My Blog | Sewing

Making and Fitting a Dog Coat

August 10, 2017



Last year, I realized my dog Brownie, who has panic attacks during thunderstorms, liked have a blanket on her back when she heard the thunder. The blanket on top of her didn’t stop her panic attacks, but it slowed them down. Unfortunately, Brownie would overheat under these blankets, so I decided to make her a coat with lighter weight fabric to give her some comfort during storms without overheating her.

This idea turned out to be a great one and Brownie loved her coat so much she would sleep with it even though she wasn’t wearing it. Although she loved her first coat, I realized that, like humans, not all dog patterns fit all dogs. So, I wanted to write a post about how I made a coat for Brownie and how I fit it for her.

The pattern I decided to use to make Brownie’s coat is Simplicity pattern number 8277…

After much consideration, I decided to use view C because I could modify the pattern easier and, although Brownie is not a Corgi like in the illustration, she is medium sized with a round body.

I made both the first coat and the second coats out of very soft minky…

And I lined the coat with polyester satin, which, from my experience, Brownie loves to lay in if I give her the chance.

I found the pattern itself and the instructions easy and simple to follow. I decided to leave off the decorations on the coat such as the peter pan collar and I added snaps to the coat instead of toggles, just in case I needed to get the coat off Brownie quickly. When I made my first version of the coat, it took me a few hours of work to complete and line the coat. The only problem I had with the coat is the fit of the pattern.

Like humans, all dogs are not built the same. Like I mentioned earlier, Brownie is a medium sized dog with a very round body. She is also on the taller end of the medium size dogs. When I made her first coat, I used the pattern for medium sized dogs. It fit her perfectly from her neck to her tail, but the parts of the coat that fit around her back and stomach couldn’t fit around her. They were too small! So, I adjusted the pattern to fit her better.

First thing I did was compare the medium dog size pattern to the large dog size pattern.

The medium size pattern is on the left and the large size pattern is on the right.

The large size pattern would be far too long to fit Brownie’s back, but the top is long enough to be able to wrap around her chest. So, I combined the patterns.

The first thing I did was make a copy of the medium size pattern onto copy/printer paper taped together…

Then, using the large size pattern as a base, I extended the length of the strap that wraps around the neck and chest and made sure the edges tapered to the bottom of the coat. The last thing I did was add the cutting marks and I was done!

I also copied and lengthened the strap that goes around the stomach because it was too short as well.

Like a lot of pets, Brownie gets fussy when I want her to do something that she does not want to do. Although she likes it when I make something for her, she does not like getting measured for anything I make to fit her measurements. Because of this, I enlarged the strap pattern more than I thought I’d need. After making the second coat, I found out I enlarged the strap too much, so I adjusted the position of the snaps so the strap will not hang off be loose on Brownie.

After fixing the patterns, I remade her coat.

And here is the finished coat…

I do not have photos of Brownie wearing the coat because she is so fussy and does not like her picture taken. Even if she’s wearing a brand new coat. *sigh*

Anyway, Brownie love to wear her coat and snuggle with it. I’m happy to report the coat helped her get through this year’s monsoon thunderstorms. She still has panic attacks, but her attacks slowed down a little bit. Yippie!

That’s all for now! Thank you for reading!