Monday, February 17, 2014

This Horse Is Stylin'

This is where a trusty old sewing machine, of good quality, could really have come in handy....

Given the fact that the arctic has slipped halfway down (or is it up?) the globe and landed in New England, the horses have been banketed for months.  And months.

I've been surprised that they haven't ripped the blankets off of each other because pulling off halters and ripping blankets are favorite pastimes of horses, especially a few of these that I've known since I've been riding.

They must really be cold and appreciate how important the blankets are.

Yesterday, I arrived for a lesson to find Jackson's blanket all askew.  The two straps that go under the belly, from one side to the other, were undone and hanging.  And it looked like he had stepped on one of them, so it had torn.

A lot.  And I knew it would end up tearing even more if we left it.  I told r-ster I'd come by today and fix it because a new one can cost $100 or more, depending on how thick it is and what the purpose is.

I wasn't going to ride, so I assembled some tools and got dressed and went over around 11am.

What, you don't use your finest Gutterman thread for horse blankets?  I debated going to Joann fabrics for a heavy duty needle and thread, but I found a good needle at my mother's and didn't want to drive up to get thread.  I figured doubling the Gutterman and going over my stitches would be good enough.

I brought glue thinking I would just glue the new piece of fabric onto the old one to hold it in place while I sewed, and since it's Elmer's it would wash out.  I learned about the Elmer's glue trick from the seamstress over at callajaire.  You really need to go check her out.  She has some neat tutorials and great ways to approach tricky things.

And she's my sister.

But make sure you come back and see what filthy thing I created after you look at all the cool stuff she makes.

So, I masterminded a plan for one of the girls hanging around the barn to go get Jackson because I forgot to wear boots.  Since his job is to stroll completely to the other side of the 100 acre woods when I get there, I knew my slide on shoes would be no match for the 10 inches of snow that would stand between us.

While she was getting him, I looked at the old blanket that r-ster said I could cut.  There are some serious tears in it, but we're harvesting things off of it, so she hasn't thrown it out.  I thought I'd just use part of it to repair the hole.

But then I realized that the strap on the old one was in the same position as the strap his current one, so I figured I'd cut out a box around the strap on the old one and just completely cover the tear.

6 hours later, I finished.  I am not kidding. 6 effing hours struggling with this thing.  But, once I started the repair, there was no going back. 
The perfectionist in me fought with the realist in me all day.  The perfectionist wanted perfect Xs all the way around.  The realist said it's just a horse blanket, who cares???  And 'round and 'round we went.

You can see these great gridlines that worked really well to line everything up on the top part of the square.  It didn't work so well along the sides because of the way I cut the blue one away.  It also added to my craziness because I really, really wanted everything to line up.

Don't talk to me about the big green patch on the navy blue blanket.  If only each strap had the same green block so it would be even....

The fabric is not canvas but like a lightweight type of canvas that you'd make a fall jacket out of.  It wasn't bad to get the needle through, but with the two layers of blankets (old piece on current blanket), it made it tough.  Plus, I didn't serge the edge of the green piece, so I wanted to fold it under so it couldn't fray.

That was where I frayed by the end of it all.  It made for too many layers, especially at the corners.   If I hadn't had the thimble, I'd be at the ER, having my fingers sewn up because the needle would surely have poked through them all.

Have you ever used a thimble?  Very. Awkward. Sewing.

Mind you, I also went over each X 3 times to be sure it won't easily come undone.

The cut out part on the inside has me a little nervous.  I don't want him to be able to get his foot in there and get caught or rip it even further.  There might be another tailoring job on the inside that needs to be done but that was the easiest part because it's only one layer of blanket.  I might trim it closer.

This would have been a breeze with my sewing machine.  I thought about it for a minute but I could hear my mother screaming "NOT YOUR GOOD BERNINA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" all the way from Florida.

As I was working on it, I kept thinking what an easy repair it would be with the machine.  It was located at the bottom, so the bulk wouldn't have been bad.  It's not awful material for my machine to handle.  And it might have taken me an hour, tops, to finish the entire project.

The blanket was pretty filthy and I didn't realize how much grime was on the inside until I was done and my hands were just coated with horse sweat, oil and dirt.  It would have done a number on my machine, I think.

And I can also hear myself screaming "NOT MY GOOD BERNINA!!!!!"

There are often blankets and saddle pads that need to be repaired at the barn, so a trusty old machine would really be useful.  I might have to look into finding one on Craig's list or somewhere so that I never consider using my GOOD BERNINA again!

Help my sister's latest creation win at Project Run and Play with your vote here!  Hers is #27 and you click on the little heart to give your vote.

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  1. Wow, I can't believe it took six hours!! Holy cow!

  2. Patching is the worst. Even patching jeans by hand would be a nightmare. Those x's look nice though. And don't think I breezed past the Winnie the Pooh reference.


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