Inspired by things big and small, this week’s blog post is dedicated to all the puppies out there. Here at AlwaysMod, our shipping manager Lia has just purchased a Yorkiepoo puppy and young Neeko is the cutest little thing you’ve ever seen. She briefly brought him into the office so I initiated him onto our mod team by making him a mini Marimekko jacket out of remnant Nanuk fabric. This vibrant polar bear themed print made an adorable coat to keep Neeko warm during the last cold snaps of winter.
Note: A pattern is required for this doggy DIY but don’t worry, I’ve put together 5 simple steps to help you make it. Plus, I’m here to answer any questions.
- Marimekko Fabric
- Heavy Paper
- Sewing Machine
(Yardage varies depending on the size of your dog but a yard or less should do the trick)
Step 1: Measure your dog.
a. Measure the length (from the base of the neck to just before the tail)
Neeko: 8″ long
b. Measure the circumference of the body.
Neeko: 11″ around
(Note: some dogs are more shapely than little Neeko so feel free to slightly taper the pattern of the body if needed)
Step 2: Create the paper pattern
a. Before cutting you’ll need to do some quick math. In order to make this pattern suitable for any sized dog, think of the pattern in 3 parts. The body needs to be 2/3 and the straps should be the remaining third.
Since Neeko measures 11″ around, divide that number by three to get one third which equals 3.67 inches. So my body needs to measures 7.34″ wide (3.67+3.67) and the strap needs to measure 3.67 inches long. Add 1″ to the strap length to allow the coat to be adjustable (4.67″ in total).
b. Cut out the body pattern. Remember to add 1/2 inch to each side for seam allowance.
Neeko: 8″ long x 7.3″ wide, so cut a rectangle measuring 8.5″ long by 7.8″wide.
c. Once cut, give the pattern more shape by rounding out the bottom edges. It doesn’t have to be an exact science, trace a quick curve then fold the pattern in half and trim off the bottom edge. See image.
d. Cut a slight curve into the top of the pattern, again, this doesn’t need to be exact. It’ll just give the coat a better fit around the neckline. See image
e. Cut the straps. We’ve already established that the strap should measure 4.7″ long. The width of the straps is up to you but my bottom strap is 2.5″ wide. The top strap should be slightly smaller; measuring .5″ skinnier and 1″ shorter. Again be sure to add 1/2″ seam allowance to the patterns.
Neeko’s straps measure:
Top: 2.5″ W x 4.2″ L (without allowance 2″ x 3.7″)
Bottom: 3″ W x 5.2″ L (without allowance 2.5″ x 4.7″)
Step 3: Cut the fabric
a. Now that you have your 3-piece pattern it’s time to cut it out. Place your pattern body on the Marimekko fabric, trace & cut 1. Now fold the fabric in half and cut 1 bottom & top strap.
b. Repeat the above step on the fleece fabric (which will be the lining).
Step 4: Sewing
a. Start with the straps. With the right sides together sew the fleece to the Marimekko fabric leaving one of the short sides un-sewn. Clip the corners, trim the seams and flip inside out. Press. Repeat until all four straps are sewn.
b. Sew the body. With the right sides together sew the bottom and the shoulders, this will leave the neck and the sides of the body open. Trim the seams, flip inside out and press.
c. Before pinning on the straps you’ll need to fold the sides of body inside a ½ inch to create a clean edge. Do this with the right side facing you. See image.
d. Pin the straps to the body. Start by slipping each strap inside the pocket of the body. The bottom straps should be pinned just above the curve (at a 90 degree angle to the body) and the top straps should be pinned just below the shoulder (at a 45 degree angle). Once the straps are pinned, sew the sides together.
e. Finishing stitch. To give the edges a polished look, trace the outline of the coat with one last row of stitching. Sew as close to the edge as possible. See image.
Step 5: Attaching the Velcro
a. Cut 4, 1″ pieces of Velcro. Two from the fuzzy side and two from the rough side.
b. Working on the fleece side, place the rough Velcro on the top left strap, about 1/2″ from the edge. Attach by sewing around all four sides of the Velcro. Repeat on bottom left strap.
c. Working Marimekko fabric side up, place the fuzzy Velcro on the top right strap about 1/2 ” from the edge. Attach by sewing around all four side of the Velcro. Repeat on the bottom right strap.
Trim all the loose threads and voila, your pup can prance around the block wearing a stylish new coat.
There are tons of variations you can make to this pattern, for example I made a puppy coat with a hood. Once you’ve made the basic pattern it’s easy to make small changes and update the pattern to suit your dogs’ every whim.