Funky travel hammock for you best friend! A cleaver way to keep your dog safe and your car clean(er)... If you live where there are laws about dogs being restrained in vehicles this is a great way to do it :)
This system uses the adjustable height headrests to support a heavy weight denim hammock, so obviously isn't suitable for vehicles which have fixed headrests. This hammock is secured with pockets cut into the denim and heavy duty cable ties, so there is no modification or damage to the vehicle!
Quick safety pointer: DO NOT clip your dog in by the collar, have a safety approved car travel harness!!!
Step 1: Things You Will Need!
For this project you will need;
- sewing machine (I would not recommend doing this by hand, not only would it take you forever, it would not be strong enough to support your dog safely)
- tap measure
- a helper (2 legged kind is good, reaching to measure can be tricky)
- heavy weight denim
- Dowel (heavier the dog the thicker the dowel)
- hand saw
- Hobby/craft/stanley knife
- heavy duty cable ties
- seat belt to dog clip adapter (from the pet store)
Step 2: Measure!
as always measure twice and cut once!
Things you need to measure:
1. the width of the back seat just behind the headrests.
2. the distance from just inside the door to where you want the hammock to stop, measure just behind the headrest of the front seat.
3. long the seat, how far in you want the hammock to go (this will end up the same as 2)
4. \_/ shape where the hammock rests on the seat to support your furry friend! a, b and c as individual measurements is easier. Allow for some slack in this so it is comfortable, but not so much that you friend can fall off the seat!
5. the distance between the base of the headrests.
Step 3: Acquire Materials!
Go forth and gather!!!
Find the right amount of dowel for measurements 1 and 2!
Source enough heavy denim or other such heavy fabric! See diagram!
NB: diagram may require some interpretation...
Step 4: Mark, Measure & Cut!
1. Measure and cut dowel, file or round the ends if needed...
2. Using chalk mark your pattern out on the fabric!
3. Double Check measurements...
4. Check again that you have added seam allowance, pockets and hemming space!
* as you can see, it took me a few goes with the chalk to get my measurements right
Step 5: Pin & Hem!
1. Fold, pin and hem edge 5, and the long edge of 4 that will be facing the door...Think about the carefully, as the edge I hem in the photos may not be the same as yours depending which side of the vehicle you have decided to put the hammock on!!!
* Be sure not to hem the little bit at the top of 4a as it makes it too hard to double over when you sew the pocket!
2. Fold, carefully, pin and hem your pockets!
Step 6: Join Together!
1. Line up, pin and sew the two panels together, 4a with 4a; 4b with 4b and 4c with 4c... Careful not to sew your pockets shut!!!
This will probably take a few goes to line up with the pins. Take it slow, unpicking stitching from denim is really slow!
* I'd recommend double stitching this as it will be taking the weight of your dog!
2. clip your corners and make all your thread ends tidy by tying them off then clipping them.
Step 7: Tuck & Tidy the Pocket!
The top of your hammock will be a little untidy where the panels meet at the pocket... if you aren't a neat freak don't worry about it, but if you are here is the quick fix.
1. Grab an upholstery needle or a doll needle.
2. Thread it double with upholstery thread.
3. tuck your raw corner under the edge of the pocket.
4. use the curve of the needle to thread under the edge of the pocket to secure your corner.
5. repeat till you are happy that it is secure
6. tie off and clip
Step 8: Fitting!
This is a bit tricky as you need 3 hands and is a good time for a helper.
1. fit the two lengths of dowel to you hammock.
2. adjourn to the vehicle with chalk and scissors or a knife and the cable ties.
3. Remove the headrest on the back seat where your hammock will go.
4. Tuck the opposite end of the dowel behind the other headrest and balance the dowel and hammock where they should sit.
5. use the chalk to mark the top of where the headrest inserts into the seat.
6. remove and cut the two slits
7. realign and insert the headrest, the hammock should now be hanging from the back dowel.
1. hold the front dowel and line it up with the back of the front seat.
2. negotiate where it should sit according to the door and center of the vehicle etc
3. use the chalk to mark the fabric below the dowel but still inside the pocket
4. drop this away from the seat and cut, these only need to be tiny as it only needs to fit a cable tie. (knife tip works well for this)
5. thread cable ties through the slits and line up with the headrest again
6. loosely secure cable ties around the poles of the headrest. (loose is key here as if you need to remove the hammock all you need to do is remove both head rests!!!)
7. clip ends of cable ties and rotate them so they don't scratch the dog, or the neck of the person in the seat in front!
1. feel where the buckle is for the seat belt
2. mark a line with chalk
3. remove hammock and cut
4. re-install hammock
5. clip the seat belt to dog clip adapter in and take your dog for a ride!!!
The denim shouldn't fray where you have cut it, but you can take the hammock out and run button hole stitch around the raw edges just to be sure! You now have a safe and fun way for your dog to travel, that helps keep your car clean and can be removed and machine washed!!! Enjoy!