of the horse’s back. Every model is different, so this line is adjusted as needed. Sometimes it curves higher or lower towards the end, or doesn’t curve much at all. If it’s not looking right on the horse, I’ll try again. Remember, stitches can be taken out!

When you flip it right side out, this is how it should look:

Once I’m happy with the topline, I’ll trim off the excess fabric and go over the raw edge with a zig zag stitch, to help reduce fraying.

The next thing I’ll do is add two darts at the hips. One way to do this is to pinch a small amount of fabric at the hip, fold it over and pin in place.

I typically have to pin and re-pin these several times before I’m happy. Like I said, every model is different so the position and size of these darts varies.
Once I’m happy with the placement, I’ll stitch this fold down, right where the pin is in this photo. Usually this fold is covered up by ribbon, depending on what look I’m going for.

Here’s another way to do it. On this blanket, I want the darts on the inside, so I flipped the blanket and pinched and pinned them in place.

Instead of folding them over, I stitched along the bottom edge, as shown.

Here’s how it looks when right side out. I’m not going to cover the dart seams with ribbon on this blanket, so I wanted them to be less obvious.

Once this is done, I’ll continue to fit the blanket by trimming the front, rounding the corners and trimming the neckline as needed. On some models, I’ll cut the neckline back by the withers to fit around sculpted manes, like I did for this one:

When I’m happy with the shape and fit of the blanket, I’ll move on to adding straps and/or bias binding. Here is how the blanket is looking today. The real blanket I’m inspired by has darts by the neck. I added them to mine and it brought the front up more snugly around the chest.

That’s it, really! A lot of this is just eyeballing to see what looks best on the model. But I hope this has helped someone out there! šŸ˜Š

5 thoughts on “Tack Tip: Blanket Fitting

  1. That is beautifully applied bias tape (in addition to a lovely blanket.) When shortcuts are taken with bias tape, it doesn’t look nearly as nice as it does when several steps are taken to apply it. It is worth the extra time to do it right and this blanket is an excellent example of how it looks when that extra time is taken. So, so lovely!! (And thanks for the tips on fitting!)

  2. Is both the underneath and top fabric cotton fabric? Sorry for the dumb question just wondering šŸ˜‚

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