Wednesday, November 5, 2014

The Chloe Coat

It always surprises people how much I LOVE little beings. They don't see me as a baby or a dog person until they see me with a baby or a dog and then they wonder why they hadn't put them together before. I've been trying real hard not to turn into one of those goo-goo about their dog kinds of women which is exactly what I was afraid of when Jessica asked me to take Chloe - that I'd get really attached - and exactly what seems to have happened. To me, little being equals lots of love and spoiling and she's rather fun.

Last week, when we were out getting the mail, I stopped to talk to a neighbor... and talk... and talk... and talk. I'm really good at talking. When I looked down, Chloe was shivering so hard she could barely stand still. I felt terrible and - naturally - bought her a coat, a small running style coat that doesn't quite cover her back. It was the best of the lot. There are - IMHO - a mega amount of ridiculous, I'd be ashamed to wear them if I was a dog, way too cute, or completely ugly coats being sold at exorbitant prices AND they're all alike. No individuality what-so-ever. I'm not a look alike kind of girl and...

... neither is my dog - VBG. I traced the running coat to make a pattern and then tissue fit Chloe. She was incredibly patient as if she - the little drama queen that she is - knew this was all about her.

Compared to the running coat, she needed this one to be longer across the back and around the girth for more coverage. I cut the upper layer from a sweater I'd felted last fall, pin fit it on her, and we went for a test walk to see what happened when dogs do what dogs do. The shoulder straps were too long and the length irritated her tail - she kept trying to catch what was bugging her - so I shortened them both and then...

... placed the sweater fabric wrong sides together with denim remnants from my jeans and ran two rows of stitching around the outside edge, one at 1/8" and one at 1/4" before trimming the denim...

... up to the first line. To finish, I ran two rows of zigzag around the outside edges with the stitches further apart on the first one and closer together on the second one.

The final fitting was to mark where the velcro should be placed. Howard had just arrived home from work and I'm not sure if Chloe was looking at him to say hello or begging for help!

The front has a small opening, about half the length from the neckline to the seam above my thumb. The bottom two buttons go through two layers and the top button through only one. I can get the coat over her head without the opening so next time I'll put these three pieces together and cut them as one.

There's a 2" x 5" piece of velcro on each side with the catchy part on the back of the coat and the soft part on the belly flaps. The buttons are not functional; they're just for fun.

She wore the coat for our short - before bed - walk and seemed to enjoy it. It's warmer than her running coat. Making the Chloe coat was fun in the way that making the little girl twirl coats is. I plan to make her another one using some of my hand painted fabric with fleece on the under layer.

If you've never sewn a project just for fun, give it a try. Experiment with a pattern you love by sewing it in a different size from your own, or sew a pattern that fascinates you but you'd never wear, or sew child size, or make a doll... or a book... or a bag. There's something freeing about a project that doesn't have to fit you. You can simply have fun, do your best at every stage, and thoroughly enjoy the process.

Talk soon - Myrna

Grateful - a patient puppy

When I start making typos, I know I'm getting tired. I've hit the point of diminishing returns. I wrap for the day. The office is closed. How many pages have I produced? I don't care. Are they any good? I don't even think about it. All that matters is I've put in my time and hit it with all I've got. All that counts is that, for this day, for this session, I have overcome Resistance. 
- Steven Pressfield - The War of Art


  1. oh how sweet. I have a rough 'n tumble terrier mix who doesn't seem to get cold...ever! However, I totally agree that projects without fitting issues are good for us! I recently made up Alicia Paulsen's "Maggie Rabbit" and am making more clothes for her... when asked who it was for, I grinned and told them it's all for me!!!

    1. Thanks. You're Maggie Rabbit project sounds just perfect. Glad it's for you.

    2. Your not you're. I seem to be doing that one a lot lately - VBG.

  2. Ooh, how darling - and functional. My little 3-pound Maltese hates the process of having her sweaters put on or taken off, but she loves wearing them. The last two nights I've been sorting and cleaning out yarn stash and failed knitting projects, and you've inspired me once again. There's one particular bit of knitted fabric that should make a great doggie sweater. Chloe is a lucky cutie pie.

    1. I'd love to see your version when it's finished. Could you please send a picture? Chloe is a spoiled cutie pie.

  3. Is it not amazing how little furry beings become part of you? Your little coat is perfect, she looks like a little princess!

    1. LOL - at least I'm not talking to myself now; I'm talking to the dog. Thanks. I'm pleased with how the coat turned out. Chloe thinks she's a princess too.

  4. "She was incredibly patient as if she - the little drama queen that she is - knew this was all about her." oh they know allright :)

    What a wonderful coat! i love the color, texture, and how clean-lined and functional it is - the buttons are just to die for! really wonderful and i am sure tiny C is much more comfortable on her walks.

    It's funny how some dogs really love wearing clothes. My mom's cairn terrier Heidi is a adorably dumpy little old lady with one drooping, deaf ear who was rescued from being a mill mom a number of years ago. I would never have thought of it but she LOVES wearing her little sparkle jester collar for holidays and her 'gotcha' day. And just prances when she wears her raincoat to go out - who knew a glamourpuss lurked inside that rumpled haystack?

    Really happy that you and Chloe are settling in and having a blast together, which is exactly as it should be. :) steph

    1. She definitely does know. Our weather today is so gorgeous that neither of us needed a coat. How weird for the first week of November.


Thanks for commenting. I appreciate the feedback and the creative conversation.