Wednesday, October 31, 2012

DIY Dog Coat

This post contains way too many photos of my dog!
They are not even very good photos!
I'm sorry!  I couldn't help myself!

After Pippa, our cockapoo, got her last haircut she transformed from a shaggy black sheepdog to a skinny legged lapdog.  Then temps dropped, and snow fell.  I worried about Pippa getting cold during our walks so I decided to sew her a little coat.  I found this free pattern that was for a very small dog:

After I printed out the PDF and did some measurements, I decided I could alter the pattern to fit Pippa.  You can see I used my blue tape to tape together the pattern and the pink marker where I made the alterations:

After tracing onto some freezer paper I came up with this:

Super Loxol Freezer Paper, With Long Term Protection of 12-15 Months, (Google Affiliate Ad)

Then I used the pattern on an old sheet and saw that I needed to make some adjustments.  I moved the belly strap up closer to the neck and chopped a few inches off the back.  My edited pattern looked like this:

Once I finished making the pattern, I gathered my supplies:

I cut out an outer and lining fabrics, adding a 1/2 inch seam allowance:

I sewed together some scraps of quilt batting to make an insulating inner layer without the seam allowance:

I decided the quilt batting wasn't going to be warm enough, and sewing together my scraps was tedious.  So I cut out an old fleece blanket (sorry Grandma!) and added that for extra warmth.  You can see from the above and below pics that I did a quick zig-zag stitch around the edges of the filling to secure them together:

I safety-pinned the batting/fleece to the outer layer of fabric, laying it evenly within the seam allowances.  Then I marked a grid to guide my machine quilting:

I quilted the batting to the outer layer:

I added the looped side of the Velcro to the outer tabs and the hook sides to the lining tabs.  I just used some Velcro strips I had in my stash.  I recommend using the sew-in, rather than the adhesive Velcro.  This part wasn't too hard, but I had to sew the hooked Velcro from the the back because it keep grabbing my top thread.  Here's what my Velcro looked like:

I lined up and pinned the outer and lining fabrics, right sides together, and stitched around the perimeter using a 1/2 inch seam allowance.  I left a 3 inch opening to pull it all through later.  I notched the curves and corners and then turned it all right side out.  I top-stitched the edges and I was done:

I think that Pippa likes her coat.  Well, she knows that we're going for a walk when I put it on her.  Perhaps she's just tolerating it because of the walk.  In any case, Pippa doesn't seem to mind wearing the coat.  She was apprehensive about the sound of the Velcro pulling apart, but cockapoos are notoriously skittish dogs.  

And now for more pics of Pippa:

She's pretty, isn't she?

She LOVES the snow!

One last photo: 

I made a Pinterest Board full of dog coat ideas and patterns.  So if you're in the market for a doggie jacket, that's a good place to start.

Many of the patterns and styles were quilted all the way through the coat and the raw edges were finished with bias tape.  I like the finished look of those dog coats, but didn't want to spend the time fiddling with bias tape.

I'm sure I'll be making more coats for Pippa this winter.  I think I'll alter the pattern again and move the belly strap up even closer to her front legs.  If you look at the pic of the inspiration pattern, you'll see that one front tab (that goes around the neck) is longer than the other, while the tabs on Pippa's coat are equal in length.  I might try that out for the next coat if I remember.

I'm also thinking about a doggie Halloween costume, a coat with a ruffled edge, a coat with some "bling" like silver studs, or a using a freezer paper stencil..... Lots of possibilities for such a quick and easy sewing project.

Have any of you, my lovely readers, ever sewn a coat for your dog?  Does your dog have a flashy wardrobe?  And I'm really curious about this:  Do you think Pippa needs some matching booties?

