Step 3: STAGE 2: Draping the Jacket
Here comes the most difficult part of this excursion: Draping the jacket on the dog. This will involve someone who can gently hold the patient dog in place while you fit it to them. The trick is going to be pinning the jacket in increments, fitting one section at a time, then taking the jacket off of the dog and evening out the pinning and cutting the jacket while the dog gets to run around.
IMPORTANT: Draping is a complicated process that I have learned from years of classes and experience. Draping on a live animal is even more complicated than draping on a static dress form, so if this seems difficult I apologize! If you don't want to go through the hassle of draping the coat and would instead like a basic pattern for a medium-sized pitbull-type-dog, jump to STEP 6.
*If you're worried about ruining the jacket you can drape using an old sheet or other fabric until you get to correct shape and make a pattern from that, which you would then transfer to the coat and cut out.
BASIC DRAPING RULE: Remember that clothing is completely symmetrical, so when you fold it in half it's a mirror image of itself. As I draped this jacket I made sure that everything was identical on both sides. I only made size markings on Honey's right side, then I would remove it, fold it in half along the length of the zipper, and even out the pin markings. Then I would cut along the pin lines REMEMBERING TO LEAVE SEAM ALLOWANCE. If you don't leave seam allowance, standardly 1/2”, when you sew up your jacket it will be too small!
I decided that I wanted the jacket to zip up in the back so that Honey can step into it with her front paws and have it easily zip closed. So for this pattern the zipper will serve as the center back of the coat.
1. DRAPE CHEST:
I started by putting the jacket on Honey with the zipper on her back and pinning the chest to the correct dimensions. Once this was done I removed the jacket and folded along the zipper, cutting 1/2” beyond the pinned markings. I then pinned the chest together like it would be sewed so that I could see how it would fit and put it back on Honey.
2. DRAPE ARM HOLES:
I then marked the correct position for the arm holes, making sure that Honey has enough room to move her shoulders backwards and forwards without any resistance.
Remove the jacket and folded in in half along the zipper, cutting out the armholes 1/2” beyond the pin lines.