‘The essential joy of being with horses is that it brings us in contact with the rare elements of grace, beauty, spirit, and fire.’ (Sharon Ralls Lemon)
My cousin Barbara has been passionate about horses since she was a child, so naturally I wanted to create a cloth doll for her that reflected that. More recently I had seen some photos of her show jumping so took my inspiration from there.
The show jumping look
Show jumpers have a very distinctive look and I therefore wanted to make sure I included all the key details such as the jacket, cravat, jodhpurs, riding hat and boots.
the Riding hat and hair
The riding hat was made from four slightly rounded triangular pieces, adapted from the head pattern, to create the helmet part. Two crescent pieces were sewn wrong sides together and turned out before being sewn onto the main hat. The straps were made from four strips of ribbon. The hat was lightly stuffed inside to provide the rigid effect of a real riding hat.
I tried a new way of styling the hair and opted to create a side parting for the fringe and adding in layers at the back, which allowed for a much longer length of hair without being too bulky.
the cravat and jacket
The cravat was made from a simple piece of white cloth which has been wrapped around the neck like a scarf, folded into place and held with some small stitches to keep the shape and ruched effect.
I have made several jackets for my cloth dolls now and with this one I really challenged myself by using a satin lining. I really loved the design of this fabric and just knew it would be a lovely finishing touch to the jacket and to give it a classy feel.
the jodhpurs and riding boots
Strips of black and white fabric were sewn together to make a base piece of material so that the jodhpurs and boots could be created in one piece.
Additional details were then added once the legs had been stuffed and formed. Patches of fake black suede were sewn on by hand to the white of the jodhpurs and I added ribbon to decorate the top of the boots and a small button at the back.