Doggy Coats

Martha Stewart Living, December 2007

My water-resistant doggy coats are well fitted, adjustable, and comfortable. Francesca and Sharkey enjoy dressing up, but they also want to stay dry and warm on cold winter days. Coats should never be bulky or drag on the ground. That is why custom-made is best.

Coated linen lends a sheen to these coats and also makes them water-resistant. A fleece fabric lining makes them warm. The coats are sized for small dogs, about 13 inches in length from neck to tail. The coats shown here are blue with gray trim and orange with brown trim. They're both lined in brown fleece. Use the following templates to cut out linen and fleece: top, underside, and strap. See below for instructions on quilting. Once this step is completed, you should have a quilted body piece, belly strap, and collar. All will have raw edges.

Dog Coat How-To
1. Cut a 12-inch strip of Velcro hook fastener into two 3 1/2-inch pieces and two 2 1/2-inch pieces. Cut a 10-inch strip of Velcro loop fastener into two 2 1/2-inch pieces and two 4-inch pieces. When attaching strips, stitch around the perimeter of each Velcro strip; refer to the pattern for placement: Sew the two 3 1/2-inch hook strips to the belly strap. Before stitching the two 4-inch Velcro loop strips to the coat body, sew them together along their long sides. Sew the remaining loop strips to the linen side of the collar and the remaining hook strips to the opposite tab of the collar on the fleece side.

2. Cut a piece of 1/2-inch-wide bias tape to go around the outer curve of the collar. Pin in place, then stitch. To attach collar to coat: Pin the collar, linen side up, to the linen side of the coat. Stitch 1/4 inch from edge. Remove pins.

3. Cut a piece of 1/2-inch-wide bias tape to go around the edge of the body piece, plus 1 inch. Beginning at the tip of one of the neck flaps, pin in place. Fold under 1/2 inch, leaving 1/2 inch overlapping. Stitch in place. Remove pins.

4. Cut a piece of 1/2-inch-wide bias tape to go around the edge of the belly strap, plus 1 inch. Pin in place. Fold under 1/2 inch, leaving 1/2 inch overlapping. Stitch in place. Remove pins. Attach belly strap to body piece, as shown on pattern.

Quilting How-To
1. Place the linen for the body piece, wrong side up, on a flat surface in a well-ventilated area. Spray it with temporary spray adhesive made for fabric. Immediately place the linen, sticky side down, on the fleece for the body piece. Working from the center out, smooth fabric to remove any ripples or creases.

2. Repeat step 1 with the linen and fleece for the belly strap and collar.

3. With a ruler and a disappearing-ink fabric pen, mark diagonal parallel lines 3 inches apart on body piece. To prevent fabric from puckering, sew along lines in the same direction. Draw lines perpendicular to the first and 3 inches apart, and again sew in 1 direction.

4. Repeat step 3 with belly strap and collar.

Resources
Fabric for coat: laminated linen in Orange and Blue, $32.95 per yard, from B&J fabrics, 212-354-8150. Fabric for lining: 100 Series double-velour fleece in Adder Brown (#7548-79041), $10.59 per yard, from Mill Direct Textiles, 979-686-7700 ext. 223. Fabric for trim: linen in Brown and Taupe, $7 per yard, from Gray Line Linen, 866-585-4636.

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