We’ve been having a particularly cold January in Vermont, so I decided to make some jammies for my Greyhound, Kuzco. For those who are not familiar with the breed, Greyhounds have no fat, undercoat or any other kind of insulation to protect them from extreme weather, so they get cold easily, especially at night.
Here is a breakdown of how to whip this up, the quick and dirty way:
1 yd of a cotton fabric. The inside of the coat has to be cotton or another static free material. Stay away from fleece or wool, unless that you want a late night light show. I recycled an old cotton blanket.
1 yd of flannel. I used Joann’s Snuggle Flannel Fabric, which is 100% cotton as well.
1/4 yd Sew in Velcro.
This pattern works for any short haired dog (Whippets, Chihuahuas, Jack Russells…) and the first thing you need to do is measure your dog for these dimensions:
- Overall length, from the end of the neck (bottom), to the back of the legs.
- Back length, from the end of the neck (top) to the beginning of the tail.
- Girth: distance around the chest, behind the front legs.
- Chest length, from behind the front legs to the waist.
With those measurements construct a rectangle and draw your pattern as follows:
Once you have the desired shape you need to add 1″ seam allowance all around, except on the “Back Length” side.
For the next set of instructions I am going to call the outside fabric (in my case, the Flannel fabric) “Fabric A” and the inside fabric (in my case, the old blanket) “Fabric B”:
Fold Fabric A with the right face out and place your pattern with the “Back Lenght” side on the fold. Cut your pattern. Fold Fabric B with the right face in and repeat. Don’t forget the seam allowance!
After cutting both fabrics, open them up and pin them together with the right faces in. Sew around the marked area showed below, leaving the front and the V on the back open.
The next step is to clips “V’s” on the seam allowance. This will allow the fabric the flexibility required to form the curves when you turn the coat right side out. Be very careful not to cut the seam! To reduce the risk of mistakes, I leave a 1″ allowance and trim the excess after clipping the V’s. I like to use pinking shears to prevent any fabric unraveling.
To close the gap in the back, bring together both raw edges and sew them leaving a 1″ allowance. Once you do that, it’s a good stopping point to turn your work right side out and check your progress.
Now you are ready to make the snood (high collar). The snood is optional, but I think it helps keep the pajamas in place. Remember that your dog is going to be sleeping in them, so he is going to move around, turn sideways, upside down… you don’t want him to get all tangled in the middle of the night.
Measure the length of the front opening of your work and multiply by 2; this will be the width of the snood. Then measure the length of you dog’s neck and add 2″ of seam allowance; that will be the length of the snood.
Cut a rectangle using the dimensions above. I like a contrasting snood, so I used Fabric B.
Open the coat, fold-in each the raw edges of the front opening, as shown below, to create a 1″ seam and pin it.
Place the rectangle 1″ in between Fabric A and B with the right side out and pin it to Fabric A. Sew a double seam to join the snood to Fabric A. The first seam should be as close as possible to the folded edge of Fabric A. The second one as close as possible to the raw edges.
Turn your work around and fold the snood in half. Pin the raw edge you just folded to the inside of Fabric B and repeat sewing the double seam.
At this point you should have just 2 sides with raw edges. Chose one (it doesn’t matter which one), fold the edge in 1″ and pin it.
Now place the other side (the one you didn’t pin) 1″ inside the pinned edge, pin them and sew them all together. This can be a little tricky because of the thickness of all of the seams together and you may have to do some stitches by hand.
You are almost done! The last thing to do is the chest strap. Put the coat on your dog to determine where to place the strap and how long it needs to be. Ideally the strap should go on the waist curve of the coat, but you can move it to where you think it would be the most comfortable for your pooch.
Cut 2 rectangles from fabric A with the dimensions you gathered above + 1/2″ of seam allowance. Position both pieces together with the right face in and sew 3 sides.
Flip the rectangle right side out, fold the last raw edge in 1/2″. Pin it to the coat and sew a rectangle with a reinforcement X in the middle.
The last step is the Velcro: Sew two rows of it at the end of the strap, then put the coat on your doggy and mark where the other side of the Velcro should go on the coat. Sew them on the coat and you are done!
Now put the coat back on your dog and bask in your glory!