Hello! Amy here. It’s been a while since we released a free pattern and we are SO excited to share this one: a free dog coat pattern (#closetcoredogcoat)! We have been wanting to do this for a long time but we’ve also been trying to figure out how to create new patterns from home, deal with pandemic shipping AND release older designs in extended sizing… was there ever a good time to bring everything to a screeching halt and work on drafting and grading a coat for dogs??!! Well yes, dear reader, 2020 has been an absolute struggle and we thought what better way to end it than by creating a fun project that will result in a cozy n’ warm best friend! As you know, Heather’s pup Harry is basically her familiar, and my Jeanie is an integral member of our family. It’s time to treat them with the same attention to style that we apply to ourselves!
Collectively we’ve tried a lot of different dog coats (Montreal winters are slushy, snowy nightmares) and this one is our favourite style. The top portion is darted around the tush to create a curved shape around the hip (yes, dogs need darts too! while the harness wraps under and velcros on top to help keep their chests dry (while leaving the nether regions free and clear). I have to be honest, while I was dragging my feet on starting this, I don’t think I’ve had this much fun sewing in a long time. Tiny little pieces of quilting, lots of pretty bias binding and cute fabric choices make this little project just the thing to do over the holidays while it gets yucky outside, and yet another project for tackling those mounting scraps. It’s also a huge money saver since we all know how spendy nice dog clothes are. If you don’t have a pup yourself, I’m sure you know someone who would be VERY excited to get this as a holiday present!
There are lots of fabric options for this coat; I’ll walk you through the versions I made to give you some ideas. For Jeanie, I made one in some leftover canvas with a cozy lining I cut from a polyester throw blanket I scored at the dollar store. For Harry, I made a wool version with a precious scrap of Pendleton wool leftover from Heather’s coat she made a few years ago, lined with some sherpa from this jean jacket (yes, Heather & Harry have matching coats, and yes, they cause quite the scene walking around like this). And finally, for this tutorial, I made a raincoat version in a waterproof goretex leftover from this anorak, lined with a crispy tartan twill we had in the scrap box (I would not recommend trying to make bias tape out of said crispy twill however, live and learn y’all).
As you can see, this pattern works with a wide variety of fabrics; what you need to figure out is if you’re going for water resistant, warmth, or a combo of the two. You can beef up the warmth with your lining fabric (sherpa and fleece are lovely!) or use a regular woven for the lining and use a quilt batting as the middle layer, which will give you the opportunity to do some quilting. Choose your own puppy adventure!
You will need:
- The PDF pattern printed out in your pup’s size (accessed through the box above; remember you have to be signed up to our newsletter to get access to the Sewing Resource Library, the password can be found in the footer of every email we send out)
- 1/2 yard-1 yard of outer fabric. We recommend canvas, twill, denim, nylon or goretex and wool
- 1/2 yard-1 yard of lining fabric: Sherpa, fleece, flannel or quilting cotton
- Optional: quilt batting for in between outer and lining
- 1 yard of 1″ hook and loop velcro tape without adhesive
- 2-4 yards of 1″ bias tape, handmade or storebought (see our tutorial on making bias tape here)
- 1″ bias tape maker
- Wonder clips
FINDING THE RIGHT SIZE
Our free dog coat pattern includes 11 sizes. To find the size for your pup, measure from the base of the neck along the spine to the base of the tail, and then choose a size using the chart below. We’ve also provided neck and chest girth for reference. Our sizing is approximate – while the length may be good, depending on the size of your dog’s chest, you may need to adjust the width through the body. We suggest making a quick muslin to check sizing before sewing up a jacket that may not fit. You can then check length, width, and ensure the straps are long enough to wrap around your pooch’s body and still overlap enough in order to close properly. If you need to make any adjustments, we’ve indicated on the pattern where it’s best to lengthen and shorten.
Our 11 sizes will accommodate everything from a small dog (think Yorkie or Chiahuahua) up to a large lab. If your dog is bigger or smaller, use the lengthen/shorten lines to adjust as needed. For reference, Jeanie is a size 12.
