For the Dogs

Ok. I thought the art I’d end up doing in the studio would have something to do with paint.. or glue… or at least something fairly messy to the hands. But, nope!! I guess that’s just not what was in store.

For those that don’t know me, we have as many pets as people in this house. Today, I ended up making goodies for the three dog type pets. They all have plenty of fur, hate going outside when it’s raining, and when it snows, they come in completely covered in snowballs, which melt all over the hardwood floors and carpeting.

I decided they needed some kind of coats for winter trips outside, however when I looked for them online I was surprised to find they run anywhere from $20 on up (to outrageous, ‘I belong to a rock star’ pricing.) There had to be something more cost-effective!

At first I contemplated making them jackets out of baby clothes. Try as I might, I couldn’t really figure how to get the arm holes and neck  proportionately in the right spots. I ended up with a much better solution and was able to make coats for ALL three dogs from one, oversized sweatshirt that I bought at Goodwill for $2.50. Here’s how:

dog shirt

This was the shirt I began with.  I have a terrier, a shi tzu, and a small cocker spaniel, but still I found a men’s XL. (Perfect size for my munchkins.)

dog sleeve

I began by cutting off the bottom of the sweatshirt, and the sleeve cuffs (save for later). I cut the sleeves off at the shoulders (the wide ends that you see in the photo which will end up going by the tail), and cut off the ‘neck’ side slightly longer than needed for my dog (the small end).  Each sleeve is now like a tube. There are TWO complete sleeves in the photo above – TWO dog coats, one sleeve each.  I let them lay in their natural folded state and cut holes for the legs to go through, keeping in mind they will need more material above the shoulder to go across their backs than they will under the holes for their chest/belly.

dog sewn

At this point, all I needed to do was to  zigzag stitch around all the rough edges to prevent any fraying later.  The collar will be rolled down after going on my dog just for looks (and it’s easier so I don’t have to be so picky on measurements.)

dog laci

Laci got to be my test puppy.  She’s also the ‘grandma’ dog in our house and probably the least thrilled about having any kind of clothes put on her. (Truth be told, I’ve always been kind of creeped out by people dressing their pets, too! Sorry, Laci.) I think she looks pretty cute! Don’t you?

dog mimi

Meme (the baby) was next and even though she’s a bit smaller than Laci, you can see size isn’t a big issue when it comes to these. They stretch easily for getting on and off by using the sweatshirts.

dog sandiSandi was last, but I had to do hers a little differently.  First off, she’s too large to fit into a shirt sleeve. Secondly, I really wanted to try to make all three out of ONE shirt. For this last one, I cut down the sides of the sweatshirt, but left the collar intact – cutting along it on the back so it stayed attached to the front. For simplicities sake, I left the shoulder area open on this last coat, so it is like a tube with a collar attached.  Since the shirt wasn’t big enough to fit all the way around Sandi comfortably, I cut a strip of fabric left over from the back of the shirt and sewed it from the new waist to the shoulder area of the shirt, forming a tube that goes all the way around the dog. From there, I used a zigzag stitch on my machine, the same as with the smaller coats, and went all the way around the raw edges.  Done!

dog sandi2

I guess you can see how this last coat is cut/sewn much better in this photo.

I just lucked out that the cheap sweatshirt I found was red.  I think for about $.75 a coat, I can make a few of these for the holidays (or football games, etc.)

My poor, spoiled pooches! 🙂

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About connieartz

"Your sacred space is where you can find yourself again and again". Joseph Campell
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