Introduction: No Sew Fleece Dog Poncho
My parents like to go up north to our cabin every couple of weekends so I figured I might as well make something for their little companion, Paco. He is a 13 year old Chihuahua who weighs 4 pounds but is still full of love. He actually enjoys wearing clothes and I used to make little DIY dog clothes from spare fleece all of the time when I was younger. Here is my attempt at a more refined version of that.
- I ended up purchasing a yard of printed fleece and a yard of a solid. This was more than enough to get the job done given the size of my little guy. How much you'll need will vary based on the size of your dog.
- Measuring tape
- When I went home to make this, I accidentally left my measuring tape in my dorm. To substitute this I used a combination of a regular ruler (since my dog is less than a foot long), and some ribbon to measure his curvier bits then holding it against the ruler to get exact measurements.
- Sewing scissors
- I found that it is always easier for me to cut fabric with sewing scissors as compared to normal ones. However, if you don't have a pair on hand, the regular craft scissors will make do with a little love and patience.
- Sewing Pins
- These are used to hold the fabric in place while cutting and knotting. (not pictured)
- To keep your lines straight
- Pen and paper
- For notes and to record your measurements
- Something to draw the pattern on with
- In this example I used a sharpie marker to draw the pattern on with and a ruler to keep my lines straight so they would be easier to see in pictures. I highly recommend using a light colored chalk or something that be dusted off of the final product.
Step 1: Lining Up the Fabric
Take your fabric and fold it in half so the wrong side of the fleece is facing out. We will be working with the folded edge and the top of the fabric for ease of cutting. You’ll know it is the side you want facing out of it feels less soft or if the design you got seems slightly distorted.
Step 2: Taking Measurements
The measurements you’ll need from your furry friend are:
From the base of their neck to their bum
Across the front of their body/ chest
Center of their back to how low you want the poncho to hang, for me it was the top of his back leg
The center of the neck angled downward to the side of their chest
An angle backwards from that previous measurement to how low you want the poncho to hang. For myself, I drew this portion of the pattern last and did not need to measure, just connect the lines.
From their front shoulder to their bum
Step 3: Tracing Out the Pattern
Take note of the length you want your fringe to be that you will eventually be tieing. Since I have a smaller dog, I decided on two inches. This is the length outward from the main shape you will be using for those outside portions of the pattern. Seen above as the thinner lines.
The patterns seem to be labeled as left and right incorrectly. However, once the fabric is turned right side out again they will be in the correct orientation for their label. BONUS, as long as you have the correct side of the fleece outward you can flip the completed poncho around and it seems reversible.
Starting the drawing
I started with the left side of the pattern. I aligned the “bum” end of the pattern and the folded edge, marking out that two inch square that would be cut out to start. Then with that reference point made I drew the remainder of the pattern, fringe portion included. As I went I placed pins to hold the two layers of fabric in place. I would make out a side, make a dot with the sharpie at one end, then use my ruler to draw a straight line connecting my reference points. For the reference lines to cut the fringe, I decided to make them each one inch wide since I made each of my side lengths a whole number. This decision worked out nicely.
Step 4: Begin Cutting
I started by cutting out that 2 inch corner I started with as a reference. Then I cut along all outer lines except the neck semi circle and the folded edge. Once the portion I needed was removed from the main yard of fabric, I was able to maneuver it better and get the angle of the neck hole cut correctly. Avoid cutting the folded edge until step seven. That being said, use whatever cutting method you are most comfortable with, in whichever order you please.
Step 5: Pin Fringe
Move some of the pins you used to hold the center of the piece together to the fringe. I pinned every other one to keep the two pieces of fabric together since they will be loose from cutting those 1 inch marker lines. I also made sure I had some at the base of those fringe lines just for security. Use as many as you feel comfortable. I’m a bit of a mess with scissors so the more the merrier for me. That, and my “too much” gene.
Step 6: Cut the Fringe
Go ahead and cut those fringe lines, INCLUDING the ones on the folded edge. This may seem a little strange, but I found that having the two pieces of fabric still connected for turning it right side out was helpful in re-aligning everything. In order for that to be efficient though the lines that cut into the fringe still need to be made, just not the cut that separates the two halves (the folded edge). Once everything is cut you can remove the pins for the next step.
Step 7: Right Side Out
After removing the pins you will need to flip the half of the poncho right side out and realign all of the sides. After I had everything lined up I pinned around the base of the fringe to keep everything together when I went to tie the fringe into “double knots”.
Step 8: Cut Folded Side
Take your scissors and cut the folded edge. I did so from the side, using my hand to hold the fleece in place while I cut the horizontal center of the fold.
Step 9: Tie Outside Edges
Tie the fringe as you would a traditional fleece no sew blanket. Tie the top and bottom aligned fringe together, double knot, etc. DO NOT tie the edges that will need to be connected to the other half of the poncho (as shown above)
Step 10: REPEAT STEPS THREE THROUGH NINE FOR THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE PATTERN
As you can see, I had a little oopsie when tracing the pattern.
Step 11: Align the Two Halves of the Poncho
Take your two partially tied halves of the poncho and align the fringe. There should be an equal number of fringe pieces on each half to be tied to the other, given that the appropriate measurements are even. The neck-to-bum and front angled pieces should correspond in length to the other half.
I folded the top fringe outward to get a better idea of how I was lining them up and to get the two halves closer together. The bottom fringe can be tucked underneath, it will still be fine when flipped back over to be tied. It will just need to be straightened out a little.
Step 12: Tie Corresponding Top Pieces Together
Tie together the top fringe of the right and left halves together in the same “double knot” fashion as before along the neck-to-bum and front angles edges.
Step 13: Tie Corresponding Bottom Fringe Together
Flip over the almost complete poncho and repeat the knotting process from above with the bottom fringe.
After I completed my knotting, I gently pulled along the edges of the poncho, loosening any bunching that occured from the knots. I tried to be gentle enough not to rip the fabric but instead stretch the edge.
Step 14: Model It on Your Furry Friend!
My little man loves wearing clothes and was eager to poke his little head through the hole to be my model.