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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Embellished Wool Doggie Sweater Dress- A Tutorial

Ok. So it's not really a sweater dress. It's just so fun and fancy with the ruffles and flower that it feels more like a dress than a sweater so that's what I'm going with. 

So in my post here I talked about Stephanie Lynn's Martha Stewart Craft Along at Under the Table and Dreaming, but it turns out I was a little confused about what her craft along was all about. I shouldn't have been because it was explained very well, but I think I was just reading what I wanted to...haha. The deal is you are supposed to use one of the Inspiration Projects for February and make something. While the fabric mattes for frames look fabulous, I began searching for other projects on Martha's website that I could make instead. 

I am still excited about Under the Table and Dreaming's Martha Craft Along, but may not have time to do any projects for this month. I'm excited to see what her March Inspiration projects will be. 

After perusing the website for awhile, I decided I was more in the mood to make a dog cardigan like I found here on Martha's website. 
To make that sweet cardigan, however I needed a 100% wool cardigan. Uh....I don't have an extra one of those laying around (wool is too itchy for me!) so off to the thrift store I went. I didn't find any cardigans (sadly), but I did find this gem:
I was a little sad it was pretty much the same color as my dog, but it was the best thing I could find that was 100% wool. Besides, who could pass up those sweet little hearts and Alpine sweater design. 

The above picture is actually a picture of it after I shrunk/felted it using Martha's instructions here
(I forgot to take the before pic.) The sweater was already an extra small and it shrunk up a lot so there was no way I could follow Martha's great video tutorial on how to make the sweater fit the dog. 

I made my own pattern for a traditional dog sweater instead. 

Remember I am not a seasoned sewer. I do not even consider myself good, yet.  I second-guessed my thinking a few times which caused me to make silly mistakes. It turned out miraculously okay, though. 

I'm sure others have made dog sweaters in a similar way...this is just my version.

Step 1: Make pattern, cut sweater.
First I made a pattern for the back (dog's back-main part) of the sweater. To do this I taped two pieces of printer paper together and laid down a sweater that fit my dog on top. I traced the outline of the "back" piece on that sweater, rolling it around to get a full back piece. I left a 1/2" inseam. When I laid the pattern on the sweater I realized I didn't need to do any extra cutting besides cut the sweater in two halves (front and back) and cut the sleeves off to get the "back" part of the sweater! (Thank goodness the sweater shrunk to the perfect size and not smaller!)
Here's what the "back" piece looked like after cutting. Notice I left the turtleneck part complete. I did end up cutting off most of the bottom cuff that is still in this picture, as well.
Next I made the "belly" pattern. To make the pattern. I slid one piece of printer paper inside the dog sweater I knew fit Nix and traced the parts I could. Then I went through the neck and marked the spot at the top where the "belly" piece stopped. I connected any lines that were missing after taking the paper out of the sweater.  Then I pinned it to the sweater in a way that the pattern on the sweater would be straight and centered. 
Here are my cut pieces (cuff on bottom of "back" piece was cut later)
Step 2: Pin and sew pieces together
Pin right sides together. Be sure to pin the top of the "belly" piece to the turtle neck. 

While it would have been awesome to sew this on my machine, the two pieces of thick wool together wouldn't fit. I hand sewed it instead, stitching over each area twice for extra durability. It didn't take long since the areas to sew were small. 

Turn inside out.
Step 3: Embellish.
After finishing, it was cute, but it basically looked like the sweater before except on a dog. I wanted to add some more cuteness to it. 

Ruffles and flowers are the best go-to for more cuteness, obviously. 

Here is the end product. I'm pretty pleased.
Here's the view of the "belly" side:
And a close-up of the flower:
 Why have I not made sweater flowers before? They're so pretty!  I used the extra fabric from the sleeves and cuff to make this flower and the ruffles.

I made this flower a lot like the felt rose in this post without the rolled rose part. I hand-sewed the flower pieces together, added a circle and sewed a pearl to the middle. Then I just sewed it to the sweater dress.

I sewed the ruffles just like I did in this post here.

And here's the pretty girl in her sweater. Matt has to hold her to keep her in the picture. 

She hates cameras. She will seriously get up and leave if you even turn a camera on or point a camera (or phone!) at her. I have a lot of blurry pictures where she's running away from me. This is the best out of probably 10 or so. 

I swear the sweater dress lays flat when she isn't standing on two legs. 

Hope you enjoyed the doggie sweater dress tutorial. See you soon!
Linking to these fabulous parties and this one, too.
and here

 and here
A Marvelous Mess


Rissa @ Hazel and Honeysuckle said...

Tthat is super cute! Do you think my boy dog would mine wearing one? ;) Hehe! Found you from the Trendy Treehouse link up :)

iram said...

awww what a sweet dogi in such a sweet dress i am thinking to make one like this for my cat next winters hope fully

KJ said...

Hahahahaha! Sooooo cute! Christmas card outfit next year?

Unknown said...

Great idea! You have a very stylish dog!

Otter Hill Designs said...

Awesome!! Love the design on the sweater - great idea!

Megan said...

this is too cute. unfortunately my golden boys can't wear husband gets upset even if I put a gingham collar on one of them!


Unknown said...

That is the cutest sweater dress!! I have been trying to knit some sweaters for my puppy but they never come out quite right. Now THIS I could do!!I would love it if you would link this up to my blog party, A Marvelous Mess!! One project from each party will be featured on my sidebar for a week!! Here is the link:

Sugarr2518 said...

Really love this ! I haven't seen anything like this and it would be cheaper to do something like this too:)

Unknown said...

Super cute! Is your girl a Shih Tzu? I will have to make this for my girl. Hopefully it comes out as I am no sewing expert...not even close! Check out my blog when you get a the end I always have a photo of her.

Luitpold said...

Ok. So it's not really a sweater dress. It's just so fun ...

Jordan said...

Ok. So it's not really a sweater dress. It's just so fun ...

Dietmar said...

I made my own pattern for a traditional dog sweater instead. ...

Matthias said...

I made my own pattern for a traditional dog sweater instead. ...

Unknown said... Dog food Dog food

fzillion said...

Sweater dress black with leggings - shoes needed!?
long sleeve sweater dress

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