You will need:
A sewing machine
Thread – Any color is fine, I used black.
A set of bat wings (more info in next step)
Felt sheets 8-1/2” X 11”- (1) red, (1) white (or yellow) and (2) blue depending on your animal.
Step 1: Material
The sheets of felt you get will depend on the size of your “monkey”. Ours is a mix breed Chihuahua Terrier, so slightly taller and broader than an average Chihuahua. The felt sheet needs to be able to lay from neck to the start of the back legs. Longer is fine, you can trim. Shorter will look off. If your pet is longer than the felt sheets, look at fabric by the yard to find the right material.
As for width, one sheet lays from mid back down her side to a “jacket” length. I used 2 blue sheets for the jacket. The red and white are for the flames, one sheet of each color is fine. You need enough for a stripe down the back and accents on the sides.
Step 3: Make the Jacket
Now for the creation time.
Take the 2 sheets of blue felt. Sew them long sides together with a ½” overlap. Sew both sides of the overlap, you want this to lay flat so as not to irritate your pet. You now have 1 long sheet of blue felt.
Fit check. Lay the blue felt over your pet. The blue should lay from neck to the start of the back legs. You don’t want the jacket on the ground when the sit. Since our monkey is a low rider, we chose to have the jacket stop at her belly and not have it hang lower. For a taller dog you may elect to have the blue jacket hang lower. If needed trim the blue jacket to the length and width desired.
Step 4: Jacket Accents
After the blue is the correct length and width that you desire, it is time to make the red and white “fire” accents. The monkey jackets have a white outline to the red “flames”. The easiest way to cut this is to cut the red and white at the same time, then trim the red about a ¼” on the sides to give the outline look.
Start by cutting the triangle red and white “flames” for the edge of the jacket.
Cut 2 strips of red and 2 stripes of white felt 2-1/2” wide. The need to be as long as the blue felt that will lay on the side of your pet. (see picture 1) Cut the 4 layers, 2 red and 2 white at the same time so the inconsistencies match for both levels and will reflect on both sides of the jacket.
Cut the highest peak at 2-1/2” and lowest at 1-1/4”. 2-1/2” between peaks. See attachment 2 for template.
Now take just the 2 red cuts. Line them up even and trim off ¼” from each side of the length and 1/2” from, the straight bottom side. See attached 3rd template. Line the red felt up inside the white felt and you now have the white outlines of the flames.
To cut the red and white strip for the top of the jacket, you have to make a judgement on the width of your pet’s back and the wings you have purchased. Ideally you want the wings to sprout from the monkeys back a little before the shoulder blades. You don’t want them to coming out of the jacket right at the shoulder blades as that will irritate your pet. But you do want them close enough that the wings wiggle a little when she walks. Cut a red and white stripe based on the judgement call you made. I made a 3-1/2” white stripe on my monkeys back.( see 4th attachment) Again cutting the red and white at the same time, then trimming ½” from length and width, of one side, of the red to make a white outline. See 5th attachment.
Step 5: Time to Sew
The great thing about felt is that you don’t have to hem the edges. Felt can just be cut and it will not run, it will also partially stick together making sewing easier. Start by lining up the red and white flames on to the blue jacket. These will run down the length of your pet. No blue will be visible on the bottom or sides of the jacket, the white will fully cover the blue. After the white is lined up on one side, line up the red. The red should be cut so that a ¼” of white shows from all sides. Line up the felt accordingly. Then sew around the red flames, through all 3 layers of felt. No need to sew the white then the red, sew all 3 layers at the same time. The white won’t fray.
Repeat on the other side for the second set of flames.
To complete the jacket, sew the red and white strip that you cut to fit the back of your pet. Again the white goes all the way to the edge and there is a ¼” layer between the red and white, all the way around. I sewed both the red and the white layer down this time, though not required. I also sewed a stripe down the middle of the red, just to add some style and make it a little firmer where the leash will run.
Step 6: Attach Jacket to Wings
The last step is to attach the jacket to the wings. Again, because felt does not fray this is easy. Start by putting the wings on your pet. Fully attached to your pet, strapping around the chest and belly. Once the wings are on, align the jacket, the red stripe straight down the back. With a pen, mark where the wings fall at the edge of the stripe. You will cut a slot in the blue, ¼” from the white felt to open up for the wings to come through. You don’t want to cut too large, so measure careful.
Now pull the wings through the jacket. You shouldn’t need to sew the jacket to the wings from the top as the wings should hold the jacket on just fine. But to keep the jacket from flapping around on the sides when my pet runs, I did stitch the jacket to the belly straps of the wings. Again my flying monkey is a lowrider, so this was also to keep the costume a little cleaner.
I cut a small whole at the top of the jacket for her collar to poke through. This just makes to easier to walk around. If you pet wears a harness you will want to cut a hole down further for the harness to come through.
Step 7: Now Have Fun
One thing I learned very quickly, was that my precious puppy, a normal laid back dog by day, took this costume to heart. As soon as this winged jacket was placed on her back, the crazy came out. She is totally convinced she can fly. Leaping from the back of couches, lunging off stairs and flinging herself from beds. I have learned that it is not a matter of IF she can fly, for she has wings, of course she can! To her, this is a matter of not flapping hard enough. I defiantly cannot leave my little monkey unattended in this costume.