Sewchet

Sewing, crochet, crafts, accessories, baking, tutorials,


27 Comments

Faux Sheepskin Coat

Last week, I drove over to my ‘local’ fabric warehouse half an hour away to collect my dressmaking shears which had been sent away to be sharpened (a student had tried to cut over a pin). In theory, I could have been in and out in two minutes and saved myself a bit of money, but I couldn’t resist having a quick look at the fabrics to see what was new.

As soon as I spotted this faux sheepskin in lilac I immediately thought ‘Coat’, and McCall’s 7480 was the perfect pattern as the envelope even shows it made in a similar fabric.

I cut it out that night using weights instead of pins as the fabric is very thick.

The coat has a simple shape which comes together as soon as the shoulder seams are sewn.

I adapted the pattern to suit the fabric in several areas, the first being to use the same fabric for the pockets rather than the suggested lining fabric.

The pockets are top stitched to the front of the coat to stop them flapping around inside.


This type of fabric doesn’t fray so none of the raw edges needed finishing. All the seams were top stitched to ensure that they lay flat. I actually quite like the way the seams look on the inside.

So this is the coat finished according to the instructions and they suggest that a purchased belt will act as a closure.



However, in my mind I pictured a single button of the traditional leather kind and found exactly what I was looking for after a quick rummage in my button tin.

Obviously, an ordinary buttonhole wouldn’t be any good, so I decided on a bound buttonhole using a scrap of the same faux sheepskin. I trimmed the pile right back to make it possible.




Pretty good from the outside….

….but I could have chosen a slightly larger scrap to make the inside a bit better. It’s surprising how much fabric a tiny bound buttonhole takes up!

That’s what I picture when I think of sheepskin coats, so I’m happy with that – much better than a belt.


A couple of extra details added were a tab to hang the coat up with – how annoying is it when coats don’t have one?

I also decided to turn the cuffs up. so that the furry side would show a little bit.


The unlined collar would have to look neat on both sides as the inside would be exposed at the back neck.


I was careful to match up the seams everywhere as there is quite a lot of top stitching which would stick out like a sore thumb if it was out of line.


The pockets are nice and cosy thanks to the decision to make them from the same fabric..


Number 3 Son was chief photographer on this occasion, and did OK despite the windy gusts.





I wore it to the carnival at the weekend and was almost too warm, so I’m confident that it will be a good Winter coat.


Mind you, it might have been all the prosecco that was making me feel warm:)


28 Comments

“Woolly Woofers” Knitted Dog Coat

Regular readers of the blog will recognise Fifi and Tess, a 14 year old Yorkie and 3 year old Chorkie, respectively.

Here they are in their Winter coats, all long, shaggy and warm.

Whilst we were in Spain, my mother looked after both dogs and took them for their annual haircut, and they now look just a tad different!


Trouble is, Fifi feels the cold and can always be found sat as close to the fire as possible whenever it is lit.


She has a variety of coats; here is her Winter one.


This one was a non-stretch fleecy number, made specifically to stop her licking her wound after an operation.


And who can forget this disastrous effort made in rather too much of a rush and was miles too big?


Point is that, no sooner had they had their Summer trim, the weather turned – 14 degrees and rain. For two weeks.


Poor little Fifi spent most of her time curled up in a ball in an effort to keep warm, shivering pitifully.


Of course, technically, her Rudolph coat would do the job perfectly well but, quite frankly the excuse to knit up another cute little number from Debbie Bliss’ “Woolly Woofers” in summery colours was too good an opportunity to miss.


After scrutinising the descriptions and measurements of various patterns, I settled on a ‘tube’ style coat, which would be close fitting and comfortable.

It’s called “Mod Dog” for obvious reasons, but it was the tube style that I wanted, not the Mod design.


Don’t you just love the illustrations?


I had the best part of a ball of “Rainbow” double knitting yarn left over from some project or other which would be plenty for this little coat.

Wool Warehouse stock it in a dozen different colours.


I started straight away. Well, it was howling a gale and pouring down outside, so why not?


By the next day, I had finished both the front and back pieces.


A quick trip to the garden centre later, and I had a set of 3.75mm circular needles to finish the cuffs.


How’s that for a season-appropriate colourway? 


I put the coat on Fifi as soon as it was off the needles and she wore it all night without the need to be wrapped up in a blanket. (For “blanket” read “one of Mr H-L’s jumpers”, because he’s so soft).


This morning I took some more pictures in daylight to show you.


Now she won’t look daft if we go out for a walk, whereas the Christmassy coat might draw a few questioning glances down the pub.





Isn’t it sweet? Although I’m hoping Summer will show it’s face at some point in August, at least Fifi won’t be shivering if it doesn’t.

Perhaps I could make a matching coat for Tess….?


38 Comments

Dog Coat Fail….

Remember the doggy bandana I knitted for Miekie (seen here modelled by Tess) as part of last year’s Stitching Santa?

It was from the book Woolly Woofers by Debbie Bliss.


I bought it as much for the quirky illustrations as for the actual content – just look at this backdrop for the so-called Teacup Yorkie!


