Here we go!
Before you do anything; remember to wash your fabrics before starting to use them. All fabrics shrink a little the first time you wash them and you want that shrinkage to happen before you make a fitted jacket for your dog. If you make the jacket first and then wash it, it will probably end up being too small for him.
PS. If you make this, PLEASE send me an image of what you have made to email@example.com so I can make an album after a while showing reader-made clothes.
The second thing you have to do is measure your dog. These are the three measurements I used. 1. From the base of the neck until the top of the tail. 2. Around the biggest part of the chest. 3. The thinnest part of the stomach.
I start off making the shape on baking/wrapping paper. Draw using half the measured length around the stomach and chest. So if you're dog measured 40cm around the chest then you draw up 20 cm. The arch on the back is very dependant on your dog. Some iggies have really arched backs whilst others, like my Luigi, have much less. Mark up the length by making two dots, one for the base of the neck and one for on top of the tail. Remember to mark this area on your sheet of paper as well. When the two areas are marked, you make the arch as big as it needs to be and add a little more in the back.
I made the shape of the neck using his harness. Remember to add more length for the chest area.
Use your bakingpaper shape to draw it on your cheap cotton test-fabric. Remember to cut two of them by layering the fabric.
Sew on top of the back until the marked area (where the tail starts). Also sew the chest area shut using your harness as a guide. Add a couple of centimetres extra so your dog has room to move his legs.
Flip the piece inside out so the seams go in. Now it's time to try on the sweater on your dog and check two things. First check that it isn't tight enough around his neck; if you look at the image above, you can see that it IS too tight. What you do then is open up the seam and ad another couple of centimetres and try it on again. Remember that it has to be comfortable for him to wear it. The second thing you check is if you sewed it close enough to his tail. By the look of the image above I should sew a little more to make it tighter.
Cut off the excess when you feel like it's loose/tight enough around the neck/chest area.
Turn it inside out and this is what it should look like. Now it's "right side" with the seams in.
Now it's time to make the stomach belt/chest piece. I used his harness for this as well.
His harness is a little thin between his front legs so I decided to add more width which is the outer lines. The top part of the of this gets sewn to the chest piece so it doesn't have to be that big. The bottom part though is the part that goes around his chest.
Remember to make the bottom part, which goes around his chest, long and wide enough. And remember that too wide and too long is better than too short and not wide enough. You can always cut off excess.
The best thing to do is hand sew this really quickly just to test first like the image below. Remember to turn the main piece wrong side out again first with the seams out.
This is what it should look like if you turn it right side out again with the seams on the inside. Now it's time to try it on again to see if you sewed the top part on too high or too low and if the chest piece is wide enough.
The dog will most likely feel too uncomfortable to pee if the fabric touches his penis, so the way this looks on him, I would probably make it shorter. The rest looks good though. You can see it going up right behind his legs so it's tight and good enough there. This is only a problem if you have a male dog. If you have a girl, you can made the belt even a little wider. The length of the belt going around the chest is up to you. You might want to fasten it using velcro on top or you might want to use buttons. This is completely up to you. You are now ready to move on to your fleece fabric!
Take your test-shape apart from from each other and use it to cut out 4 panels from your fleece fabric. Remember to add a couple of cm around the whole piece for the seam like the white lines show on the picture.
This is what you should have now. Fleece always has a fuzzy side and a less-fuzzy side. This is where you decide which one you want showing. If you want the end result to be fuzzy, then you should have the less fuzzy side out at this stage because you'll be turning it inside out after you sew it. The white lines here shows where to sew. Leave the back and the chest area open. Sew up to the part where the tail is (which you should have marked on your test piece).
You can either hand stitch it first or use needles all around before sewing.
For curvy areas, such as around the back legs and stomach area, be sure to slit up the leftover fabric like it shown in the picture. If you don't do this, the curve will bunch up and pucker when you turn it. If you do this, the curve will lay flat when you turn it, which is what you want.
This is what you should have now. Open in the back and chest.
Now we need to add a supporting seam on the outside. Remember to not sew the chest and back area.