SEWING THE COAT
A quick note: if you are scrap busting this project, you don’t have to cut the harness piece on the fold. I cut it out of two separate scraps (adding a seam allowance) and then topstitched it flat on both sides of the seam.
Once you have all your pieces cut, sew the darts on your outer fabric and lining. Here is a handy tutorial on sewing darts if you need it! The darts allow the back of the jacket to conform to your dogs rear instead of sticking straight out.
The next step is to sandwich the lining and outer fabric together, for main body and harness . It’s best to treat both layers as one piece, so baste them together around the edge inside the 1/4″ seam allowance. You may find a walking foot helpful here to keep the pieces from shifting.
For the sherpa linings, I quilted the outer fabric to the lining using a grid pattern with topstitching thread (use a walking foot for this step if you have one). I started by pinning the fabric together all over and then starting in the middle working my way out. For the Pendleton wool version, I followed the lines in the design with regular thread to quilt the two pieces together. It’s really up to you how much you want to do with this step. Remember, you can also insert a layer of quilt batting for extra warmth, and you can try a variety of quilting techniques, from straight lines to free motion quilting.
Once the pieces are attached, the next step is to add velcro and the optional vent or buttonhole. The velcro placement is indicated on the pattern and should be marked with the disappearing marker of choice. If you’re having trouble seeing the velcro markings, use the layers feature when you’re printing the PDF to make it easier!
The sticky side of the velcro (the hoops) will be sewn to the lining side of the straps on the harness piece. The soft side of the velcro (the loops) will be sewn across the outer fabric of the main body piece. You’ll also need to sew a shorter piece of looped vecro on the fabric side of the halter on one side only. When all is said and done, you should be able to wrap the halter straps around your dog, securing hook and eye on both sides, with a bit of overlap secured by an additional piece of short velcro. Try the coat on your dog before sewing the velcro in to ensure it’s in the right spot – you may need to adjust the velcro placement.
Once you’ve confirmed velcro length and location, secure the velcro by sewing all the way round the perimeter; an edge or zipper foot may make this easier. Make sure the thread is invisible/matching on the right side of the coat.
If your dog wears a halter instead of a collar you may want to make a hole for it to pass through. If it is a very small D ring you could probably get away with a buttonhole, but if it is larger, another nice option would be to use the belt loop vent from our Sienna Maker Jacket for a totally clean finish. The pattern piece is included in this PDF and the instructions for how to install it are here. Once you have the halter on the dog, put the body piece on top and note where the ring will pass and how much space it will need. Once you have that sorted out, we are ready to start sewing things together.
Right sides together, sew the neck hole closed at 5/8″. Press this seam open and finish both sides of the seam with bias tape. Alternatively, if you are sewing with fray proof fabric like nylon, trim the lining fabric back and topstitch either side of the seam flat.
Now it’s time to finish the neck hole with bias tape. I started by sewing it in on the inside so that my final pass was on the outside. We have a tutorial on two different ways of installing bias tape here if you need help with that step.
Finish the harness in bias tape starting on one side of the short straight seam, finishing on the other side. Wonder clips are great at holding many layers of fabric that might be tricky to pin otherwise.
Once the halter is finished with bias, attach it to the body of the jacket by centering it on the neck seam. Right sides together sew this at 5/8″.
The last step is to finish the entire body with bias tape. Start and finish the bias tape at the neck seam in one smooth pass. It’s a bit bulky where the harness attaches but hopefully you can make it work.
To secure the harness in place, press down along the seam where it attaches to the body and stitch in place.
Once you’ve tried it on your dog and ensured the velcro is hitting in the right spot, attach the last piece of loop velcro to the side of the strap that will lay on top.
Here’s what the finished coat should look like:
And that’s it!! A cozy, warm and waterproof dog jacket for your best pal! Please let us see your handiwork by using the hashtag #closetcoredogcoat. It is surely going to be the cutest hashtag we’ve ever created and we can’t WAIT to see what you come up with! We’re also hoping to make a Jeanie/Harry photoshoot happen soon, so stay tuned!
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