Use your sewing machine to create affordable, personalized beds, carriers, and clothing for your pooch.
Most of these projects are suitable for novice sewers. Select sturdy material that will hold up under constant use. Generally, washable ones are preferred as these items will need cleaning on a regular basis. Consider using stain resistant fabrics, such as those sold for home decorating projects.
Dog beds are pretty simple to make. Basically, they’re like an oversized oval or rectangular floor pillow. For best results, this should have an outer and inner covering. The former can be removed easily for cleaning. For the stuffing, you can select from various materials, such as solid foam, shredded foam, or loose polyester filling, also known as polyfil. Cedar shavings, which aren’t washable, are sometimes used in commercial dog bedding. If polyfil is used, the entire bed can be laundered.
The size of the dog bed can vary, depending on the size of your pet. Allow extra large seams as these will be longer lasting. In addition, finish the seams with an overlock stitch or other specialized stitching that will prevent it from raveling.
For pet clothing, you have different options. Garments for dogs can be form fitting. Or, they can consist of large wraps that can be strapped or snapped into place. Made-to-fit clothing definitely requires more sewing skill.
Dog carriers and backpacks are very popular among pet owners with small dogs. These should be made of fabric that breathes so your pet doesn’t become overheated. For convenience, add patch pockets or inner compartments for storage space to suit your needs. Whatever design you choose, be sure to make very strong handles. Reinforce the fabric for the handles with heavy interfacing to give it extra strength.
You can find patterns and projects for pets in magazines as well as books. In addition, fabric stores will have a number of commercial sewing patterns for dogs. If you buy these, be sure and select one that is recommended for your dog’s size.