Saturday, October 22, 2016

Number style English pad tutorial

Earlier this year, I bought a breed show style, number pad from Rachel Fail's Etsy shop. It wasn't a perfect fit for either one of my personal saddles, but that was okay. My main purchasing motivation was to get the pad in hand and reverse engineer the construction process. I didn't succeed in doing that, largely because I didn't have to. Rachel is as generous as she is talented and is always willing to share her secrets. This wonderful tutorial was first published on her blog last month. Rachel has kindly allowed me to post it here as well. Thank you so much, Rachel!

English Saddle Pad Tutorial - Part Two

by Rachel Fail

This tutorial will cover my method for making breed style English saddle pads.  Here is one pictured under a beautiful older BCS saddle:
To begin, you will need the following:

  • Pattern
  • White Felt (will be easier to sew symmetrically than two layers of fleece)
  • White Fleece
  • Sharp Detail Scissors (I use my fine leather scissors, available in my Etsy store)
  • Rotary Cutter (optional)
  • White Thread & Needle or Sewing Machine
  • Air Erasable Fabric Pen

First off, trace your pattern onto your piece of FELT.
Place your felt on top of the fleece, with the good side of the fleece against the felt.
Sew the two pieces together completely.
Cut along the outside edge of the stitching, leaving 1/8" seam allowance.
Then cut a small slit down the center, about 1/2" shy of each edge with the rotary cutter (or carefully use scissors).
Turn the pad inside out, from that slit. 
Push the seams out and fold flat with felt side out:
Then sew a slight curve into the pad, and trim away the excess:
Pull at the underside of the seam a bit to shape the pad.
You can add ribbon for optional billet straps:
***Postscript from Jennifer***

When I make this style of pad, I finish by sewing small rectangles of clear, sturdy plastic to the back corners of the pad, creating "number pockets."  I then print out a pair of numbers, trim to size and slide them into the pockets. 
BCS saddle shown here is of a similar vintage to the BCS saddle in the top picture!
You won't see these pads at a USEF Hunter Show, but they are very popular on the stock breed circuits.
And.. now it's back to making saddle pads. Thanks for the instruction and inspiration, Rachel. With your help, I might someday create pads that are worthy of my saddles.

No comments:

Post a Comment