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Making A So-So No Sew Fleece Coat for your Dog

I found a super easy no sew fleece dog coat pattern that I have modified a bit to include a tiny bit of sewing for the sake of durability.  That’s why I call it the ‘so-so’ no sew pattern…there is some sewing if you do it my way.  If you’re interested in NO sewing,  www.thewhippet.net site has an easy pattern… here’s a link (scroll down to the “No Sewing Skills? section).  If you want to make a similar but more durable version that requires minimal sewing, read on!

The great thing about this pattern is it’s not complicated, it doesn’t have to be perfect, there’s a lot of eye-balling involved, it doesn’t cost much and it’s great if you have a growing puppy because when he outgrows it, you’re not out a bunch of time and money.  Keep in mind the original pattern was designed  with the whippety type of canine in mind but I think it can work for other dogs as well.

Things you’ll need:

  • A dog.  This coat will not work on a small child.
  • Fleece.  A yard should do, depending on the size of your pooch.  Or, an old fleece blanket will do the trick too.
  • Scissors.  For cutting. 
  • Marker.  For marking your pattern.
  • Velcro sticky back squares.  These will keep the straps in place.
  • A sewing machine (or a friend who sews) if you use my So-So No Sew method.  That’s it!

WITHOUTCOAT.JPG

Sew, let’s get started (see what I did there?).  These instructions are based on the So-So No Sew method which involves sewing.  

  1. Wash and dry the fleece.  I never do this because my puppy, Finn, grows out of his coat before it even needs to be washed.
  2. Measure Fido from the base of his neck to the base of his tail.  Write it down.
  3. Measure around the “deepest” part of your dog’s chest.  Add a couple of inches.  Write it down.
  4. Fold your fleece in half lengthwise, right sides together, so that you draw the pattern below on the wrong side of the fleece.
  5. Here’s what the pattern looks like. patterncutout
  6. Using the first measurement you took (base of neck to base of tail), measure that along the fold of your fleece.  This is the part of the coat that covers your dog’s back. 
  7. Do some artistic free-style drawing and draw the doggy butt curve, then use your second measurement and draw the long straps. These will wrap around the deepest part of your dog’s chest.  Then finish drawing the pattern as outlined above.  Trust me, it’s a lot of eye-balling.  I’m a perfectionist and when it comes to this part of the process, I have to give myself a little pep talk that goes something like this, “It’s okay if it’s not perfect.  You’re not trying to win any awards.  Finn won’t know.  His doggy friends won’t even notice and if they do, screw them.  Just eye ball it girl.  You can do this.”  Go ahead and use my pep talk if it will help!
  8. Keeping your fabric as is (right sides together), sew the little area that will go against Fido’s neck (see diagram above).  I use a 1/2” seam but it doesn’t really matter….unless you use a 4” seam.  Don’t do that.
  9. Try the coat on your pooch, wrap the straps around his chest.  The ends of the straps should be on top of his back area.  Figure out the Velcro sticky back placement then stick those suckers on.  I always sew them in place for extra reinforcement.  You will want to do the same if you want the coat to last longer than a day. 
  10. DONE.  Your adorable dog has a winter coat to wear…until he outgrows it or wears it out.

finished dog coat    modelpuppy1

WARNING:  I found out what bored puppies do while waiting for a coat.  This little guy went around the house and brought me his toys, some tissue, my scarf, a lone sock and some ripped up paper.   Way to get attention, Finn.

boredpuppymess1

Like I said in my other blog, this will not win any fashion awards but it will keep your darling dog a little warmer!  So whether you make a no sew or a So-So No Sew coat for your pooch, they will be happy and warm and will look sew darn cute (see, I did it again!).

No Going = More Sewing

 

A couple of blogs ago I wrote about some of my post half marathon bonehead moments, one of which included a nice fall that sent my body straight down to the wet pavement, taking my pride with it.  Since I’m a hard-core half marathoner now Winking smile , I decided not to take any chances and went to the doctor’s office the next morning. After a few x-rays I found out that I sprained my ankle and was given this awesome black, velcro-y contraption that looked like a foot corset.  I asked the doctor if it was available in brown leather and she just looked at me like I was some kind of weirdo.

So, for the last couple of weeks there’s been no going for me.  No running.  No running on the treadmill.  No running in the rain (like I’d do that anyway).  No running in my new, pretty, purple running shoes.  I’m a little bummed about this whole thing but the good news is, with running off the radar for a bit, I can focus on a new sewing project.