Well, our other Yorkie, Fifi, has been to the Vet’s a lot recently as she’s an old dog that needs a bit more regular attention. She is much happier wearing a dog coat than those awful cones, but she doesn’t really have enough. I thought this little coat would be a quick and simple knit to go with the fleecy coat I made the other week.


Most of the coats in the book are in there sizes; small,medium and large, but this particular design was specifically for Toy breeds and only available as ‘one size fits all’.

I should have been wary at that statement as both Tess and Fifi are a Toy Yorkshire Terrier, yet Tess is literally twice the size of Fifi.

Undeterred, I cast on using a super chunky yarn in two colours which were dictated by the two half-balls of Lion Brand that had been languishing at the bottom of my ‘leftovers’ bin for months now. There should just about be enough to make a tiny coat.


The gauge was only slightly bigger than the tension gauge suggested in the pattern so I carried on to the end, playing yarn chicken (again!) and winning with just 6″ to spare.

I tried the finished coat on Fifi and….

…..it was HUGE!


It could probably have gone around her twice and the end flopped well past her tail. She even looked the other way in an effort to communicate her humiliation.


So I tried it on Tess…..and it fit perfectly.


It looks just like it does in the book – nice and snug around the chest and not too long in the body.


She was even happy to pose for the camera.


There’s only one tiny issue, and that’s the fact that she has thick hair (and lots of it) and never really gets cold enough to warrant wearing a coat, so if anyone has a little dog that would wear it, let me know and I’ll send it to you.


56 Comments

DIY Alternative To The “Cone of Shame”!

Back last Summer, Fifi had some mammary tumours removed and had to wear the Cone Of Shame for ten days. She hated it for the first few days, then gradually adapted to moving and sleeping with an unwieldy plastic funnel clipped to her neck.


This week, another trip to the Vet meant either another plastic cone, bandaging or some other method to prevent her from literally licking her wounds.

I found some leftover fleecy fabric from a nightshirt that No.3 Son made, and decided to make her a comfy coat instead. Whilst she already has several coats, none of them were long enough underbelly to cover the affected area.

So, for those of you who would rather not put your own dog through the trauma of The Cone, here’s a quick way to make a lick-prevention jacket.

 Measure your dog around the widest part of her ribs, just behind the front legs, then add an inch for seam allowances.

Measure from the back of her neck towards the tail, at a point just in front of the back legs (so he/she can still wee easily!).

Cut a rectangle of fabric to these measurements.


With right sides facing, sew the short ends together with a half inch seam.


I pressed open the seam and top stitched it flat so there would be no irritation next to the skin.


Measure the distance between the front legs and cut two leg holes on the underside. The distance from the neck to the legs will determine how far back these openings are placed.


Done.

How long did that take? Five minutes at the most, but your dog will thank you for your efforts, trust me!




See? She can’t get to her wound because the coat is completely covering it.


She soon gave up trying and settled down happily. 


And we’re happy because: –

a) she won’t keep us awake with her licky sounds all night long – you’d be surprised how loud (and annoying) licking can be in the middle of the night.

b) no oozing on the (very white) duvet cover. Yes, she sleeps on our bed. She’s 14, what the hell.

c) she can actually get comfortable and sleep, which is virtually impossible when wearing a plastic cone to bed.

Failing the ability to actually sew a seam, just grab one of hubby’s old long sleeve T-shirts, cut it to the right length and make two leg holes in the appropriate place. No sewing needed:)


46 Comments

Sunday Sevens #71

Sunday Sevens is a weekly blog series started by Nat from Threads & Bobbins. Why not pop over and see how you can join in?

  1. Disaster – my hand knitted socks have a hole in them! My big toe is so much longer than any of the others that all my socks get thrown away eventually because they get holes in them. There’s no way I’m throwing these away a) because I made them b) because I invested a considerable amount of time in their creation c) because they are quite simply the most comfortable socks I have ever worn.

Guess I’ll have to buy a darning mushroom:(

socks

2. We had some late Christmas presents in the post all the way from America (thanks Robin!) – The Boys were thrilled as you can see from their expressions.

The Boys

3. This beautiful pheasant has decided it’s safer in our garden than in the fields beyond. I managed to snap it on my iPhone on full zoom, hence the poor quality.

pheasant

4. I’ve started another bobble hat for a cousin who saw it on Facebook and fancied a pink one.

Bobble hat

5. Mr H-L’s father died on Friday. He waited until we popped out for lunch and we got the call whilst we were eating pudding. We toasted his memory with a glass of his favourite whisky.

Holbrook

6. I’ve got a bit behind with my sewing so spent all weekend up in my sewing room trying to catch up. It’s good therapy, too.

sewing room

7. No, it’s not a dress, it’s the lining to my new green velvet coat!

lining

8. Mr H-L has been keeping me supplied with refreshments. Not sure that red wine, Pringles and sewing are a good combination…

refreshments

9. The hens decided that it was far nicer to be inside than wading around in acres of mud outside. They loathe the wind and rain and, if the door is left open for a millisecond, they’ll sneak in.

hens

10. The dogs detest aren’t that keen on sharing their food with the girls so, as soon as they see a hen in the house, they race to their bowls and down the lot as fast as they can.

Sometimes not fast enough.

Amber

Right, back to the sewing room for me – just the hem and buttonholes to do!