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.

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.

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.
Way too cold for my girl in Michigan. Thank you for this!!!
<p>love it.</p>
<p>Amazing! You are a very talented seamstress. Our dog is male, and I'm a beginner seamstress, so our coat is a little different, but I wanted you to know how your project inspired me!!</p>
This is the BEST PROJECT EVER!! I have a 5 year old femme pittie who is the love of my life. We live in NH and she loves to play in the snow but has zero fat or fur for insulation. At first I thought a lot of the &quot;doggie coats&quot; were ridiculous and frou-frou but once I started searching they aren't even very functional in terms of actually keeping your dog warm &amp; dry! This is fantastic. I think I'm gonna mimic your instructions using a fleece jacket to start (carhartt is some rugged sewing!). And maybe keep a little leg length...I will def post pics! Ty so much and love to you (3). Woof, Jenny &amp; Lily
I was looking for a pattern with legs and sleeves but I am going to try this and maybe add them. My lab weighs about 80 lbs but his chest is 36&quot; so most coats won't close. I<br>It would be nice if the dogs could play outside without getting all wet or cold.
<p>love it. we run the gamut here from 90lb german shepherd down to 8 lb jack russell mix and a 15 lb dachshund. between converting human clothes and used wild gingers pet cloths program . everyone is warm</p>
<p>Thank you for the great idea. My son has (soon to be had) this very jacket. No worries. He knows his place in the pecking order around here. Let him shiver!</p>
<p>I love this comment, lol its the same in my house but instead of son, its boyfriend. He even is starting to eye up the dog bed so he can stretch out because my two shepherds sleep on either side of me. lol</p>
<p>haha excellent</p>
<p>Love this idea, I can never find clothes big enough for my mastiffs. The only thing I'm going to do different when I make this is how the pockets open/close. I will close off the original opening and re-locate it to up by the zipper, that way items put in will not fall out when I open the zip if dog is wearing it. Excellent tutorial BTW, and lovely pittie.</p>
Thanks I used this idea to make a coat for my weim out of my dads old cover halls from work. My dog is now nice and warm this winter.
Thank you. I love the idea. I have a weimaraner who is very hard to find clothing for because there are very few coats out there for big dog and even less for skinny big dogs in cold climates. I will be heading to a second hand store tonight to get some coats to convert for him. Thanks again . <br>P.S. Honey is beautiful.
You did a great job on this custom-made coat! The zipper up the back is a fantastic idea. Honey is a lucky dog :)
Oh what a sweet little buddy. :D <br /> <br />He's looking very swanky and warm now!
The is the &quot;cadillac&quot; of dog coats! Wow!!! I've sewed most of my life and I think your instructable is awesome. Great directions, step by step photos, and Honey as the perfect dog model for showing off the well made dog jacket. I voted for you in the Sew Warm contest.
How much does Honey weigh? I have a medium pit bull as well, but I just want to make sure the pattern isn't going to be too snug! <br>Thanks! <br>Taia
the dog is sooooooo cute!!!!
I love this! I want a dog just for this.
That looks great on him! And it looks like he's comfortable wearing it!
That is an awesome jacket.
I was excited to see you had a new post. And your friend's choice in coat was perfect for a pit bull, somehow... I'm glad he has an innovative person like graceduval to help his Honey.
I just came here to say <br>&quot;ERMAGHERD ADER-RBLE&quot; <br>Then I saw your profile pic &amp; thought ah yes that makes sense :) <br>Your dog is cute &amp; when wearing a carhart he looks like he should be on a 'roof'.

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