Monday, February 14, 2011

Fixing things

I like fixing things.  

This is a valuable trait in an underfunded hobbyist.  I learned early on that otherwise unattainable items often become affordable when slightly damaged.  Most repair work isn't terribly difficult and there is something enormously satisfying about returning a broken piece to its former glory.  

Nowadays, most of the things I fix belong to someone else.  This is the case with Kellye's hand-embroidered Cary Nelson Arabian costume.
At first glance there is absolutely nothing wrong with this beautiful piece... 
However, a peek under the flaps reveals a broken billet strap.  
Because the other billets are also showing signs of wear, I decided to remove them in their entirety and start from scratch.
I made the new billets from 1/8" kangaroo lace.   
I secured the billets to the saddle flap with a dab of glue and then sewed them into place.
There wasn't really anything wrong with the old girth, but Kellye wanted something that would be a bit easier to use.
I made her a contour English style girth with elastic on both ends and roller tongue buckles.    
Nothing is ever truly finished until I've actually tried it on a model.  Happily, this passes muster!  
One last look at Kellye's beautiful costume before I box it up and send it back to her...
I've always been a big fan of Cary Nelson's work and it was a great pleasure to have this piece in my possession even if it was only here for a week or two!

4 comments:

  1. The only problem I have with Cary's work is the billets and cinches. I'm so glad to see how to repair...lol. I need to do this too. Thanks for posting photos!

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  2. Ideally, I'd have had two long billets that went through the middle of the saddle and stuck out on either side. However, to do that I would have had to take the entire saddle apart and I neither Kellye or I thought that was a good idea! This seemed like a pretty good compromise. It looks fine and feels a lot sturdier. Hopefully, Kellye will agree.

    :)

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  3. Thank you Jennifer! The style and color of the girth work well with the saddle and will save me a lot of angst when tacking up.Your pictures are always so lovely.

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  4. Sturdy is important :)

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