Happy crafting and big hugs from Montana,
Pin It

P.S.  One more quick thing!  If you're looking for a good, affordable dog bed that can be machine washed and dried, click on this photo:
This is what Pippa uses and we love it!!!  I bought two rather pricey foam rubber beds with removable covers, but Pippa totally destroyed them both.  She pulled off or chewed through the covers and shredded the foam rubber to tiny bits.  No joke!  This bed is less than half the price of the others I brought.  It  is all one piece and fits perfectly inside the crate.  Pippa has slept on it for 2 months now without destroying it, so she must approve as well.  The other beds didn't last 2 weeks.  


  1. awww... you must love your little pup so much!

  2. I love this! I want to make one for my doggy. thanks for sharing.

  3. We have three (yes we're crazy) standard poodles and live in CT. Not the parts hit by the storm, we just lost power for a few hours, no damage. Anyway, One dog is 8, one is 10, then there's the baby at 2. Not too worried about her, but her elders have hip dysplasia and/or arthritis and winters aren't getting easier for them. You might be getting a "help" email from me; adjustments on this scale stretch my limits. BTW, adorable pooch!!

  4. What type of fabric did you use for the top? I need to make a coat for my dachshund because nothing is long enough.

    1. Hi orange sugar! You came up as a no-reply comment, fyi. For the outside fabric I used an upholstery weight woven fabric that I found at the thrift store. It would something you would make a couch cushion or drapes out of. If you're going to the fabric store, I recommend looking at the home decor canvas, outdoor canvas, or a thick nylon like you'd see a windbreaker jacket made out of. If you're looking for waterproof, I think the felt-backed vinyl like used for table cloths would work well. Please let me know how it all turns out.

  5. Thank you so much for this tutorial! I just adopted a 13 year old lab mix and her deep chest, skinny waist and long body made it impossible to find a cute coat for her. I made a pattern from scratch and used your tips for sewing and it came out AMAZING! Everyone is asking me where I bought it and when I tell them I made it, they ask me to make one for them :) Thanks again!!!

  6. Wonderful tutorial, thanks! Just attempting to make a version for my kitten who loves going outside but hates the snow... hahaha. We shall see how that works out!

  7. Thanks for the post. My little South Carolina rescue doesn't like the Vermont winter even after a year. She'll love this for our morning walks.

  8. Great tutorial. I love the quilting idea. Looks very professional!

  9. Would love to know what kind of bed you talked about in the ps. looking for dog beds that dogs don't LOVE to chew up.

    1. Sorry! Somehow that whole picture link disappeared. Have you tried spraying Bitter Apple on the bed?

    2. I love this style coat and the idea to do it without binding is always appealing. Where is the link for the bed? I am looking for something for my little guys crate.

  10. Thanks for the detailed instructions! I am teaching myself how to sew again after 30+ years! I thought you might like to know that I pinned your blog post. You also might like to know about a vintage fabric giveaway I'm hosting on my blog:

  11. Thank you for the post! Very informative and detailed on the instructions which I appreciate immensely! I can't say that I am a very crafty person myself but your set of details on the blog made every step very easy to follow. The coat I made for my golden doodle is very durable and can withstand the harsh cold snow!

    1. Thanks Melissa! You are so welcome. Pippa has outgrown her coat in this post. I've had to make some adjustments to the original pattern to make new ones. Take care!

  12. Is there a free pdf pattern for this? Can't seem to get it. Would it be possible to send to me?
    Thank you!

  13. Is there a template I can use for a Golden Retriever? Thanks

    1. There is no template other than the one for a small dog that I link to in the first paragraph. This post is about how I modified that small template to fit my medium sized dog. Another commenter said she was able to modify the template to fit a lab mix. I think with careful measurements you will be able to modify it to fit your golden retriever. Best of luck!

  14. Thank you for taking your time and effort to post this pattern and directions for other people to make for their pets. It is a nice thing!

    1. Thanks for your kind words! You're nice too! Best, Rikka

  15. I could not get pattern to printp


Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment! No-reply commentors don't get to read my witty replies, and that's just sad.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...