Back in t he old days, we had to learn to sew. Everyone took one semester of sewing in high school, and it was a popular project in 4-H. Some people even made a lot of their own clothes (me)! Since then I’ve made quite a few things and worn out a couple of sewing machines in the process. I’ve made home decor projects, several wedding dresses, baby clothes, doll clothes, but I haven’t often sewn horse clothes. Well maybe not clothes, but accessories would be a better label for this project. Some horses just want to stand around looking pretty, you know?
It started when my friend and former employer decided to adopt three Freisian horses. They are beautiful animals and have done carriage pulling for a lot of their careers. They are semi-retired now and have the “life of Riley” (they have it pretty sweet, for those of you who don’t know Riley. Come to think of it, I don’t even know Riley, but I know what it means.) My friend also has a lot of horse art and in looking at one of her wall paintings she began imagining her own charges looking just like the horses in the picture. Clearly, some horse capes were needed. With tassels, please. I decided to take the job.
I have been to the stable and met my models and measured them. They are sweet animals and on the large side. I have been trying to imagine how to sew their capes ever since. It’s just a rectangle, you say, how can it be hard? I will tell you. There is a lot going on when a horse walks and this piece of cloth has to stay on and not scare the horse, or anyone for that matter. It has to be durable, comfortable, and in this case not terribly expensive. All these things add to the complexity of the project.
I initially spent time on the internet looking for suitable fabric because there aren’t a lot of fabric stores to visit. It wasn’t going well. Fabric is ridiculously expensive in our country, and as I said, these are big horses – lot of yardage. Then luck happened and the only fabric store left in my town went out of business and put most of their stuff on sale at 60% off. The fabric and tassels were there. The purchase was approved. I’m now sewing. This is probably one of my weirdest projects, just sayin’.