Pampered Pups!

Happy Christmas, Gizmo!

You may remember back in December I was a busy little elf puttering away on coats for my whole crowd...including my son's little rescue pal, Gizmo! (you can check it out here)  

Coat update!  I figured that Gizmo might wear her little red riding coat a few times when the temperature in Michigan plummeted to well below zero, but, as it turns out, she loves her little coat!  My son says that it works kind of like the Thunder vests that some dogs like to wear during storms.  The theory is that it acts like a 'hug' and makes them feel more secure so they are calmer.  Apparently, the coat works the same way for Gizmo.  She wears it all the time!!  Who knew!!?  

I did have a request for more details about making the coats and Gizmo's big brother, Paco, is quite jealous of the little red coat (that would be me anthropomorphizing a bit!) and just happens to have a birthday coming up!  So, big dog coat for Paco coming up!

Paco is a large, black dog...there is some Great Dane in his lineage somewhere.  I thought about getting an old leather jacket and making kind of a riff on a motorcycle gang coat, but the washability of a leather dog coat seemed marginal, so I settled on a $3 fleece vest at Goodwill with a broken zipper!

I had my son take some critical measurements...around Paco's neck, around his chest, from his neck to his tail down his back, and a very important one, from his neck to his ๐Ÿ™ˆon his tummy side. (can't have the coat interfering with any business!) 

Starting with an already made garment makes it incredibly easy to make one of these coats and it is so goofy to have the collars and the pockets on a dog coat!!  

The pattern is basically an opening for the neck, a cover for the back and a tummy cover with a strap to adjust the fit.  The measurements determine how far from the collar of the garment to cut off for the back and the front, how long to make the straps and how much room to leave at the neck opening.  The pattern is really just a 'suggestion' and varies with the particular garment that is being 'remodeled.'  Here's what I started with for the fleece coat...the right side of the picture is the tummy and strap side and the left side is the part that covers the back of the pup.  The bottom of the picture is the center front/back of the pattern and lines up with the center front/back of the starting garment, and the half circle cut out lines up with the collar/neckline.

Because I was starting with a vest I didn't even have to remove any sleeves, just cut up the side seams.  I lined up the 'neck opening' with the collar of the vest and cut away what I didn't need.  

I adjusted my 'pattern' to take advantage of the already bound armholes of the vest...bonus!  I did have to sew the zipper closed up to the neck since I cheaped out and got a broken vest!

I turned the cut edges and added the straps and, Bob's your uncle, I had another goofy dog coat ready to wear!


You have to imagine my dress form on all fours...with a tail! (It actually looked kind of cute!)  I have to say that making dog coats is a new one for me, and they just make me smile while I'm making them!  Do we call that "barking mad?"!

I haven't gotten a picture of the coat on Paco, but as soon as I get him to model I will update with a photo.  


  1. Thanks for this! I'm (at least one of) the one(s) who asked for this tutorial, so I appreciate this post. My dog is a 6 lb. chihuahua, so I will be using a child's or infant's vest, but all I have to do is scale down. He doesn't like having tight collars pulled over his head but his skinny little neck gets cold so I will leave the zipper functional at least part way down.

    I'll hit the resale shop for a baby fleece this afternoon. Thanks again.

    1. Oh I would love a photo when you finish! Have fun.