Posts Tagged ‘sewing’

Challenge Accepted

In 2014, Lauren Mauldin shared a list of tack items she had yet to see in miniature. One of those pieces was a scrim sheet, which I started working on right away. I think I posted this on Facebook but it never made it to the blog so…

I was using a mesh type of material, and hand stitching pre-made bias tape around the edge. Turns out the tape I had was a couple inches too short, and since I didn’t have any more or know how to make it at that time, I put the sheet away and forgot about it.

Jennifer’s recent post on that same list got me thinking about trying again.

The first step was to decide on what fabric to use. The mesh I was originally using would have worked, but I wanted to find something with a smaller texture in different colors. Two fabrics I was considering were Voile and Chiffon, so I made a trip to Joann’s to see them in person. I lucked out and found a sample of each in their remnant bins. (good thing too, as the cut counter was super busy)

They’re very similar, but the voile has a bit more stiffness to it.

I really love the texture though. I think this would work nicely for fly sheets.

The chiffon has a better drape to it, but is much more delicate.

I ended up choosing the chiffon to give a scrim sheet a try.

On this sheet, I eliminated my usual back seam, sewing down a piece of thin ribbon instead. On the hip darts, I tried a sewing trick I’ve seen in multiple sewing videos, which is to add a piece of tissue paper underneath the stitching.

I could easily tear this away once the stitching was done. I’m also using my walking foot here, to help pull the material through.

Here’s what I ended up with:

The bias went on easier than I thought it would, and after adding some piping, a tail cord and a buckle in the front, the scrim sheet was done.

Even though this is a really simple sheet, it took me a long time to finish. Normally I avoid using these types of fabrics because they are slippery and frustrating to work with. I’m sure that’s something that will get easier with time and practice though.

I do have problems with one side flaring out, which could be because of the bias and added piping. I’m not sure if I can avoid that unless I add some sort of belly band.

Here’s a quick shot with it over a saddle:

Challenge accepted completed!

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BreyerWest is next week! Slowly, but surely, I’ve been working on getting things done and making sure I have everything.
I’m nervous (about everything like usual) but also really excited. It’s been around 5 years since I’ve been to a live show, and I’ve only been to 3 total. I’m really looking forward to it. πŸ™‚

I’ve decided that I need to make new pony pouches for the small group of horses I’m bringing. I made a bunch before my last show but they’re kind of falling apart so NEW ONES IT IS! It’s a long term goal of mine to make pouches for ALL the horses anyway, (mostly to make moving them easier) but like many of my projects it hasn’t gotten anywhere. At least now I’m getting a start on it, and putting fabric I’ve had for years to use!

As I was working on them I figured I might as well document my process here, as a kind-of-but-not-really tutorial for the stubborn DIYers like me. πŸ˜‰

I’m not using a pattern or measurements, but cutting everything by eye. I’m also keeping these very basic. They just need to protect my models, not be perfect!

I start by cutting a piece of quilting cotton and a matching piece of white fleece.

This one is being made to fit my Bristol, so I’m using him to get an idea of size.

I want the bottom edge to completely cover him when folded up, with extra at the top for a flap. I’m also adding a little extra material for a seam allowance. It’s always better to have too much than not enough!

Later I discovered that a standard pillow case is the perfect size for a Traditional pouch. With some models it would have to be wider/narrower/etc, but it’s a good place to start if you need a pattern.

With the good sides of the fabric facing together, I sew along the entire rectangle, leaving an opening at one end. A good habit to get into is to backstitch a couple times every time you start and stop your stitching. This will lock your threads in place and prevent them from getting pulled out when you turn the pouch right side out.

Once that’s sewn, I trim off the excess, clip the corners…

… then turn it right side out.

I closed the opening with topstitching, but if you want something neater, you could give an invisible ladder stitch a try.

Using Bristol again, I fold the pouch over him and use pins to mark how high I want it to go:

My sewing machine has a really hard time sewing through all four of the layers, so I use a walking foot to help it. This one I purchased off of Sewing Parts Online for around $20, and it’s helped SO much.

The grooved metal bits under the foot are called feed dogs. They pull the fabric through as you’re sewing. The walking foot has an extra set of feed dogs, so the fabric is being pulled from both the top and bottom. It makes sewing through thick fabric easier, as well as thin or slippery fabrics that shift and pucker or get sucked into the machine and jammed. (I hate that)

Once the sides are both sewn up…

… I turn it right side out again, and it’s finished!

I’ve also been sewing velcro pieces to the top, to help keep it closed. (and get this velcro used up, haha)

I’ve been making a few every day, and have a nice stack already. They’re not perfect, they’re not fancy, but they’re loads better than my old ones.

Is it next week yet?!?

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Strap Improvements

It’s November, so you know what that means!

To be honest, I’ve been working on Christmas stuff off and on since early October. I need the time because Christmas sneaks up faster every single year. But I won’t decorate anything till after Thanksgiving… I do stick to that fairly well! πŸ˜…

Anyway, a lot of my Christmas themed projects are (surprise!) blankets. Annnd since that’s what I’ve got on the workbench right now, that’s what this post will be about. 😁 Here’s a preview of a couple I’ve been working on:

Somewhere between these two I realized that all this time, I have been attaching my leg straps wrong. Well, I don’t know if it’s actually wrong, but it is strange, and not something I’m seeing on real horse blankets now that I’m aware of it.

To overlook it for this long makes me feel pretty stupid. Have I mentioned I’ve never blanketed a real horse? Well, uh, yeah, now you know. BUT I also see this as an opportunity to learn and make improvements in my work.

The blanket on the left has its leg straps placed high on the hip. It was convenient to place them over the hip dart stitching so I never thought twice about it. Looking at it now, I think this could be very uncomfortable if it were on a real horse. That’s where a tail cord/strap would attach… not the legs. πŸ˜‘

So on the pink one, I lowered them to leg-strap level instead of tail-strap level.

Another change was making the straps out of one adjustable loop, which eliminates the free end and makes adjusting a lot easier. This is also something I see on real blankets but never applied to my own work.

I also did this with the belly straps, and I wonder why I didn’t do it sooner?

It gives a much neater appearance without the free end.

The new leg straps have a loop one one end and a hook on the other. You loop the strap around one of the rings to attach it. I liked this design because it avoids more hardware and secures the strap in a non-permanent way. It’s based off real straps, so it’s both more realistic and less likely to get lost when off the model.Β πŸ‘Β And if they don’t fit the horse at all because of weird leg positions off they go!

Doing a little more research on this made me realize that I’ve been crossing them wrong too. (but that seems like a debatable subject in the real horse world…) So here they are, properly looped around each other instead of crossed in an X like I’ve been doing for years.

Learning new things is good but I still feel kind of dumb and embarrassed. 😳 If you have one of my blankets and the straps start to annoy you, those rings at the hip can be removed and lowered as they’re not sewn in place. (or new, lower rings could be added instead)

Even though a lot of my blankets (especially lately) are more novelty/fun styled, it’s still important to me to design them in a way that’s realistic, durable and safe, even though they’re for plastic models. Since they’re not exactly show-able pieces like saddles/bridles/etc, I’m not sure how much that matters to anyone else. Let me know your thoughts!

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