Thursday, November 4, 2010

Yes, even dogs need clothes...

A few months ago, my parents adopted two very adorable dachshunds - Latte (a tan long-haired) and Madison (a smooth pie-bald).  The are total sweethearts and goofballs at the same time.

Well, as it's gotten colder over the past few weeks, the girlies have really been affected.  When you only weigh 10 lbs, I guess that's to be expected.  So I started to look around for something to keep them warm.  Yep, I bought them clothes...  But hey, at least it's not like we're playing dress up for kicks, their clothes serve a purpose.  I ended up getting them both hoodies- look how cute they are!

Unfortunately, the way that doxies joints are, these two tend to pull their front legs out of the "arms" in the hoodies.  They'll work for keeping them warm, for now, but they definitely needed something sleeveless.  Let me tell you, I definitely learned that there is money to be made in dog couture.  Some of the stuff I found was absolutely outrageous, I mean come on, a bikini for your dog?  Like that is at all necessary.

With the amount (or lack there of) of fabric required to make dog clothes, you would probably expect they aren't that expensive.  WRONG!  Even the simplest of dog coats that I found were upwards of $30-50.  There was no way I was spending that for a coat I wasn't even sure would fit the girls correctly.  (Dachshunds have longer backs and most dog clothes are made for an average length back, typically 4-6 inches shorter than the doxies.)

So, I'm sure you know where this is going- if I couldn't find what I needed already made... I would make it myself.  I just so happened to be at a local craft store while they were having a pattern sale.  Now mind you, I did not go to the craft store with the intent to make the dog coats, I was actually there picking up stuff to refinish this bench. Anyway, I noticed the pattern sale and, for giggles, decided to see if by chance there was a dog coat pattern.  Bingo!  So for $2, I walked away with two sets of a fairly simple pattern.  Why did I buy two sets?  Well, most patterns include multiple sizes, which I needed, but they overlap the pieces rather than nest, so by cutting out one size, you make it impossible to cut out anything else.  Advanced seamstresses use tracing paper and the nine yards, but for a buck a pattern, it wasn't worth my time.

Next decision was fabric.  The pattern showed a cute hounds-tooth (haha, get it?) and sherpa selection.  Eh, I wasn't about to spend a ton of money on coats I wasn't even sure the girlies would keep on.  I, instead, opted to buy a no-sew fleece blanket kit.  Let me explain my rationale here: fleece by the yard was on sale, sure better selection, but it would have cost me more money and yielded me less fabric to go that route.  By buying the no-sew kit I had 2 coordinated pieces of fleece and enough of it to make 3 coats, or in my case extra in case I screwed up.  Think outside the box sometimes, it can save you money!

An investment of about 3 hours of my time and I had two cute fleece dog coats, a small and a medium, with straps that looked like they'd fit a horse.  Who's dog did they measure these things for? So, despite finishing the coats off with a top-stitch and pressing them out, I knew I'd be seam ripping them to correct the length of the straps.  After fitting them on the girls, I had to shorten the straps by about 4 inches each (see what I mean when I say dog clothes, and patterns, were not made with a dachshund in mind?)

Regardless, the finished products are uber-cute and the girlies love them.

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