Friday, September 9, 2011

Fat Quarter Friday: Ruffle Dog Harness

Warning: This week's craft is bizarre...

Anyway, so this week I made a Ruffle Dog Harness. A few weeks ago we went with some friends to the Amish Acres Craft Fair and saw these ridiculously hilarious frilly dog harnesses. Our friends wanted us to buy one for our fluffy girl dog, but they were quite a lot of money to spend on something that we would only buy ironically, so we passed. I got to thinking that I could make one for just a couple dollars as one of my Fat Quarter Friday projects, so enjoy...or don't...
1 Fat Quarter
1 D Ring
1 Small Buckle
Note: If you have a bigger or stronger dog, you may want to add something like interfacing or webbing to this tutorial to make the harness stronger. My dogs are weak and small, so this will be plenty to contain them...

Step 1: Take your dog's measurements. Mine are listed for a 9 pound Pomeranian.
Around their ribcage: 17"
From their shoulder blades to where the ribcage strap would go: 3"
Across their shoulder blades to halfway down their sides: 9"
Across the front of your dog's chest back to where the ribcage strap would go: 15"
I used this picture to help guide my measurements and my process. If you like the harness but don't want to make one yourself, this website has some: Ruffled Easy-On Dog Harness

Step 2: Cut your fabric strips out of your fat quarter. I added an inch to each of these measurements and since I wanted the straps to be about 1" wide, I cut all the strips to be 2.5".
Ribcage Strap: 2.5" x 18"
Small Top Strap: 2.5" x 4"
Long Top Strap: 2.5" x 10"
Chest Strap: 2.5" x 16"
If you want to add the ruffle cut it to be 8" wide and as long as your ribcage strap. So in my case 8" x 18"
 Step 3: On all of your pieces of fabric fold right sides together hotdog style and sew along the long edge.
Step 4: Turn your strips right side out and iron. Next, tuck the raw short edges inside the tubes and iron again. Now you're going to top stitch all the way around each of the skinny strips. Don't top stitch around the wider piece of fabric, instead just sew closed the short edges.

Step 5: On your wide piece of fabric do a quick basting stitch along one of your long edges. Pull on the strings until you've got the fabric ruffled to at least half of the length that it was when you started. Just pull until you get the look you want. My piece started out 18" long and I pulled until the gathered edge was 8".
Step 6: Take your shortest strip and sew the D ring onto one end. I just folded one end of the fabric through the ring and sewed across a few times for stability.
Step 7: Now take that short strip with the D ring on it and the Long Top Strap (the second shortest one in my case) and line them up so that the longer piece is the top of a T and the D ring piece is the vertical piece. The top piece of fabric should be laid on top of the D ring strip so that they overlap and make a 1" x 1" square. To sew the pieces together I sewed a box around that 1" x 1" square and put an X in the middle of it. I know it's impossible to see in the picture, but you get the idea, and if you don't, just sew them together where they overlap.
Step 8: Take your Ribcage strap (the longest one) and loop one of the ends through the end of one side of the buckle. Now sew that strip in place (go over it a few times for strength). Now slip the other end of the strip into the other side of the buckle and go test fit it around your dog's ribcage before you sew anything. You want it to fit snuggly, but not too tight. I adjusted the strap until I could get a few fingers under it. Now sew that flap to the strip so that it won't move around.
Step 9: I wanted my buckle to snap on the side of my dog instead of under her belly, so my strap is off center. Pin the gathered edge of the ruffle right along the under edge of the Ribcage Strap. Sew together.
Step 10: Take your strap with the D ring and set it on top of the Ribcage Strap (making that 1" x 1" overlapping square) centered with the ruffle. Now attach these pieces together by sewing around the outside of that square and putting an X through the middle.
Step 11: This is the trickiest part of the whole thing because you have to take your remaining strip and attach it in four different places, but before you can sew it, you need to test fit it on your dog to make sure it fits. This can be tricky if you have a wiggly dog since dogs and needles don't really go all that well together. Luckily my dog is pretty mellow and when she's nervous she turns into a lump of fluff and doesn't move, so this was pretty easy for me. This final strip fits across your dog's chest and attaches to both ends of the Long Top Strap and to the Ribcage Strap on either end of the ruffle. This part can't really be shown since it will be different for each dog, but you just kind of fiddle with it until it looks right. Once you've got everything where you want it, sew the boxes with the Xs in each of these four connecting areas.
Step 12: Put the harness on your dog and cringe. Yikes, I can't believe I just spent my day making this! I'm not sure I'll ever let my dog where this when we go on walks, but who knows, maybe I will.
Here's Goomba looking like a fox. She hates the camera and was trying to run away from me.
I also made my other dog wear the harness so you could see more of what it's supposed to look like. It's hard to tell on Goomba since she's got so much hair. Hobi was rather depressed about wearing the girly harness as you can see.

1 comment:

  1. This is pretty cool! I think this would also be perfect for my furry dog. It looks almost like a dog dress. I’m imaging now how my dog will look with the pink ruffle dog harness. I can’t wait to make one! This idea is definitely worth sharing. :)

    >Mariah Blum