With a few basic sewing skills you can turn an old hoodie into a great dog coat. Perfect for those cold morning walks and so much more fun than what you can buy in a pet store. Just because my dog has short hair and we live in a northern climate doesn't mean I want to dress him up like a poodle!!
There is no definate pattern to adapt a hoodie to fit your dog, you will have to fit it as you go. Just remember to keep the dog's best interests at heart. For example...
- never use straight pins while fitting the hoodie on my dog, use safety pins instead
- always check the hoodie for the dog's comfort- not too tight, full range of motion, etc
- be patient with your dog- while it is possible to knock this project out in a couple of hours your dog will quickly become bored with all the trying on and "fittings" so its best to break it up into several smaller sessions
Step 1: You Will Need....
safety pins, straight pins
measuring tape, opt.
one VERY patient dog
Step 2: First Cut Off the Hood
Yes you heard me. Cut the hood off. About one and a half inches below the neck seam.
I like to cut the hoods off, flip them around and stitch them on "backwards." That way the all the images, logos, etc are "on top" of the dog as well as the pouch.
Step 3: Try the Hoodless Hoodie On....
Try the hoodless hoodie on your dog. POUCH / IMAGE side up!! You will need to shorten the "arms" of it so your dog does not trip. Exactly how short is your preference.
Cut both arms the same length and hem. You may need to try on and remove the hoodie several times to do this.
Step 4: Cut Out the "window"
Next cut out the "window"
Try the hoodie on your dog and CAREFULLY cut horizontally along the dogs flank to about the mid belly as shown below in the second image. Remove the hoodie. Using the first side as a template, cut the other side to match and remove the excess fabric. VERY important for boy dogs!!
Please. If your dog will not stand still or you THINK there is the SLIGHTEST chance you might cut them- please draw a line with chalk and remove the hoodie BEFORE cutting!!
Set this rectangle of fabric aside. Re-label it the "filler piece." You will need it later!!
Step 5: Cut Lengthwise and Re-sew
By now the hoodie is starting to take shape but its probably too loose around the chest. CAREFULLY cut the underside of the hoodie along the dog's belly.
Again REMOVE the hoodie first if you think you might hurt your dog!!
Use SAFETY PINS to mark how "tight" you are going to make the new belly band. Carefully remove the hoodie so as not to damage it or to accidentally pull the safety pin open. You don't want to stick your dog with a pin as you're removing it!!
Now use your sewing machine to sew the belly closed again as per your dog's specific size.
Step 6: Re-sew on the Hood, Backwards
Flip the hoodie inside out and find the middle of the top part (i.e. pouch side, NOT the belly band side!)
Find the middle of the back of the detached hood.
Line them up, pin them together and sew the top half of the hoodie on to the back of the hood. Leave the front (i.e. the part underneath the dogs chin open at this time)
Flip everything right side out and try it on your dog. Again. Should look like the last image below.....
Step 7: PROBLEM!
OOPS! There is a HUGE gap between the hood and the fabric across the dog's chest. Do not just pull the ends together and stitch it up- this will make the hoodie too tight and uncomfortable for your dog.
Grab the "filler piece" from step 4.
Safety pin it across the bottom of the front of the hood. Like a bib. (image 2)
Now tuck in the ends. (image 3)
Safety pin it in place and remove the hoodie from your dog. Turn everything inside out and SEW the whole way around the "filler piece" (image 4) Trim any excess fabric. Turn everything rightside out again and try it on your dog. AGAIN. Should look something like the last image!!
Step 8: Clean Up Loose Ends
Remove hoodie from dog. Yes, again. If there are any unfinished edges, take the time to hem them now.
Step 9: Decorate?
Because this was a plain, ugly old hoodie, I opted to paint it.
Place a piece of cardboard underneath the top layer of the hoodie to keep any paint or glue from bleeding through. Go nuts.
Step 10: Enjoy!
Enjoy your new doggie hoodie!!
PLEASE NOTE. No dogs were harmed in the making of this doggie hoodie. However one dog WAS severely embarrased.