Posts Tagged ‘tips’

I have another tutorial for you all today, this time on braided cotton reins.

I’m basing my reins off of these by Tough-1:

Finished set:

They’re pretty simple to make. This is the same method I used to create reins to go with a Barcoo bridle. In that case, I created two braids with buckles on each end and in the center:

This is also how I used to put together Arabian halters and breastcollars:

For materials, you will need embroidery floss, 1/8″ ribbon (I buy my ribbon from Hairbow Center) and hooks for the ends. These came from Rio Rondo but you could also shape some out of wire.

You will also need Fray Check, a needle, a lighter (this is optional) and glue. My go-to glue for ribbon or fabric is Fabri-Tac.

The reins I’m basing these on measure 7 feet long. In 1:9 scale, this measures down to 9.333… inches, so to make things easier, you could keep it around 9-10 inches.

I start by cutting 6 strands of embroidery floss measured at 16 inches long. For longer reins, you’re going to want to increase this length. It’s always better to have too much than not enough!

Split the strands in two groups of three, then braid them. I’m using a basic three strand braid here.

Next, it’s time to sew them together. I use a separated strand of embroidery floss cut three times the length of the finished braid. This will blend much better than trying to find a thread color to match.

Knot one end, then bring your needle up through the center of one of the braids.

Bring it straight through the second braid,

Then back down through both of them.

Continue with this zig-zag or serpentine pattern throughout the entire braid. You want the thread to be snug, but not so tight that it pulls the braid out of shape.

To finish the sewing, bring your needle up through the center, wrap the thread around it 2-3 times, hold it tight, then pull the needle through.

Completed braid!

Next, measure how long you want your reins to be, and cover this area in a generous amount of Fray Check. Cover both sides, then let dry completely.

I decided to cut mine at 10 1/2 inches.

One dry, cut through the braid and wrap the ends in ribbon.

For the hooks, I threaded one of the etched pieces on a tiny piece of ribbon, then sealed one end with a lighter. You can always use Fray Check to seal it instead.

I glued this down to be flush with the wrapped braid, then folded it over and trimmed down the other side.

With that, the reins are complete!

These can be made in any color you’d like, so have fun with them!

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I wanted to show you guys how I made these scalloped leather conchos/rosettes for my saddle:

I tried to make these before with my last saddle, but they didn’t turn out quite like I’d hoped.

This time I tried a different approach, and am much happier with the results!

I started by sticking my concho onto a piece of skived tooling leather. I used a couple drops of tacky glue to hold it in place. I didn’t want it to be permanent in case I needed to start over:

I cut out several triangles, giving it a star burst type of shape:

Then gradually cut each one down, creating a gear shape:

When those were at the length I wanted them, I cut off more tiny triangles, giving the appearance of rounded or scalloped edges:

Once I was happy with how it looked, I stuck a straight pin through the center, pushed it in an eraser and gave it a coat of gum tragacanth. Later I added a coat of sealer, then the tinest amount of Edge Kote along the edges.

This was much, much easier than my attempt at trying to cut the shape out freehand, or from a drawing. I hope someone out there may find this helpful!

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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. 🙂

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. 😉

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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