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Topic: Custom Coats for Big Dogs! (Lotsa pictures)  (Read 2352 times)
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« on: September 20, 2010 08:48:30 PM »

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  Undecided

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.  Cheesy

(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  Grin)

Thanks for looking! I will be posting Sam's Halloween costume next month once I make it  Smiley

« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2010 09:50:29 PM »

He's such a ham!  Love the over the shoulder pic of him. 
Those coats are great!  I would love to make some coats for my pit, but she likes to chew on EVERYTHING that is hers. 

« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2010 07:38:44 PM »

Sam chews too. Luckily one of the first things I taught him was "leave it!" Trust me, before and after every picture I was telling him "Leave it! Leave it!" as he tried to chew it. That's the benefit of coats without sleeves: easier to make, and less material within chomping distance.  Wink
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plenty of creativity... not enough hands

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« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2010 09:41:50 PM »

so cute! i want to make one for my 6 month old australian shephard... she chews everything too... shes still learning "drop it" so well see lol

« Reply #4 on: October 10, 2010 10:16:38 PM »

Those pictures are really interesting ! The coats are nice, for sure, but what strikes me the most is the 'model' attitude of your dog ! In picture #3 it seems to ask "Do I look cool ... or do I look cool ?!" Like it has always done shooting !

"Les railleurs, les sceptiques et les indifférents n'ont jamais été bâtisseurs ou défenseurs d'oeuvres humaines". Lieutenant Jean Plantier. Clothes for dogs
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only way to craft, with a great dane in your lap

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« Reply #5 on: October 11, 2010 10:43:45 AM »

i feel ya times 100 i have a great dane puppy and the breed gets really cold really easy ( there big pussys ) and i want to make her some jackets well accually i want to make sweatshirts or sweaters that are cute and pink or whatever because everyone always thinks she is a he and i hate it. i bought a sweatshirt when she was two monthes old (she wore it for like 3 days before she outgrew it lol) but i kept it to go off of patern wise and then i will measure my yoshi and figure out a patern for it. my brother and sil have a great dane boxer and ill probly make him some too.
« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2010 10:54:11 AM »

Ha ha yes Sam is definitely a ham! I think he knows to pose when the camera's on.

I recently found a book at the library by Cathie Filian that uses a similar base coat pattern and then embellishes it to make costumes--adding some spikes along the back for a dragon or some denim and flannel for a cowboy. I'll be trying out some of her variations next!
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