Friday, December 30, 2011

Sewing for pets

My dog, as has been previously mentioned, is quite senior. And while I'm not into cutesy dog coats and such, she does get cold. After last winter, I vowed that if she made it to this winter, I'd make her a jacket. And, well, she's still here! So time for a jacket. I had picked up Simplicity 952o last spring sometime, as it was the only pattern I'd seen for larger dogs, and it had some good reviews on PatternReview. I wanted to make her view E, because it looked like it would adequately cover her butt and belly but didn't have a hood. It calls for 2 yards of fleece, but it is completely self-lined, so really, I got by with 1 yard of fleece for the outer and 1 yard for the lining. (My lining is plain black fleece.)

This was the perfect length for my dog! It is a bit snug across the back, though. I had made the lining first and tried it on her, and it seemed perfect. But once I added the outer shell, it seemed to pull at the sleeves. So next time, I'll add about an inch in width for the back. But I think that's about it. You can see that the front comes up to cover her chest, coming almost as high as her collar.

Because my dog wears a harness for walks, I ignored the instructions for creating a leash opening for the collar. (Though I skimmed those and thought they seemed like a good way to do it.) Instead, I put her harness on, put the coat on over it (as she'll be wearing it), and then felt for the D-ring of the harness and marked it on the coat. I stitched a large buttonhole in that place and cut a slit opening for the D-ring.

I used snaps instead of velcro to fasten the coat, as I don't like washing velcro with fleece, and this coat will undoubtedly be washed frequently. And I bound the edges with nylon-lycra instead of doing a turn and topstitched edge. It enabled me to have no raw edges on the jacket, and it gave her just a touch more length in the jacket.

I will definitely be making this again! One to wash and one to wear, right? And I'll probably make a single-layer version for wearing in the house - because we do keep it cool inside, and she does shiver sometimes.

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