Moving from New Jersey to Washington has brought out several big changes for me, one of which being the fact that it gets colder sooner. Now, in NJ, we have our fair share of winter and a decent amount of snow, but nothing would prepare me for having my first snow on November 3rd! And that is just what happened this year- I woke up early on Sunday morning only to look outside and see snow falling. Nothing stuck, but it was pretty to look at while it lasted. We turned on the Weather channel to see the forecast only to see that we were in for a snowstorm on Tuesday, and yesterday, we got our first measurable snowstorm of the season – 3 inches on November 5th! Crazy, right? Well, for this Jersey Girl it definitely was!
So what does all this snow have to do with how to make a dog coat? A few weeks ago, my husband and I rescued a puppy from the shelter. Gunner is a 9 month old Boxer and Whippet mix (and for those who don’t know, like us, a Whippet is along the same family line as a Greyhound). He really is a great dog, but I’m not so sure he’s ready for winter. A good friend told me that Greyhounds have hair, not fur, and that definitely holds true for our dog. He has very fine hair, and research told us that Whippets can get very cold when the temperatures drop, so with the first real snowfall of the year today, I decided to make him a little dog jacket.
I figured this was something that I could figure out easy enough, but I turned to Pinterest to get some ideas, and stumbled upon this link on how to make a ‘Country Gent Tweed Coat’, and I knew that *that* was the coat I was going to make him!
I followed their basic pattern/directions, but I changed it up a bit- not only to make it easier, but to make it more practical for our use. Their tweed/fur coat was adorable, but maybe for a prim and proper little dog- ours is a run around, rough and tumble dog, and I wanted to make him something that was warm and would hold up to his active lifestyle, not to mention something that would be easily washable!
The changes I made to their pattern are as follows:
- Instead of tweed/fur, I used two layers of fleece (leftover from my Camel Halloween costume!)
- Since I was working with leftover fabric, I didn’t have enough to make my piece the shape of their pattern. Instead, I started with a deep U shaped piece of fabric that was the length of his body from neck to tail and was as wide as he was from side to side (with a drape over the side). I then cut two bands- one to go around the neck and one to go under the belly. The length of these depends on the size of your dog. See photo below for a picture of the band in front of the neck.
- I didn’t use bias tape to attach the two pieces together. Rather, I cut one piece of fleece 5/8″ wider on all sides than the other piece. I then turned the excess fleece under (sort of like a hem) and sewed it down.
I did keep the belt (because that was just so adorable!) and instead of a sew-on collar around the neck, I just folded the edge back and hand sewed it down.
All in all, the whole project took me less than an hour to make and he loved it! We used it last night when we took a 2 mile walk, and he didn’t fuss with it one bit. Plus, it was icing/drizzling, so it kept him warm and semi dry. I may make him another one with a more waterproof material for days when it is actually raining- I’m thinking a nylon outer, lined with fleece so it keeps him warm and dry.
What do you think? Would your dog wear one? If you make one, I’d love to see it! Leave me a comment below with where I can see a picture, or visit me on Facebook and leave me a picture! Are you on Instagram? Be sure to follow me and tag me @sewin2disney and use hashtag #handmadeisbetter so I can see what you come up with!