Friday, November 28, 2014

Dog Coat Upcycle - From Jeans and PJ's to a Warm Mutt

I'm not a "seamstress" and I'm not a sewing blogger, but I had a need and I had some fabric in the form of a pair of jeans and a pair of PJ's. I have 2 dogs that go to pack walks every other week, and the weather has been getting colder. I didn't do this pack walk thing last winter and didn't have a "need" for dog coats until this fall.

 2 weeks ago it was REALLY cold and one of our fellow "pack members" gave us a coat for one of my boys. The other one didn't get to be "warm" - not that he seemed to mind, but I want to be sure he doesn't get cold, he's my senior boy after all.

I used the coat as a "pattern" by lying it on top of the fabric pieces. Never have I done this-but I am glad to say I was successful.

First I took the jeans and pj pants and cut the legs off, making sure to cut them longer than the length of my dog coat.

Next I opened the legs. You can do the seam-ripper thing if you feel the need, but I just sliced each pant leg up the front center and spread them out.

This next step is for a large dog-mine is a lab... if you have a small dog you may not need to do this:
After I had my 4 pieces (2 fleece and 2 denim), I could see that they were each too narrow for my coat so I had to sew the two legs together. Take the PJ legs and line them up (match the hem-you won't need to retain the hem, but for this step it keeps the fabrics lined up) right sides together and stitch, press the seam open and set aside. Do the same with the Jeans legs.
Now you can start cutting your pieces. Lay your dog coat on top of the pieces (I cut each fabric separately or you can cut them together. It all depends on your sewing and cutting confidence). You can even make a paper pattern first-which I totally should have done, but did not. Don't forget to allow for a 1/4" seam allowance and make sure you get all pieces (mine had a collar).

Sew together the denim and fleece fabrics right sides together-be sure to pin the belly strap (if not part of the body shape) to the inside and at the bottom end of the coat, leave a large enough opening to allow for turning.

Snip and clip corners and rounded edges for a flat edge when turning.

Turn right side out and press edges. then topstitch entire piece, securing the opening as you do. Add velcro closures at the neck and on the belly strap. I did my velcro lengthwise on one side and crosswise on the side it attaches to for added grip and adjust-ability, since the two dogs that will use the coat are built just a bit differently.

I know this isn't as clear as it could be-no photos to match the steps. Perhaps I'll make another and update with photos-after all the holiday sewing.

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