I have one old beagle, who with a wee back injury feels the cold a great deal. The other one is a puppy who hates NOT being the centre of attention. This instructable will show you how to tailor a functional jumper for winter... As well as how to make a cute Dinosaur version.
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Step 1: You Will Need
You will need a sewing machine... Well, hog could do this by hand, but it's easier on a machine....
- micro fleece (polarfleece) something to keep the little guys warm, easy to dry and wash, as well as soft. Depending on the width and size of dog, you will probably get 3 out of a metre (well, that's what I got). This fleece also doesn't fray so you don't need to hem the edges.
- matching thread
- pins and safety pins
- darning needle and yarn (for optional blanket stitch step)
Oh, and the dog. This is the hardest step... Dealing with the dogs while sewing.
Step 2: Making the Basic Pattern
This gets a little tricky... Making the basic pattern...
Lay out your fabric, folded over, right sides together.
Lay the dog on the fabric, with their back lined up against the fold line. Draw roughly around the torso, leaving a bit of room for error.
Cut out the shape.
Lay the shape you have over the dog, and work out where to cut the leg holes. Cut these out.
Now put it on the dog like a jacket. I usually need to adjust the leg holes at this point.
Step 3: Sewing Up and Tailoring
Laying out right sides in, sew between the neck curve and the back. Remember to reverse back and forth at the start.
I like to sew from the neck down, and when I get to about half way, do a few back stitches every 2 inches. This means you can cut the shape more accurately in the next bit, without worrying about loosing stitching.
Place the jumper on the dog. (Head first, and lift each leg in). If it is perfect, celebrate. If not... Remove the jumper, turn inside out, and put it back on the dog.
Using safety pins adjust the seams and the back to fit. I like the dogs to be able to "do their business" without soiling the jumper (more of a challenge on the boy beagle)... And a good fit means they would try to pull the jumper off.
Remember to check the neck, leg holes and length for fit. Don't be afraid to trim it off to make it more comfortable for the doggie.
Step 4: Now You Have a Pattern!
Once you have the pins in, return to the sewing machine and re-sew... And cut off the excess.
This is now your new pattern. Lay out on another sheet of fabric and you will have a jumper cut and sewn within 10 minutes, one that is a custom fit.
Step 5: Optional- Blanket Stitch the Edges
Using a darning needle and matching yarn, blanket stitch around the leg holes, back and neck.
Step 6: Creating the Dinosaur
Lay your basic tailored jumper on green fleece. Cut out 2 sides, not joined at the top, adding a 1cm seam allowance to both sides.
In a contrasting fabric, cut out 4 triangles, on doubled over fabric (you should have 8 in total, but 4 pairs).
On the machine, sew 2 sides of each triangle. Cut the top off the triangle as shown, and turn in the other way.
Lay out your sides right sides facing each other. Lay your triangles points down. Pin securely in place. Sew across this back seam, using back stitches at each side of the triangles.
Sew up the bottom seam. You can blanket stitch the edges, or not, it's just a case of personal preference.
Turn it the other way, and enjoy the new dinosaur rubbing around the house.
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