I haven’t finished a sewing project in forever (except for my no-sew dog coat for my whippet puppy, Finn…which he has since out-grown).  My unfinished projects are semi-neatly folded and placed in my sewing basket which is more like a place where sewing projects go to die.  Some of the projects I could write an obituary for include:  A would-be super cute skirt, a killer wide brimmed summer hat, a t-shirt quilt for my son, an antique handkerchief quilt, a baby quilt for a kid who is probably 5 years old by now, a lunch bag, a purse…make that 2 purses, an antique quilt repair and some Christmas stockings that were intended to be Christmas gifts in 2010.

dead sewing projects

My friend Janice had a recent birthday so I decided to make her an adorable tote using some killer fabric:

simple sewing 

Since I had time, fabric, a sewing machine, a fun sewing book (Simple Sewing by Lotta Jansdotter) and crappy weather there was no excuse for not finishing this project!  I spent last weekend cutting the fabric and this weekend sewing it.  Well, sewing and unsewing.  Sewing and unsewing.  Whoever came up with the seam ripper tool is my hero.  After a few failures…

trouble sewing

I successfully completed the tote bag…

finished tote 

Who knows, maybe I’m on a roll and will be able to finish some of my other projects?!  Nah.  I am very proud that I finished this particular project and have a gift to give to my dear friend Janice, but I sure am looking forward to running again!

To runners out there who are taking a running break, what are you doing with your spare time?

Puppy Love – The Honeymoon is so over

I feel a little bad about writing this but the whippet puppy honeymoon is O-V-E-R!  I know, that probably makes me a rotten person to be tired of all the puppy crap so soon (figuratively and literally).  I wrote about being THAT lady…the one who unconditionally loves her perfect little pup…and I do love my pup.  I just no longer think he’s perfect.  He’s a puppy punk sometimes.

The little dude has no respect for the weekend sleep in tradition.   He’s up at the crack-o-dawn ready to go as if it were a Monday or Thursday.  Seriously, why doesn’t he understand that Saturdays and Sundays are the only two days we can chill a little in the morning?  Is it asking too much to just sleep a little longer?

And why is it that house training was great the first week (so much, in fact,  I thought he was borderline genius) and since we have been “working” with him, he has more accidents in the house?   I don’t think they’re accidents at all.  I know he knows how to tell us he has to go…He does it 95% of the time.  That other 5% of the time he’s thinking, “Screw you guys, I’m going wherever I want to go.  That’s what puppies do, sucka.”  That’s disgusting.  Bad puppy.

And why does he have to chew on used tissue?  We have allergies in this household so we are always using tissue.  We have tissue in every room of the house.  Why does he have to find it, pull it out of the trash and chew on it?  That’s gross.  Bad puppy.

And then there is the whole Ninja Puppy thing.  How can he disappear so fast?  One second I see him and know the situation is under control then the next second, Poof! He’s gone…vanished…out of sight.  We had to barricade 4 different areas of our house to minimize the places he can sneak off to and do Lord knows what.  I don’t understand how, while under our strict supervision, he ninjas his way over to the wrong side of the barricade then looks at us like he pulled off a trick that would leave David Copperfield in awe.   It’s annoying.  Bad puppy.

To help with our puppy woes, we are going to puppy school.  It’s really for us humans because the instructors seem to think puppies are perfect (ha!) and humans are the ones who need training.  During class last week, we (the human family members) were paying close attention to the instructor, while Mr. Finn, on the other hand,  was taking a ‘cat’ nap during class.  Very rude.  Bad puppy.

It might seem like I don’t like my puppy but I really, really do.  He’s still adorable.  I even made him a little puppy snuggie to keep him warm during the chillier fall days.  The snuggie won’t win any fashion awards but it could win an award for the easiest darn dog garment to make EVER.  You need fleece, scissors, measuring tape, marker, Velcro square sticky back thingies, and a sewing machine.  It’s supposed to be a whippet fleece coat no-sew pattern but I opted to sew the area by the neck and add Velcro to the belly straps instead of tying it.  So there were some adjustments I made to the pattern.

Start off with some cozy fleece…

cozy fleeceThen end up with this rockin’ garment:

whippet coat  whippet fleece coat

I just measured Finn (along back and around chest), sketched out my version of the pattern on the fleece with a marker, cut it out, sewed the neck area, stuck on some Velcro square sticky back thingies on the ends of the belly straps and it was done in less than 30 minutes.

See, I really do love my puppy.  He is teaching me patience, he is keeping me on my toes and he is keeping my mind distracted so that I don’t freak out about my upcoming half marathon.  That’s awesome.  Good puppy.

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