Thursday, February 9, 2012

Staying dry: Dog edition.

Most of you all know Brutus.  And everyone knows he's cute.
I made him the sweater.  It has a pocket so he can carry his poo bags.
What you may not know is he's a bit of a wuss.  Unlike our last dog Shel, who was by all means a real dog, Brutus is more of a cuddle monster in the form of a dog.  He wears sweaters, has a bunch of toys, and has a special bed designated for him on the couch.  He also doesn't have much fur.  His underside is rather bald, and he easily gets cold.  (Hence, the sweater.)

Being sensitive to coldness is hard in Seattle.  So I decided he needed a rain coat also.

Instead of buying him one (which would be so silly,) I made him one out of an old jacket that I had.  Heavy use in the field of restoration ecology resulted in several holes and torn seams so it was worthless as it's original self.

I looked up some pictures of doggie rain coats that were for sale just to get an idea of what they looked like.  There were all sorts of styles, but given my limited sewing and design capabilities, I really focused on the simple ones.

The best resource I came across was this one.  Though I found this and the link to the Pdf really helpful, I decided to keep it even simpler and not make the straps like the pattern and just make one strap that came around the belly.

Since Brutus is small, I was able to get all the materials from one sleeve of the original jacket.  I cut it down the seam to the armpit and over the shoulder.  I cut off the elastic wrist cuff and laid it out.  I took some basic measurements form Brutus and knew that he's got a big chest so the belt would have to be longer than a usual small dog.  I carefully drew out what I thought would be a good basic coat shape and cut it out.

This is what I ended up with.  I also knew that I wanted a bit of a skirt so that no water splashed up on him so I decided that the edges I cut off would be flipped then sewn back on.

From here I spent hours agonizing about what to sew first, where the extra pieces were going to go, and how the hell I would figure out how to make a hood that worked that didn't cover his eyes.

Then I told myself to just start sewing the damn thing and that I had a lot more materials if I really messed up and had to start over.  So off I went.  Sewing this stuff is hard because of the rubber coating which doesn't like to slide through the machine.  Some of the stitches are really raggety looking but hey, Brutus don't care.  Brutus don't give a shit.

I basically took the same approach with the hood.  I studied the original hood on the jacket for construction ideas and then cut out a piece of material that I thought might work.  I sewed on another piece to help cover his forehead and on it went.  I made sure to leave a small opening for the leash to attach to his collar and added a little cover for that so no rain got in there.  

I added a zipper to the front that I had saved from a pair of jeans I threw away but I did have to buy some velcro for the strap.  The first fitting wasn't so great because the strap was a little high and a little short.  But after I changed the placement of that, Brutus had a bonafide rain jacket.

Sorry this isn't quite a how-to post on making a rain jacket for a pug, but I barely know how I made it myself.  The only advice I can give is try to follow my not-so-good descriptions and think twice before you sew.  Oh, and Nikolai makes a terrible standing model.

And finally, photo shoots are hard when you have a dog ready for a walk and you're the only photographer.  So these are the best I could do:

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...