Thursday, February 28, 2013

Frankie's Raincoat

As promised a while ago, here's my tutorial for the raincoat I made Frankie (my dog) for Christmas. I made the raincoat using this juniors windbreaker vest I found at Goodwill. I saw it and knew it would be a perfect raincoat for Frankie, especially with the little pocket on the store treats, poop baggies?! :) I knew I wanted to line his raincoat to keep his little body warm, so I chose a black and white plaid fleece from JoAnn Fabrics.

Body: First I laid one of Frankie's coats on the back of the vest. I traced around the body of the coat using a water-soluble marking pen and cut around it leaving a 1/2 inch border to accommodate a seam. Next, I cut out the fleece lining of the coat.

Hood: I trimmed off the existing hood from the remains of the vest and placed it on Frankie's head to figure out how much I had to trim off (Obviously he is enjoying this process. He pretty much sat there while Mommy folded and pinned his hood.) I made sure to leave 1 1/2 inch around the opening of the hood to allow for the seam later. I also put his green coat over the raincoat hood and drew a line where the hood should meet the coat. I cut 1/2 inch below the line I drew.

Keeping the hood folded in half, I cut out the fleece lining adding 3/8 inch to the rounded part of the hood. I also trimmed the opening part of the hood by 1 1/2 inch(not shown). I placed the right sides of the fleece together and sewed a 3/8 inch seam allowance along the rounded middle part of the hood. I then folded and pinned the edges of the hood opening down 1/2 inch and then over the fleece 1 inch (see second and third picture below). To secure, I top stitched close to the edge of the yellow fabric (where pins are placed in picture 3).

Velcro straps: I cut two rectangles each of the lining and raincoat material just 1" longer and wider than the straps on the green raincoat. I placed the right side of the yellow fabric to the right side of the fleece and sewed with a 1/2 inch seam allowance on 3 sides. After that I flipped them out and top stitched around the edges. I also sewed two strips of velcro to each strap (two to the yellow side, two to the plaid side)

Almost there! I pinned and sewed the hood and velcro straps to the yellow coat. Then I pinned the fleece lining to the coat right sides together, making sure the hood and straps are inside (Frankie photo-bombed this pic!). I sewed all around the coat with a 1/2 inch seam allowance, leaving a 6 inch opening at the bottom of the coat. 

I flipped the coat right side out through the opening and poked the corners with chopsticks. I top stitched all the way around the whole coat to create a more polished finish. I also added velcro to the neck closure and a button hole at the back of the neck for Frankie's leash. 

On Christmas day, Frankie got his new yellow raincoat and squeaky bunny. Luckily, he doesn't mind wearing clothes! We've had a few rainy days where this coat came in handy. It is seriously the most precious thing watching him waddle through the puddles in the raincoat I made him (If I only had a video!). I'm just glad he doesn't come back soaking and shivering after our walks in the rain. 

I hope this inspires someone to make a raincoat for their dog. There's something incredibly special about handmade gifts. You can use an existing garment like I did or you can make one from other fun fabrics. The options are really limitless (with hood, without hood, with fleece lining, with cotton lining, with pocket, etc). Whatever you decide to do, your pup will be the only one on the block rocking your personalized creation. :)