The tree and skirt. And stirrups.
At this point, the completed flap gets put aside for a while and I get the dangerous soda can out of its corner. My tree pattern is basically a one-size-fits-(almost)-all deal, and almost always gets adjusted before it actually goes on the saddle.
Once I have the shape and size I'm looking for, I flatten the tree back out on the rough side of my leather. To make the "seat" slash tree cover, I just trace a little ways off the edges of the tree to make a kind of cut-off teardrop shape. Then skive it within an inch of its life. The thinner this piece is, the better the seat (especially cantle area) will look.
We then bend the tree back into shape and spring out the super glue (that was on the supplies list, right? Right?) and smear a tiny, tiny bit onto the top. This is where the super thin light leather likes to just absorb the glue and get dark splotches- this is avoided by only using as much glue as it takes to make the leather stick. Which isn't very much.
Then, kind of like with the knee rolls, we wrap the edges of the leather around to the back of the tree.
|Leather by the pommel needs a snip!|
At this point, we go back to our flap and fold it in half so the edges match up. Then a tiny amount of super glue is dabbed right along the fold, where the tree is then placed. This helps make sure it's going on straight, not crooked. It will help the flaps to remain the same size.
|It might actually be a saddle!|
I then turn to my skirt pattern, trace two opposite pieces, cut them out and skive. The skirt is another piece that really needs to be paper thin, to reduce bulk around the twist area.
Some more Gum is employed to help tame the fuzzies around the edges there, as well as some snipping and re-shaping before it's glued in place on the saddle.
Rinse and repeat with the other skirt, making sure they're similar in size and shape.
Next are the stirrups, which are probably the easiest part of the whole saddle. It's just lace (getting its own post... in the future...) threaded through stirrups and glued into place under the skirt.
|They were trimmed down a bit after this pic. Too long!|
Two holes are poked in the flap on either side of this third peice, through which I thread a tiny piece of leather that acts as keeper.
And the top side of the saddle is just about finished! Next I'll go over the underside. Stay tuned!