Concours d'elegance

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diamonddogs
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Concours d'elegance

Postby diamonddogs » Mon Apr 15, 2019 1:21 pm

Hi everyone - my first ever post, and a TV newbie!

Over the past couple of years I've had some success making outfits for equestrian concours d'elegance competitions.

My customers ride astride, so I was wondering how to go about making the front of skirts open. I've tried just leaving the front seam open and tucking the edge in behind the leg, an extra piece of fabric or ribbon/tape to wrap around the lower leg, a wrap over front so the skirt falls either side of the horse's shoulders or making a normal skirt then ruching it up with two ribbon ties.

Either options work OK, but does anyone have any other ideas? One customer even tied her skirt to the stirrups, but this is probably not a good idea from the safety angle as there's a risk of the skirt getting caught up in the stirrups or leathers,or the skirt being ripped off in the event of a fall and getting tangled among the horse's legs,so it's best to secure the skirt to the rider's legs rather than any part of the saddle.

I recently purchased the split skirt, but I've yet to make it up.
Heather
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Re: Concours d'elegance

Postby Heather » Tue Apr 16, 2019 10:13 am

Interesting challenge. I think the big question is, do you want the skirt over the horse's butt, or not? The split skirt should really look nice down each side of the horse, as the legs are very full. It looks like a skirt when standing and you can't tell at all that it has legs. But, it will not cover the butt. Personally, I don't really like the butt cover, as it pulls funny when in motion and tends the bother the horse as much as it does me. And I like to see the horse, rather than cover him up. But I know others find the flowing skirt a huge attraction.

I looked up some photos on google, and I am seeing all different styles, from prim historical side saddle outfits to glamorous frothy dresses. After a bit of thought I came up with a idea that might work well for a full butt cover with split front. At the split, add a rectangle of fabric on each side, that will wrap inside the wearers legs. Hmm, Kinda like the front panel of the Split skirt with the crotch extension, but maybe wider, so it will reach farther back. You could make it wider at the hem, so it will not fly away as easy. Then add a strap from the top corner that can attach to the skirt behind the rider, far enough behind the legs to keep the skirt hanging nicely. Hmm, or maybe come up the back crotch to attach to the center back waistband. This will let the skirt wrap around the leg completely, so it won't fly out of place, but is not attached to anything but the upper leg area. Make sure the strap is easily "broken" in case of emergency. If you need a snap or velcro at the hem behind the foot, that can easily be added, but I am thinking that won't be needed.
diamonddogs
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Joined: Mon Apr 15, 2019 10:53 am

Re: Concours d'elegance

Postby diamonddogs » Tue Apr 16, 2019 11:47 am

Thanks Heather - some good ideas here.

I make a very full skirt (up to three times the waist measurement, depending on fabric) off a yoke, then I tend to extend the skirt along the horse's back to about halfway down his dock (the bony part of the tail), which I think gives a lovely swathe of skirt, going from perfectly straight covering the rider's leg to lying fairly flat across the rump with a beautiful sweep of fabric along the horse's flanks up towards the tail. I agree with you about the long skirts that cover the horse up!

I have a design with a built in waistcoat, and I've made the waistcoat in a lovely brocade (I'm lucky to live near an area with a big Indian/Pakistani community and spend hours in the fabric shops :D ) and a make a matching insert in the back of the skirt.

Here in the UK a lot of riders like very fancy, flouncy costumes, but to be correct, one should choose something fairly plain but in an amazing design (you can imagine how excited I was to discover TV!), think ladies riding around the park showing off their finery. The only real rule that judges will enforce is arms must be covered and low cut tops are a definite no-no, so TV149 is a gift!

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