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This has been cross-posted to the Pet Lovers boards, but I am hopeful someone on this board can give me some tips.

I am hopeful to complete this *TONIGHT*, but will be ready and eager for tips for another one to make at my leisure. I want to make a layered coat (two layers), to maximize warmth based on stuff I have on hand at home.

First and most important question: How do I layer a coat to make it warmest for a dog? I have two things I plan to use: A thin 34" x 49.5" blue, polar fleece blanket and a thin 29" x 33" pink thermal blanket. The thermal blanket is a cotton, weave texture like in this picture:

Second consideration: Best way to create fasteners or ties on short notice (pending adjustments at a later date), without having buttons or fasteners on short notice? (I don't have ribbons to make ties, but am thinking about using cotton rope, forming large knots, and button-holes to tie together.)

One of the dogs I walk is very sensitive to the cold and the local temperatures lately have been in the range of high 20's to low 40's temps in the several days. Since I am on a tight budget and have excess textiles (old clothing and stuff) at home, I want to improvise some sort of warm, winter coat for the dog. I have been looking online for ideas to create one and have posted some background at the bottom of this post.

Other details:
- I have very little actual sewing experience. My limited knowledge comes from memories of watching others working on sewing projects from my childhood. My actual experience is limited to sewing loose buttons, sloppy and coarse hemming, small, odd repair things, and recently altering a pair of XL discount store men's polyester pants to fit me (wanted a very comfortable and easy care pants for dirty work and errands). I have never made a sewing pattern, or designed anything from scratch. My projects have been functional, if not pretty nor sophisticated.

- I do not have a sewing machine. This will be done by hand with some simple sewing needles, thread, and household scissors. No, I don't have pattern paper or related, will be printing up the internet patterns or styles from the internet (see below links) and modifying to the best of my ability.

- The dog is a 14-lbs. long-haired dachschund. This breed has long torsos and short legs. My friends have told me that store-bought clothes fit them very poorly (too short for the body, or if they buy long enough, it is too baggy going around the torso).

- I plan to make a second, better designed and made coat over the next week so I have two on hand (one to use immediately, the second to have and repair), but the dog needs something to wear immediately.

- I will not use a tight stitching pattern deliberately as I am sure I will unravel and repair in the near future. I anticipate that this will look like a really bad, odd, patch job, but it will be clearly homemade and I am going to enjoy the idea of having an article clothing, even if it is barely fit for a dog.

Thank you!

Lois Carmen D.

Below are some website articles I am reading and referring to.

Fleece dog sweater. (with sewing pattern)
My thoughts: I like this general pattern and that it uses fleece.

Make a Quick No Sew Sweater for a Chihuahua Puppy or Small Dog - Tutorial.
My thoughts: A fun-looking and quick idea for future possibilities, but I don't have anything available (anything suitable I am wearing now, for myself this winter).

This little piggy stays warm. (Lovely quilted jacket.)
My thoughts: Just love this, very pretty, I hope to make a coat like this as a longer-term project at some point.

Articles about how to layer for warmth.

How A Thermal Blanket Works To Keep The Body Heat?
My thoughts: This is for people (no fur); dogs have fur and I wonder about the relevance of some moisture-wicking, insulation and general layering tips.

Excerpted from this link:
Layer are better because you can do different things with them. Layer next to skin designed to wick away moisture (eg merino underwear)
Mid-layer to trap air, as insulation (eg Polartec fleece)
Outer layer to stop wind and water but allow water vapour to pass through on the way out (eg Goretex).
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I'm sure others will have MUCH better suggestions, but here is one ultra simple idea. The end result will be one piece kinda the shape of a baby bib, and then one piece that looks like a very wide, short belt.

For the "bib" part: measure your dog from shoulder to to rump, and from top of the leg on the left over the back to the top of the leg on the right. Let's say that's 10" x 4". Then you need to measure from one shoulder, around the front of the neck, to the other shoulder. Those are how long the flap part of the bib (what would wrap around a baby's neck) need to be, but add a couple of inches so they can overlap. Make them as wide as your dog needs. Mark out how wide you want them, and then cut back to the top of the shoulders.

To connect the two flaps, over lap them so the total won't strangle or dangle on your dog, and mark the spot on both of the flaps. Decide which flap will be the "bottom" flap that touches your dog's neck. On the top of that side, stitch the rope to the flap. Cut a smallish hole where you marked the top flap, and pull the rope through the flap. The idea would be to put the coat on your dog and then tie the rope in a knot large enough to not get pulled through the hole.

For the belt-like piece, measure from the back of the front legs to where you want it to stop, probably where the rib cage ends. That also allows you to ignore the difference in width between rib cage and belly. Make it long enough to go from one side to the other, underneath, and again mark on the bib piece on each side and the "belt" on each side where they line up with each other.

Sew one side of the belt to the bottom of the "bib." Put a small hole through the bib there, and on the other side of the bib. Put one end of your rope through the hole on the side where it's sewed on.

Keeping the rope on the "belt," put it around to put it through the hole on the other side, and tie a bow, knot, whatever. You'll end up with the rope in a circle. The "belt" both keeps the dog warmer, and keeps the rope from rubbing the dog.

That would be a very quick way to make a dog quote, with only a couple of small bits of sewing and some measuring/cutting and tying. I'm sure your immediate deadline has passed, but I thought it still might help.

Just try to keep the rope (leather strip, ribbon, whatever), from direct contact with the dog, and make sure the fabric is far enough from the back of legs, etc. not to chafe. I hope it makes sense. If I could, I'd attach a picture of one my mom knit for me that's the same shape (and is for an even smaller dog!).

Good luck!
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In a pinch (for immediate use) a child's coat will work. I did this for a German Shepard my neighbor had. There was a fierce ice storm, and though the dog had a house there was no hay or blankets to warm him. My neighbor would not let him inside... ;(

It was a small down jacket and used large safety pins at the back (where he couldn't reach to snug it around his mid section... sewing some elastic around it would work better, leaving the zipper to make the ultimate fit.

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super late reply - but i came here to ask a question..

If you havent solved this problem,
for the upcoming winter, check thrift stores for size 0-3months (for this sized dog) baby sweaters/sweatshirts/vests.
Sleeveless zip up fleece are the best, so you dont have to cut off the sleeves, but they work really well for at least the chest/torso and for $1 each, well you dont care if they get dirty.
and you can put them on backwards and zip them up the back...

Start with just buying1 or 2 and see how it goes.

peace & suggestions
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