Art and Needlework home

1/16/12: Sewing a U.S. Marine Dog Coat — Finished Piece


Just finished the two dog coats for a custom order last Saturday. Yay!

Here are my prior posts on the subject:

12/14/11: Sewing a U.S. Marine Dog Coat — the Pattern
12/6/11: Sewing a U.S. Marine Uniform for the Four-Legged Type

But before I get to the grand finale let me run you through the muslin making stage. After altering my sewing pattern drastically (Simplicity 9520), I made up a dog coat muslin using medium weight white muslin, scraps of blue piping, and bits and pieces from my red and blue fabrics. And this is it:

And here is Jazzmin during her fitting. She was a very nice and cooperative client I must say. 🙂

I was SO happy to find that the coat fits well and I had only one more alteration to make: add 2″ of ease to the body (the area between the leg openings and the hem). During the fitting I also found out the necessary length for the adjustable belt I was to make. 
When people talk about their muslins they typically state: “I will be adding 2″ to the body,” or “one inch to the sleeve cap,” I often wonder how they go about doing this. There are a few methods of adding or removing ease so I’ll tell you how I did it. 
The pattern pieces I altered were the front and back pieces. 
I first counted the number of seams I will be sewing in this area. It turned out to be two: left front to back and right front to back. With two seams there are four seam allowances. So I divided the amount of ease that will be added (2″) by the number of seam allowances (4) and that gave me the quotient of 1/2″. 
So I had to add an 1/2″ to the side seams of the front and back pieces. I measured an 1/2″ away from the paper pattern’s edge at the very bottom of the seam and marked it. I then connected this mark with the leg opening edge with a ruler and drew a diagonal line. I cut along this line. I did this to both the front and back
And that was all I needed to do.
So I quickly cut out all the fabric pieces and whipped up the coats; it went much faster than I thought! And here they are:

{ U.S. Marine Dog Coat with Corporal E-4 Patch and Medals }
{ Camouflage Dog Coat }
Now onto the final details (my favorite part): 
{ Close-up of patch and medals. From left to right: Corporal E-4 chevron patch, U.S. Marine Corps Good Conduct medal, and Navy and Marines Corps Overseas medal }

{ Inside of dog coat. Facing pieces were used so all seam allowances are enclosed which makes interior very clean. The only exposed seam allowances are the leg openings }

{ This red strap is the adjustable belt that will be wrapped around the stomach of the dog and secured with the snap buckle. It will give the coat a snugger fit. I saw this on a number of commercial dog coats and liked the idea. I used webbing for this one }


So that’s it. This project may have been difficult at times (alterations and finding the right camouflage fabric), but I really enjoyed sewing it together. It definitely taught me a lot of things!


  1. I love these. you make it look so easy…lol.

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