I've always wanted to make a decent Newmarket/Witney style blanket for my Julips, but found the fabric was impossible to find at a suitable scale. I had a go myself with some fleece and marker pens, which looked ok, but it wasn't really what I was after.
Then I remembered a little online shop called Spoonflower, where you can design your own fabric and have it printed out on a variety of different types of fabric, from plain old cotton, to minky or faux suede. Unfortunately they don't do microfleece, which would have been perfect, but they seem to be bringing out new fabrics on a regular basis so I can only hope they'll do it eventually.
I made up a design, ordered a sample and got to work. The basic 8" x 8" test swatch was more than big enough for a Julip rug, and even had a little left over which I might be able to make into some clothes for a rider at some point.
The fabric I chose wasn't quite right for it, as it was stretchy and too shiny for a traditionally woollen blanket, so I went with a rug instead, as it looks a bit more like that kind of material. The neck is a little high on it as well, but I might make a neck piece too which will hopefully disguise it.
Harper, who probably has the most tack of any of my Julips (seriously, this is his third rug at least!) always likes his wardrobe to work as an ensemble, so I made him a matching headcollar and leadrope. This is the first time I've ever managed a three colour leadrope and I'm really thrilled with it. I didn't have any suitable red, black and yellow ribbon, so I just painted on the red and black bits with a very fine brush. It also got fleece padding because
|If I had a real horse, you can be sure that I'd have it kitted out in matching everything.|
I'd quite like to do some other designs - either this in different colourways, or maybe some tiny horses? Ideas would be most welcome!
The best part about Spoonflower is that you can resize the design and choose which way the pattern repeats, so I can potentially have designs for different scales. I'm useless at measurements though, so I pretty much did this one by eye. I took a crappy picture of another test swatch draped rather haphazardly over one of my trads so you can gauge for yourself whether it could do with being upscaled or not. It's in totally the wrong sort of fabric, but it was a free swatch of some new stuff (poly crepe de chine) so I couldn't not get it, though god knows what I'm going to use it for.
If it does need tweaking, let me know and I can upload a bigger version as well.
EDIT - I'm going to see about offering it for sale on another site as Spoonflower has this rule where you have to declare all your tax details to them, and while I'm not earning at the moment so I don't actually pay any tax, I'm still not comfortable with that being mandatory, so I'm going to try elsewhere.
(I need to photograph my stash - it's getting ridiculous how much I have now, but it's all so lovely I can't just get rid of it!)