Dog Jackets You Can Make.
Are You Kidding
Are you kidding? $29.99 for that? Two dogs that need jackets,10%sales tax on each jacket equal $66 for what. This looks like a baby bib with extra straps. There has to be someway to make these without costing a fortune.
It's Cold Outside
Miniature Pinchers don't have much body mass. My grand dogs were going to New Mexico on a ski adventure. Chipotle is next to Pet Smart, so we dropped the dogs of to have their nails done while we ate. After we picked them up I saw a dog jacket that fit Mikey perfectly. I suggested this would be perfect. Then I saw the price. Thirty dollars! Absolutely out of the question. My son is jobless and has a new baby. With tax, two of these jackets would be $66.00.
I don't really have great skill sewing, but innovative I am. The jacket looked like a bib to me. My daughter-in-law with her trusty I phone took a picture then emailed me a copy.
I went to work figuring out how to make the jacket without spending a fortune.
What You Will Need
- Sewing machine
- Tape measure. (1dollar at Wall Mart)
- Fabric as determined by size of your dog .
- Paper for making jacket pattern
- Fasteners Velcro (sew on not self stick) or snaps
- Fabric for interfacing (optional if you are using stiff fabric)
Step 1 Measure Your Dog
You need to measure the dog to figure out how much fabric is needed.
- First, measure your dog using a flexible dressmaker's tape measure. Measure from shoulder blades to the hip, You can adjust this later if you want a shorter jacket.
- Next, measure the dog's chest. Measure the stoutest part of the chest. With my dogs there was little difference between their length down the back and their chest measurement.
- Last, measure around the dogs neck.
A tip for measuring your dog: For accurate measure it really takes two people. In a pinch use a string to around the dog. Then measure the string with a ruler or measuring tape on a flat surface. This will work well for squirmy dogs . .
Bandit The Dog Says....
Bandit says, "I want a jacket. I hate being cold". So here is Bandit being measured. Watching us measure the little dogs Bandit and Joe gave their opinions on the whole dog jacket creation expedition. Bandit was excited about the whole thing and wanted into the show. Joe wasn't as enthusiastic.
"No Thank You" Says Joe
The Nice Thing About This Style Of Jacket
This style of jacket works on various sizes of dogs. While I did have to make a larger pattern for Bandit's jacket it was the exact same format as the coats for Ginger and Mikey.
Step Two Choose Fabric
Now that you have measured your dog, determine how much fabric you need. For the mini pins I needed half a yard each. This was a low cost jacket for two reasons my labor was free and their was enough fabric for the mini pins in my fabric closet. For Bandit's jacket I needed about a yard. I also needed about the same amount for interfacing. Interfacing is an additional layer that gives the garment body or stiffness. I used iron on interfacing.
The fabric I used for the min pins' jackets was fleece with rip stop nylon as an interfacing. The nylon added stiffness and wind proofing. Their skin is so sensitive that I put the ripstop nylon between two layers of fleece. Any kind of sturdy fabric will work. The fabric was on sale at JoAnn's fabric.
I was thrilled that I actually had fabric for the little dogs coats; I didn't have much time to make their jackets. When I went to the fabric store all I needed for their jackets was Velcro. Be sure you buy sew on Velcro. The self stick Velcro will not stick on fabric for long and will make a mess of your needle if you try to sew it. If you have tired to sew self stick Velcro and your needle is a mess there are two things you can do to eliminate the sticky mess from the sewing machine needle. Remove the needle from the machine, then run it through the flame of a candle or just get a new one.
Making The Pattern
Step Three Make A Pattern
Use a piece of paper that is at least as long as the measurement of your dogs back and 3/4 the measurement of your dogs chest. A full sheet of newspaper works for little dog jackets and medium sized dog jackets.
- Following the fold of the newspaper, draw a double ended arrow about five inches long, That line will help you put your pattern straight on the fabric and give you a reference marker for centering the neckline.
- Mark the length of the back along the fold on either side of the arrow
- Next perpendicular to the arrow mark 3/4 of Fido's chest measurement, For example Gingers chest measured 12 inches . 3/4 of 12" is 9" I marked 4 1/2 inches on either side of the arrow.
- To determine how much of a scoop to give the neckline take the measurement of dogs neck and draw a scoop to those measurements. I used a paper plate. With the measuring tape I measured the entire measurement around the plate. marked on both sided. Then made a mark at the mid point.Using the arrow I placed the midpoint mark of the paper plate and drew around the paper plate for the scoop of the fabric.
Once you have made the pattern check how it fits the dog. Adjust as needed.
Step Four Pin Pattern To Fabric And Cut Out
Pin pattern to the fabric. Stay close to the edge of the fabric. Cut two of the main body of the jacket. Then cut two of the belly straps. If you are adding interfacing this is the time to cut one for the main part of the jacket and two for the belly straps. Cut the interfacing or inner fabric a little smaller than the outer fabric.
Step Five Baste Interfacing (Optional)
Using the pattern cut a piece of interfacing for the body of the jacket and one for each side of the belly strap. Sew the interfacing to the wrong side of each of the three pieces.(Main body of the jacket, and two belly straps) I used ripstop nylon for interfacing. This added a bit of wind and water proofing to the jackets. The ripstop nylon could easily have gone on the outside of the jacket as the outer layer. I didn't do this because the mini pins have sensitive skin and I knew they would be in a crate together in the car and I only wanted soft fabric on the outside of their coats.
The interfacing does not go all the way to the top of the outside fabric. This was to reduce bulk at the seam.
Step Six Make Belly Straps
I used the fabric cut from the neckline for belly bands. Another option is cutting extra fabric the same diameter of the neck to make belly bands if you would like them wider than the curb of the neckline will allow.
Since, the fabric is doubled when you cut the whole body of the jackets there were two pieces of fabric left over from the the neck line. Fold each in half, then cut interfacing to fit the half of each belly band. Baste or iron facing to wrong side of both bands.
Sew around the band to make a tube that is open at one end.
Turn the band inside out starting at the open end. The side that isn't sown will be taken care of when you attach it to the body of the coat. Once turned sew the Velcro on each side of the band.
Step Seven Put All Pieces Together And Pin
- Place the piece that you have interfaced on the table. The right side of the fabric should be showing.
- Match belly bands to the side notches facing each other.
- Place second side of the jacket face down on top with the wrong side of the fabric showing.
- Pin together.
- Starting at the marking on the neckline begin sewing around the coat.
Leave the area between the two notches open in the middle of the jacket so you can turn the whole thing inside out.
NOTE I put the Velcro on the little dog jacket when I made the belly band. For Bandit's jacket I waited until I had turned the whole thing. It works well either way.
Step Eight Turn Everything Inside Out
Because of the big opening at the neckline turning the jackets shouldn't be difficult. If you have difficulty turning the whole jacket inside out;either layer the corners or snip the corners off. (Remember, don't get too close to the stitching.) Once you have turned the jacket either slip stitch the opening shut or top stitch the entire dog coat. To top stitch the jacket you would pin the opening closed. Then on top of the entire jacket. To top stitch sew around entire coat about 1/2 inch from the seam. If you have placed the Velcro on before you turn the coat you need to add Velcro at the neck and you are done.
When the jacket was nearly ready Bandit had a fitting. After pining the jacket on him Joe sniffed him and turned away. I don't know what he said, but it must not have been nice. Bandit looked forlorn and hid under the desk until I took the jacket off. Apparently, the blue wasn't as awesome as the camouflage. Bandit has declined to wear his jacket.