Category Archives: Project 1

Finally a Photo!

I was just looking around my blog and realized while I may have shared that I was having a jacket made for me, I never put the photos up of the final piece. I sent the fabric I originally bought, for my DIY jacket, to the lady I’ve bought many shirts from in the past, Lori’s Little Stitches. The jacket took only a few days to make, cost little, and looks great!

I may add a few crystals and have thought about putting darts in for a more fitted look but I love it and can’t wait to show in it!

Customize a Hobby Horse Jacket

Hobby Horse has been offering fairly affordable, trendy show clothes for years. They are a great option but can sometimes seem a bit common and, for really um…”thrifty” people like me, still too costly for what you get. Not to mention I almost always have trouble fitting properly into their clothes. I still love this company though and here’s why; they have great sales. Each year, Hobby Horse offers their Broken Heart Sale. It offers up the season’s clothes at great prices in order to make room for next year’s inventory. In my undying quest to find a cheaper way to get a custom look, I’ve turned back to Hobby Horse. After my failed attempt at  making a simple black jacket from scratch, I came across the SwitchIt Jacket. It’s a simple  jacket with some sparkle and a nice cut. The best part, it’s on sale for $59.00 and comes in two base color options. You can purchase the cuffs and collars, choose to make your own, or leave it just as it is. Perfect! 

I love it because it saves me a lot of time and effort on trying to make the black base for a custom jacket plus the seams allow for some custom tailoring. One other great thing, with as simple as the jacket is, it would be easy to buy or make appliques to add and give it a more custom look. I plan on adding simple ultrasuede circles to the bottom edge of mine, an idea I got from a jacket I saw at QH Congress.

New Suitability Pattern

Hurray! Finally, Suitability has created a new show shirt/jacket pattern designed specifically for stretch materials. The new pattern also takes into account the new styles and silhouettes that are trendy right now. I am tempted to purchase the pattern and not even bother with one I already have, which is intended for non-stretch materials. As promised, I am posting a picture of my inspiration jacket. It’s made by Carmel Designs with a high-scoop neck and seaming for a tailored look. I have a feeling my jacket will turn out a bit more simple in construct and of course I’ll be using the pretty fabric I bought!

Pattern Luck and Fabric Frustration

Last night, I rummaged through a mess of things in the spare room. Next to my seldom used sewing a machine, a birthday gift from my dad, is a giant box of stuff. Stuff, as in pieces of patterns, remnants of fabrics, and failed sewing attempts but in this box of stuff there was a fabulous find. You see, making my own show clothes is not a new idea for me, I’ve always wanted to give it a shot but have always feared my lack of sewing knowledge. I did make my own ultra suede chaps one year. They turned out relatively wearable. Anyway, my fabulous find was my unused show shirt pattern from Suitability. This is going to save me the approximate $20.00 it would have cost to buy the pattern. I was to say the least ecstatic that I found the pattern.

Unfortunately, my joy was short-lived. This morning when I logged into eBay prepared to buy the fabric I had finally settled on, it had sold. Now, I am having to start over in my search for finding a fabric which I really like and can get the right yardage for. I’ve planned to get a little extra, knowing at some point I’m going to screw something up.

While waiting for the perfect fabric, I’ve had some brilliant ideas (at least I think so) about other things to help cut costs for this show season. I will soon be sharing some of those ideas! They will be along the lines of house-hold products to use in the barn, and ways to spruce up a work saddle when you can’t afford a show saddle!

Finding Fabric

Well, my weekend excursion to the fabric store was disappointing. They had a only four or five fabrics that could be used, none of which interested me. Also they cost around $15.00/yd. In reading what most jackets are made of on eBay, I’ve learned I should be looking for a lycra stretch or poly lycra fabric. So, I have turned to eBay to find a fabric I like. I’m actually overwhelmed with the selection although you have to be careful because some listings are for limited amounts but overall it’s proving to be almost half the cost of buying it in a store. According to the pattern I will be using from Suitability, I will need around 2-2.5 yds of fabric. As soon as I purchase a fabric, pictures will be posted, along with the amount of time and money I’ve spent on the project. This should help you gage whether or not you want to attempt a project like this.

Project 1: Showmanship Jacket

     O.K. I one of my favorite aspects of showing horses is getting to wear some colorful, sparkly clothes. I don’t like things too over-the-top but I do love looking at all the amazingly designed outfits that are found in the realms of  showmanship and Western Pleasure. I am throughly enjoying the trend of all day jackets. They are fairly simple in construct but unlimited in detail. I regularly spend hours looking  googly-eyed at show jackets made by Berry Fit, probably the leading designer and maker of custom show outfits. The outfits they make are truly spectacular and insanely expensive. Other show apparel designers like Lisa Nelle, and Carmel Designs design beautiful clothes as well and list many of their creations on eBay. They are fairly reasonably priced but to be honest, still more than I can afford.

       So, I’m left with a couple of options, I can save between $400-$1200 and get a really awesome jacket from one of these designers or one similar or I can spend hours searching eBay. eBay really is a good option. I have purchased almost every piece of show clothing I own that way and gotten many good deals. But eBay is frustrating, if you are outbid on your dream jacket in the last few seconds, can’t find your size, or if you’re just super picky and can’t quite find the colors or style your want.

           This leads me to the next option, a frightening but potentially awesome option…making your own show jacket. I’ve heard of a lot of people doing this and many of the leading makers of show clothes got their start as people who just needed to make they own clothes or clothes for their family. Well, I have a sewing machine. I’ve used it a few times. How hard can it be? I am about to find out.

         I have plenty of show shirts and have read many descriptions of what fabric show jackets are made of so my first task will be to find some fabric I’d like to make my jacket out of and an inspiration piece as well (most likely from the designers listed above). So, I have my mission for the weekend! Wish me luck!