So my first attempt at cleaning out my fabric stash will be to use up these blankets.
I bought these at Walmart after Christmas. They were origninally $4.95 each and I got them for half price. Score!
I'm going to be making this dog shirt pattern
It's a Vogue pattern that I bought (for $0.25) when one of the local fabric stores was going out of business. I'm making the blue one in the upper right corner, adjusting the length slightly.
So here we go!
First step is to cut the pattern out. This one has four pieces. I unrolled the blankets and folded them in half, then laid them one on top of the other meeting the folded edges. Pieces one and two both get placed on the fold. I am using the XL size, except for the length; for that I'm using the M size.
The cutting is my absolute least favorite part, but these blankets are very forgiving. Because of the way that the shirts go on the dogs, you don't have to worry so much about matching patterns, but because of the way the blankets are, they kind of match up with not much effort anyway.
Now then, to the sewing machine!
The first step is to line up piece one and piece two at the shoulder seams, and stitch across. I then surged the seams because this fleece started shedding as soon as I cut it. Unless it's a flannel or a plush fleece like these are, I usually don't surge the seams.
Now, the pattern will tell you to sew the side seams at this stage as well. I skip this step until a little later, and you'll see why. The next step I do is sew the hem of the arms (piece four).
Again, I surged the edge because this fabric wanted to fray.
After the hem, I then sew the sleeves in. Yup, I'm sewing the sleeves in with out sewing the sleeve seam or the side seams. This gives me a flat surface to sew the sleeve in, which is much easier than sewing a round and trying to line up the side seams. There will be a bit of easing, but not a lot on this shirt.
Once the sleeve is in place, match the side seams (right sides together of course!) and sew from the hem of the sleeve to the bottom of the shirt. One long straight seam. See, sleeves aren't scary!
With the side seams now sewn, it's all about the bottom hem. I just did a single fold hem for these, surging the bottom edge again. The curve actually lays flat with out much fuss if you do a 1 inch single hem, like is built into the pattern.
If you're keeping track, we still have one last piece.
Piece 3 is the collar. Now for those of you who have been sewing a while you'll say, "but wait, we should have sewn piece 3 before piece 4!" and if you follow the pattern directions you'd be correct. I on the other hand, like to sew the collar last. Partly because of my side seam/sleeve technique.
So the collar is one long rectangle that you're going to fold in half and make a tube out of. Sew down the open edge, and there's your tube. Now this is the one seam that I didn't serge, and that's because this gets folded down again and so will be hidden and not exposed like the other seams.
Once you have your tube, fold the open edges together, trapping the seam edge inside of the fold.
Last step is to sew the collar to the shirt. I do have one last tip here. When you match the pieces, place the collar inside of the shirt while the shirt is still inside out. Then when you sew, place the foot of the sewing machine, on the collar so you're sewing inside of the circle. This is much easier to match seams, and sew if you don't have a free arm machine, or your free arm is not very small (like my machine).
And we're done!
If you would rather buy one of these than make it, you can find them here.
Or visit my Etsy shop and contact me for custom made items.
Now for pictures of doggies in these sweaters
|Amelia Pond: Pyr Mix wearing the green sweater from this tutorial|
|Side view. Yes, she wasn't thrilled to be put in clothes, so she won't be getting one for keeps.|
|Leslie freezes when she's dressed. Normally she's such a wiggler!|
|And this shot was just too adorable to not post! Her freezing in front of the camera really makes her an amazingly perfect model.|