Today was all about the ugly middle stages of saddle making.
I have an eventing saddle on my desk that got a lot of work today, but it's the kind of work that (thankfully!) doesn't show in the final product. Like the part where the bottom of the flap looks like this:
Then that whole side is smothered with glue and sealed down to a skived piece of leather like so:
And after trimming around the edges, we end up with a nice smooth bottom to our saddle!
One of the challenges of this particular saddle is that it will ideally fit the Breyer SM rider doll. I've been wanting to try adjustable stirrups on my saddles for a long time now, and this seemed like a fitting opportunity!
Stirrups are usually the very last pieces of the saddle, so this felt a little out of order. But I started with a very secure stirrup bar (super glued and stitched down to hopefully be able to handle the wear and tear of adjusting stirrups)....
...and threaded the leathers and irons through using Jennifer Buxton's method. Tada! Easily adjustable stirrups to fit whatever length its new owner likes with the doll.
At this point the saddle's looking pretty strange, and the next step doesn't help much.
This is usually the point when I start to feel hopeless and consider scrapping the whole thing. Luckily...
...the addition of skirts really starts to make the whole thing look right. The two biggest changes a saddle goes through is when the skirts are added, and when the panels are added. Both steps really give the piece its shape!
So far (no panels yet), it seems to be fitting the doll passably- let's hope that keeps up!