COZY COATS FOR THE LITTLE ONE
Design Brief: keep Rennie dry on rainy walks and warm on snowy adventures
Solution: a comfy high-vis raincoat for daily use and a sherpa jacket secure enough for romping in the woods
We brought home Rennie at 8 weeks old at the beginning of September 2020. Living in the Pacific Northwest, we knew rainy season was right around the corner and wanted a solution to keep our little puppy warm and dry on his daily walks. Selfishly, we also wanted to reduce the wet dog smell as much as possible.
Research – I began by scoping out raincoats for dogs online to gather a general sense of materials used, important features, and common pattern shapes. I also listed use case scenarios accompanied by lists of wants + needs. I decided to opt for a fleece lined waterproof fabric to reduce the unnecessary material of a second layer. I chose velcro for the closures to allow for easy transitions, and added reflective stripes for safety on dark walks.
Pattern Making – While I had sewn garments for myself, this was my first exploration into puppy-wear. I began by cutting up paper grocery bags and taping them into a puppy-sized rectangle. With plenty of treats in hand, I wrapped the paper around Rennie while he was standing, and proceeded to sketch out the potential pattern with a marker. After cutting out the shape, I re-wrapped Rennie and made little adjustments, in some places taping on extensions of paper and cutting out new parts to adjust the overall silhouette. This was very much a trial and error process, but after enough fit tests, I landed on a shape I was happy with.
Sewing – This stage was generally straight forward, but as always involved thinking through order of operations. While the fabric was not in danger of fraying, I chose to give the coat a rolled edge for structure, except around the belly strap so it could sit more comfortably against Rennie's body.
Testing – I went in to this project knowing that he would out grow this coat in a number of months, so I definitely made sure to use it as a learning experience for the future. After having put this coat to use, I was tempted to experiment with revised patterns and alternative closures.
Paper Bag Pattern
Rainy Day Action