This is a custom Poodle costume I made for my dog.
Step 1: Buying the Material
First, find a fur-like material at your local fabric store you like. I bought
about 1-1 1/2 yards for my 35 lb Dalmatian. Also get the same amount of material in a matching color of stretchable material with a little substance. The material I bought had about a 2" length of fur. This is so you can shape it later.
Step 2: Preparing the Material
Glue the stretchable material loosely to the fur material with fabric glue. This will give the fur a little more sturdiness.
Step 3: Measuring the Body
Measure the dog from mid-point of the front of their chest to the mid-point of their behind, and add 3-4" for ease of movement.
Measure from the front elbow, across the shoulders, to the other front elbow, and add 2-3".
Measure tail from base to tip, and add 1 1/2".
Measure all the way around their face, just in front of their ears.
On all 4 legs, measure from the top of the leg to the ground.
Last one, measure from forehead over the middle of the head to where their collar sits, add 3".
Step 4: Cutting Material
Using your measurements, cut the material as follows:
The body will go over the head and lay the entire length of the body. Leave a hole for the tail. Sew the front 2 pieces together so it makes a hole for the head. (like a dog coat)
The legs will be cut in 4 rectangles using the length you measured, and around the largest part of their leg, adding 2".
Fit the material loosely around the tail, and cut appropriately.
The head piece will go around the face, and remain a separate piece, overlapping the body piece by several inches.
Cut 2 ear-shaped pieces. For my size dog, I cut them 5" long and 3.5" wide at the bottom, narrowing towards the top.
Step 5: Putting It All Together
Once the body is sewn, fit it on the dog.
Add legs by pinning in place, then sewing to the body.
Sew the top part of the tail to the body, leaving the bottom of it open.
Sew the last 3" of the material of the tail together to make it easy to slip over the end of the tail.
Fitting with pins around the face, neck, and down the shoulders a little, remove from dog and sew to make the "hood".
Step 6: Velcro
Put 2 pieces of velcro on each leg a few inches apart. This will enclose each leg, and allow for easy dressing.
Put a thin piece of velcro on each side of the tail down the length to enclose the tail.
Step 7: Hair Cutting
Once all was in place, give your poodle which ever poodle cut you like. There are several choices out there. Use sharp scissors and hand-trim like you would a real dog.
*Save the clippings
At the end, use spray adhesive, and a stuffed dog to wear the head-piece to attach the clippings you saved to the top of the head and ears. Let it dry overnight. Add as many layers as you like.
Step 8: Final Touches
Choose some ribbon, and make a simple bow (you-tube videos) or just tie a simple bow, and sew together. Then, sew to the top of the ears. Choose a bright collar, and Ta-Da!!!