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!


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

  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.


  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.

  4. Sturdy is important :)