Time to Get Back to Making Greyhound Coats

I’ve spent most of the summer with my focus on the garden and a few skin care experiments. In the Spring, when I last thought about making fleece coats for the greyhounds, we had not yet turned on the air conditioners. I got discouraged because working with fleece when it’s hot is not fun. Luckily, the dogs were not facing cold weather so I didn’t feel any pressure to produce. Now that my canning is done and the rest of the garden is just needing maintenance, requests have come in that Nittany Greyhounds needs coats! And now, I’m ready to get back in the groove!

Here’s a picture of a dog in a coat I made a while ago:

It makes me happy to know that I can make something that will make their lives easier (and warmer!)

First, I had to dig through my fleece to see what colors I wanted to work with next. I ended up with two pieces of fleece, purple and a light-colored plaid. Both can be lined with white fleece.

The purple fleece I had just enough to make two coats…one large and one small. The plaid fleece had been used last year to make one coat…so I had enough to make three more, one small and two large.

Next came the challenge of prepping my work space. When I’m not actively sewing, my machine table seems to collect “stuff” like ironing that needed to be done, supplies that didn’t quite make it back into storage, etc. Sort of like having a treadmill handy that you don’t use all the time…pretty soon it’s extra closet space!

I found my sewing machine!

Next, I had to make sure it was ready to go, so I found the tools and took it apart to clean out any fuzz I had left behind.

Looks pretty good now!

Now to think about what I needed ready to start sewing. I checked that I had new needles, my name labels, Velcro and string tags. I use the tags to indicate a small or large coat. It’s hard to tell which has the large neck unless you compare one with a small. It’s just easier to label the coats.

For double layers of fleece I like to use a #16 Jeans needle.
My labels show folks how to contact me if they need a repair or want another coat. I try to offer them only through Nittany Greyhounds.
I buy Velcro wholesale on big rolls…saves money and I can get it 2″ wide.
I pin a tag on each coat.

I set aside the first day of making coats to just get them cut out.

I will make all of the coats the same color at the same time…assembly line. That way I don’t have to change the thread color in the middle of a batch.

I sew all the straps first.
Then all the neck pieces.

And then, one at a time, I’ll make the body of a coat and put it all together.

Today I managed to finish the first coat. Tomorrow I should be able to finish two more. It’s so easy to get distracted with other projects, so I’m glad my canning is out of the way. I just have to keep thinking about keeping my greyhound friends cozy this winter! Enjoy!

If you’d like to know more about how we developed the pattern for the coats, see https://marykisner.com/cozy-coats-for-greyhounds/.

Please comment or email me directly at marykisner@comcast.net.