Coats

We have been having a particular cold winter and my two small dogs, especially Linus, the chug (Chihuahua/Pug mix), have been depending on their sweaters and doggie coats quite a bit. Add rain and snow to the mix and those sweaters really get filthy and wet. Therefore we often ran into a “shortage”.  Dog sweaters aren’t cheap and my Chug has a weird body shape so none of them ever fit him right. I am honestly not willing to fork out $25 for a sweater or coat that doesn’t fit right.

So one morning I woke up with the brilliant idea that I could just sew my own sweaters! Sounds great and easy, right? NOT!!! I started by measuring our existing coats, even took one apart, and tried to make patterns with the help of old newspapers. After rummaging through the closet, I cut up some of my old sweaters and a fleece blanket and set to work. One sweater after another didn’t fit right, didn’t work at all, was too tight, too loose, not long enough, too long. You get the idea. I was getting frustrated and started browsing Amazon to find good deals, which I didn’t find.

Then we had Tiki, the Puggle (Pug/Beagle Mix), over for a few days and when I looked through her bag to find her treats found her coat on the bottom instead. I took it out, opened it up and let out a big whoop! I tried it on my Linus and it was a bit big, but the concept of it was perfect for his body type. I looked up the brand and found that they specifically make coats for pugs and bully breeds, you know, dogs with thicker bodies. Like Linus! Let me just say that there are several parts with adjustable velcro. And they are quite pricey, too!

While Tiki was with us I laid out her coat on my paper and made a pattern. I didn’t even have to undo any seams to do so because of the cool design. Then a visit to the thrift store supplied me with a nice brand-new fleece blanket for one dollar. I had some old mismatched pillowcases at home that matched the fleece color. It took me two weeks to cut out the fabric, get velcro and get my sewing on. I was a bit hesitant because it all just seamed to simple.

I took my time because I wanted it to look good, even though it was a prototype. While sewing the coat I noticed that my confidence handling the sewing machine had grown. My seams actually came out straighter and straighter! Yesterday I added the velcro and then came the big moment. Would it fit Linus? Would it actually work?

I had to coax him out of his warm blankets by the fire with treats and put the coat on him. Everything seemed to fit into place. He shook and stood and voila, the coat fit him perfect, length and all. And it even looked cute on him! I felt so proud and accomplished! Total cost of the coat was about $3.50! Maybe not all is lost when it comes to me and crafts!

Today he wore the coat out for the first time and we even got a compliment from a perfect stranger. My chest swelled even more! Next project you ask? Finally hemming those jeans I had in my closet for over a year!

Sorry, not my usual quality in pictures. These were taken with my cell.

Pattern

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