Now put the two pieces on top of each other and sew the chest and back together.
After flipping it, this is what it should look like. Closed at the chest and back. Now you can try it on your dog. Your main piece is done! Hooray!
Now it's time to cut out the chest piece. There's the same thing as with the chest piece. Remember to add a couple of cm for the sewing lines. And remember to cut out two of these.
I cut the "arms" shorter because I didn't want them to go all the way around his chest. When you're happy with the way things look, you start sewing. Remember to leave one side open so you can flip it over. I like to leave the top part open - the part that isn't marked in the picture above.
Remember to do the same with the curves here. And also, cut the corners across so your corners turn out smooth and nice when you turn it inside out.
This is what it should look like when you have turned it inside out. Now you have to do the same as with the main piece; add a supporting seam outside and close the top while at it by just sewing right across.
This is the top part looks when closed with a supporting seam around the rest.
Time to move on to the neck piece; skip this if you don't want a "scarf". Cut out a big square and in the picture, you see the size I decided to go for. Fold it in half and sew along the open side.
Turn it inside out and try it on your dog. I saw that mine was way too big so I decided to add another seam and make it skinnier. The top seam in the picture is the first line I did and the one below is the second one I did. It fit just fine after the second seam.
Stitch it on to the neck of the main piece by placing the scarf on the inside. It will be kind of wrinkly, but that's just the way it has to be so it's not too tight for your dog.
This is what it should look like when it is sewn on and the scarf is all the way out. I leave it like this and just tuck it inside when I put it on him. By doing that, I can make it as long and as short as I want. I can either pull it over his ears or I can flip it down so it's a small scarf depending on how cold it is.
Now you have to make a style choice. Do you want to fasten the chest piece inside or outside the main piece? I like it when it's fastened inside. Hand stitch it first and try it on your dog to see how far up or far down you should sew it on.
When you try it on your dog make sure to check how tight it is behind his front legs. It should be tight and close, but it shouldn't actually touch his legs. The image above is perfect. If it looks like that, go ahead and sew it on.
Now you have another choice to make. Do you want to make it so the chest piece has to be fastened outside the back piece...
...or inside? I'm going for inside this time. At the bottom, you can see one I have made where it was fastened on the outside. Again, it's a style choice.
I put the sweater on him and fastened it with safety pins to mark the areas to sew and make button holes.
After fastening it with the safety pins, I added a white string. On the right side, I sewed the chestpiece and the main piece together; so when I put it on him, I just have to fasten one side. On the left side, I made a seam the same place and same length as on the right side so it looks the same, but that seam is just for show. It's not connected to anything.
On the side that isn't fastened, I sewed on my two buttons. I didn't take the safety pins on so I knew how tight it needed to be. After sewing on the buttons...
... I make new lines as to where the buttons holes need to be.
This is the buttonhole setting I use.
Make a test button hole on a test-fabric first to make sure the size you got it set on is correct.
Yay, we have buttons! I sewed on buttons on the other side as well, but just like the seam on top, those buttons are just for show. So the buttons on the left side are in use while the ones on the right side are just sewn on for symmetry.
Last thing to do is add a button hole for his harness.
This is what the finished product looks like on the underside. You see the left side is fastened with a seam while the right side has button holes. So when you put the jacket on your dog, you only have two buttons to fasten.
NB. Another step you can do to make this better, especially if you have a male dog, is to sew on raincoatfabric on the chest piece. My dog almost always pees on his stomach which makes the chest piece gross after a while which leads me to have to wash it way too often. If you have a waterproof piece sewn on there, the pee will just repel off and you don't have to wash the jacket nearly as often.
Hope you found this step by step useful.
I spent a long time making this so if this helped you in any way then I would love to know. Getting comments on something you have worked hard on is always appreciated.
If there is anything that was unclear, don't hesitate to ask me. Just leave a comment below. You can ask me in English, Norwegian, Swedish or Danish and I'll answer as soon as I can. If you made a jacket using this tutorial then I'd love to see it; email it to firstname.lastname@example.org
Here are some more pictures of Luigi in the jacket for your viewing pleasure.