I have an 8 month old chocolate Lab named Sam who's currently weighing in at 85+ pounds. He's got at least another six months of growing in him, and considering his parents, he'll probably end up in the 120 pound range. That said, Sam does NOT fit into most premade doggy outfits for sale in petshops or online. The one shirt I was able to buy him was a 4XL. Needless to say, most dog clothes are not made in 4XLs.
So I decided to sew Sam a few simple coats myself! I haven't really sewn in over five years, so it was a (re)learning experience for me. Now that I've gotten some good practice in, I'll be branching out in what I make Sam for the future. I've got a pattern for his Halloween costume, but I'm not going to sew it yet because I'm not sure how much he'll grow between now and then
I made the pattern for the coats myself out of newspaper so it's fit to Sam's specific measurements. It's based on some instructions in a beginner sewing book I have, but I modified the pattern to suit my tastes. My trial run was in Jaguars fabric (Jacksonville is our hometown); second coat has a Halloween/pirate pattern of orange and gray skulls and crossbones; third coat was made out of a patchwork-looking dog-themed fabric with a coordinating striped lining. All of the coats are lightweight; Sam's Labrador fur provides him with plenty of warmth so he doesn't need anything too heavy.
The Jags coat was made first and as such has the most fit problems; after that trial and error I improved the neckline fit quite a bit on the other two coats. I used strips of sew-in velcro instead of buttons because Sam is still growing and this way he's got much more leeway in the fit at the neck and tummy. In some of the pictures the end of the tummy belt is hanging loose; I fixed that with an extra piece of velcro after taking the pictures (had to try the coats on first to see where to place the end velcro pieces). And to give you an idea of Sam's size, I
can wear his coats as aprons. Seriously. I tried them on.
After I'd finished the coats I had some great scraps left that I didn't want to throw away. The pieces cut out of the neckline especially seemed usable. So I sewed them together and added a channel along the top to slip over Sam's collar, improvising a sort of no-sew kerchief. (There isn't a Jags one because again, it was my first attempt, and the channel ended up being WAY too small for his collar. Again, trial and error!) The kerchiefs do look a bit like bibs, I must admit, but given Sam's table manners, a bib works just fine for him.
(Also Sam was a bit sleepy by the time I finished the kerchiefs; hence his more glazed-over expression than when he had the coats on
Thanks for looking! I will be posting Sam's Halloween costume next month once I make it