{Step by Step Sewing} DIY Dog Coat

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Step by Step Sewing - DIY Dog Coat

While some of you may be in the midst of your winter, we over here in New Zealand are slowly heading towards it. Having a small, short haired dog who thinks he's quite possible melting if he gets rained on and would rather be inside on the couch, by the fire - he wears coats during winter. Being a bit of a mixed size breed, he's an odd shape. The only thing for it - custom dog wear! and it's not as hard as it may sound! See below for my easy tutorial!

What you'll need:
1x Dog that is happy to be measured!
Polar Fleece Material - 1x Lining Colour, 1x Outer Colour
Sewing Machine
Velcro - Both the hard and soft sides
Paper or Card to create your template as you take your measurements

The first measurement is taken from the base of the neck (the bottom of where the collar sits) to the top of the tail.

Note down this measurement and on your card, draw this first line.

Your next measurement is going to go from anywhere along the centre spine, down to an area in line with your dogs armpit. This measurement tells us how far down the dogs body the coat will sit.

Note this measurement down and draw down from your previous line to create a rectangle box.

Our third measurement is measuring our dogs chest.
From the base of the neck, come half way down the dogs body. From this point, measure from here to the centre of the dogs chest.

Note this down and from the same centre point, in line with your neck measurement, draw a smaller rectangle using this measurement.

Next, take the measurement you just took and halve it.
Add this again to the rectangle you just drew onto your template.

What you now have is the main shape of your template but of course, your dog isn't perfectly square! So go back over your template, and generously round off the neck area as you see here.

And not quite so generously but just to create a nice space for the tail to sit within and a tidy rounded edge along the base of the coat, round of the edges shown.

One last measurement to go - the belly band!
From the point of your dogs armpit, measure down to the tummy, under and up to the middle point of the dogs body on the opposite side.

Note this down and draw a new, separate line on your template.

Measure down three inches, and create a new rectangle shape. This is our belly band.

  • The next step is to of course cut out your template and cut your fabrics to size. To do this, pin down your template and cut your first side, NOT cutting down the back measurement of the coat. Once all other sides are cut, flip the pattern over and cut again so that each lining and outer piece is in one, without creating a join down the dogs back.
  • Cut both colours and don't forget to cut your belly band
  • Back on our template, remember we added another half measurement to our chest piece? On each pieces of fabric, cut ONE chest piece back to the original measurement
  • Before going any further, if you are wanting to add any decorative stitching or perhaps your dogs name of other design, NOW is the time to do it before we start sewing this coat together. (I opted for a zig-zag quilted look)
  • Polar fleece has a right and a wrong side. The right side is the fluffy side and the wrong side is flatter. With your two smaller pieces that will form your belly band, lay the lining piece fluffy side up on your work surface and the outer colour fluffy side down on top of this. Pin and sew around three edges only, leaving one of the smaller side pieces open
  • Sew, trim the corners and turn the right way out
  • Now taking your coat pieces, lay the lining piece fluffy side up as before. On top of this, place your belly band lining colour touching lining colour and on top of this again, lay your last coat piece fluffy side down
  • Pin and sew around all edges, leaving the smaller, chest piece open at the end to allow for turning the coat the right way out
  • Once sewn, turn the coat out, fold in the edge of the open chest piece and sew straight across to close the opening
  • The last thing to do is attach the velcro pieces and you're done! This is where your dog comes in handy! Call them over and lay the coat across their body. Loosely place the straps where they will comfortably sit on the dog and pin your velcro pieces in place. I have placed the soft velcro on the coat, and the harder velcro on the straps
  • Simply sew around the edge of the velcro through all layers of your coat and you're complete! One warm extra winter layer for your pooch! 

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