This weekend, I had to give Oliver (our Shorkie puppy) a pretty short haircut. And, as you might expect in November, he suddenly got very chilly. We went out and bought him a sweater and a coat, which helped a lot. He’s currently wearing something warm all day every day, rather than taking it on and off every time he has to go out and potty.
I decided he could use a fresh coat every day, so it didn’t get smelly. Plus, I really wanted to try making my own coats. They’re not cheap – about 20 bucks apiece. But they are simple, so I knew that it wouldn’t be difficult to figure out my own pattern.
It turned out to be an even quicker project than I expected. It only takes about 15 minutes to sew one of these from start to finish! And since it only requires half a yard of fleece, this can be made for about $2! I have already made three for him.
I took the extra time today to convert my brown paper hand drawn pattern to a nice digital one to share with you all here. Oliver is a 10 pound Shorkie. In terms of pet store clothing sizes, he wears a small. If your dog is in the 8-12 pound range, this coat should fit him or her. The bottom attaches with velcro around the front chest and under the belly, which makes it pretty adjustable to suit your dog’s exact size.
To make your own dog coat, here’s what you’ll need in addition to your sewing machine:
- 1/2 yard fleece (If you want a contrasting lining, buy 2 1/2 yard pieces. You can’t get anything smaller than 1/2 yard in order for this pattern to fit.)
- 6 inches of sew-on velcro
- Matching thread
- My free downloadable pattern
- Tape to attach pattern pieces together
So that you can print the pattern on a regular printer, I’ve split it into four pages. Just like with any other printable sewing pattern you might have used before, these pages need to be attached back together.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Be sure NOT to scale to fit when you print. To double check yourself before you begin, measure the square on the pattern to make sure that it is exactly an inch wide and tall. If it is, your pattern has printed at the correct size.
Here’s a quick step-by-step on how to do that in case you’re new to printable patterns. Please pardon the awful photos!
Got it? Okay! Now, it’s time to trace the pattern pieces onto fleece and cut it out.
You’ll notice that the main pattern piece says to cut it on the fold. Fold your fleece over, lay that piece with that flat edge along the fold, and trace. When you cut, you’ll be cutting through two layers of fleece at once. Do NOT cut through the fold. When you’re done, you’ll have a perfectly symmetrical piece.
If you want your lining color to be different, like mine is in the photos, cut your second main piece out of the other color.
You should also cut two pieces from the collar pattern piece – again, using two different colors if you want.
If you decide to make one and blog about it, I’d love it if you want to link to your post in the comments.
UPDATE on November 20, 2013: Wow, this has become a really popular post since I wrote it one year ago! I appreciate all of the comments! I’m glad that I took the time to create a shareable pattern, and that it has worked so well for many of you. There have been a lot of questions about scaling this pattern to fit other size dogs. Unfortunately, I can’t offer a lot of help with that. I now have two dogs, and they are both about 10 lbs. So they aren’t very good models for trying larger sizes! Several readers have successfully used this pattern as a basis for sewing coats for their larger dogs, however.
I would like to invite anyone who has done this to link up in the comments if you decide to post about either using this pattern to guide you on making a larger size, or even if you have made your own pattern for a larger dog. I hope some of you will share, and that will help some of you with pups much bigger than my own.
There have been a lot of great tips in the comments, such as making a buttonhole through which to pull the leash on dogs wearing a harness. Keep the ideas coming! I’m personally wanting to find time to make one that’s a bit girlier for my newest pup – maybe add some details or frills. I’ll let you know!