Desperate times call for desperate measures. That was my mantra yesterday, when the mercury dropped 20°F in the span of ten hours. CindyLu didn’t have a coat to wear. And it was bitterly cold outside. I’d been meaning to go shopping with her to pick up a new coat or two (last year’s got ruined, candidates only for the trash), but between limited transportation and having been sick…well, it obviously didn’t happen yet. This week my son is out-of-town with the car, won’t be back until tomorrow – when the temps are supposed to rally back to something much warmer, of course.
So I pulled my usual and hit up Google. Over the years I’ve seen blog posts, tutorials, and even videos on how to make your dog a coat. I’ve ignored most, since I’m absolutely frightening with a needle and thread in my hand.
Not. a. seamstress. (Understatement, trust me.)
I remembered seeing ones where you take an old piece of clothing and recycle it into some canine fashion statement. I just needed something I could put together quickly so CindyLu wouldn’t freeze (or refuse to go outside for that matter.) There are some that use an old sweater, but that requires sewing to keep the knitting from unraveling. Then there are some, in various degrees of detail and perfectionism, that involved nothing more than an old sweatshirt and a pair of scissors. Bingo!
All I needed was a sweatshirt with sleeves large enough to fit CindyLu’s torso. She’s little, but she’s got that ShihTzu barrel chest that sized her right out of any of my clothes. My son Kenny came to the rescue with an old zip-up hoodie that’s now too big on him (Yay, Kenny!)
So here’s how I made a doggie coat, without sewing, just quick and easy:
Pair of scissors
Cut off the wrist cuff and seam, unless it will fit comfortably over your dog’s head.
The wrist of the sleeve will be the neck end of the coat, which then widens as it nears the shoulder/tail end.
This next part would certainly work better if you first take some measurements to find where to best cut holes for your dog’s legs, especially if you plan on using the coat for an extended period.
Me? Just call me the epitome of impatience, laziness, and phobic of anything smacking of how someone who knows how to sew would do it. I just held it up by her, guesstimated on where best to put leg openings – and started cutting.
After a few try-ons (bless you, CindyLu, for being so patient with it!), I had it cut out enough to be able to comfortably put it on over her head, slide her legs through the openings, and adjust the coat to cover her.
Initially it was too long, but while it was on her I just snipped a spot on the topside to mark it and one on the underside closer to her belly, to allow for plenty of pee-room. Then with it off, I laid it out and cut at an angle to shape the back-end of the coat, using those snips as guidelines.
One last try-on, folded down the neck so she has a collar, and she was good to go. It was apparently so comfy, CindyLu laid down and fell sound asleep! When it was time to go out, she got to enjoy the new-fallen snow and a walk – all without freezing.
It’s not glamorous, but it’s keeping her warm until we get to the store for a proper coat. And then we’ll always have this as a backup if we need one.
Ever try making something for your dog?