Sewing Your Own Raincoats for Dogs

Protect your dog from the elements with a raincoat.

Protect your dog from the elements with a raincoat.

Rain or shine, your dog needs to stretch his legs. With a raincoat, you can take him for a much needed walk while limiting the amount of wet dog you take home with you. Sewing your own raincoat for your pooch gives you control over the fit, style and fabric.

Find dog coat patterns online and in pattern books at your local fabric store. Measure your pet and adjust the pattern as needed. For example, if the pattern is longer than your pet, you will want to make the pattern shorter. To adjust the pattern, cut the pattern in half across the section that is too long or short. If the pattern is too long remove the excess length at the cut, then tape the pattern back together. If the pattern is too short, cut a piece of paper the additional length you need and tape it into the pattern at the cut.

Pin the pattern on the fabric according to the pattern instructions. Cut out the pattern pieces.

Sew together the pattern pieces. You will sew the body pieces together, then the hood piece. Avoid using an iron to press the seams open because the vinyl may melt. Instead, trim the seams to a quarter inch as you go, so your seams do not become bulky. Attach the hood to the body, making sure to center the hood onto the body before sewing in place. Depending on the pattern you use, you will attach legs or straps next.

Dress your dog in the raincoat. Make adjustments for length, tightness around the chest and comfort around the legs and neck. If the pattern calls for straps to encircle the body or to fasten the garment around the chest and girth, measure and mark where you want to place the hook-and-loop fastener.

Sew the trim onto the hood and along the hem.

Items you will need

  • Vinyl tablecloth
  • Thread
  • Scissors
  • Binding ribbon or trim
  • Hook-and-loop fastener
  • Sewing machine or needle
  • Dog coat pattern
  • Pins

Tips

  • If your dog already has a favorite coat, you don't need to buy or download a pattern. You can use the coat to create a pattern by tracing the garment onto paper. Remember to make your pattern a quarter inch larger on all sides to allow for a seam allowance.
  • Most vinyl tablecloths have a thin backing that provides some warmth. For added protection, line the raincoat with fleece or flannel fabric. To line the raincoat, cut the pattern pieces out of the lining fabric. Sew the pieces together, then after Step 3, sew the lining to the vinyl with the right sides together. Leave a 3 to 4 inch opening. Turn the garment right side out and hand stitch the opening closed before attaching trim or the hook-and-loop fastener.
  • Go green and purchase the tablecloth or a human raincoat at a thrift store. You can repurpose the material into a dog raincoat at little cost to you.

Warnings

  • Make sure your finished garment does not hang too low and create a tripping hazard for your pet.
  • While trim adds style to the raincoat, avoid buttons that may create a choking hazard.
 

Photo Credits

  • Chris Amaral/Digital Vision/Getty Images