Happy Howl-O-Ween

I’m starting a new little series on the blog about sewing patterns with my reviews on them. I’ve been learning new techniques with these patterns, and I thought it’d be fun to blog about these!

Earlier this month, I visited family while the hubs was away on a business trip. I knew there were going to be major Columbus Day sales at the local JoAnn’s, so my Mom and I went there for the sole purpose of making Millie into a sea monster. The reason? Well, PetSmart was having a costume contest and I thought she’d have a great time with the other dogs. :)

To note: Millie is about 40 lbs. now. Not a super large dog, but to Simplicity patterns, she was too big to get a costume pattern for. So, I had to get creative and base it off of a dog coat pattern (Simplicity 9520).

After that, I started looking in the cottons for something green that screamed “sea monster”. I couldn’t find a thing. However, in the specialty Halloween fabrics, I came across a polyester mermaid print. It was perfect, but I was intimidated, because this was a very shiny, slippery fabric that I’m not familiar with sewing.

I also bought blue felt with plans to add some spikes…it ended up being a really cute touch! I also originally wanted to add wings, but I was promptly reminded that sea monsters swim. She would need fins instead. :P Thank goodness for leftover quilt batting!

There was a HUGE pitfall to this pattern. When I originally started cutting and piecing this together, I realized that this pattern was way too large for my dog. It was a one size fits all thing…sort of lame, no? So, I ended up tailoring it to size, using lots of Beggin Strips and saying ”don’t eat that” repeatedly. Apparently, polyester looks appetizing to my dog..sheesh!

Also, when I started sewing the polyester, it started to fray…a lot. So, for the polyester, I ended up lining it with some muslin. It helped a lot with the sewing, and also probably felt better on the dog.

After a good bit of thought, I ended up nixing the hood, as well as the sleeves. I know Millie, and she isn’t a fan of being clothed. She’d try to rip those off for sure!

When I finally tried the finished product on her, it was a pretty good fit!  Thank goodness.

Happy Howl-o-ween!

However, there was another pitfall. Those fins were her newest toy. She was literally trying to rip them off, unless I held up a treat (as I did to snap this picture. In the end, I pinned them back a bit, and it ended up being OK. After 5 minutes, she barely noticed her costume!!

Unfortunately, she didn’t win the contest at PetSmart. Dracula, a wagon full of yorkies dressed as Playgirls and Hannah Montana beat her out. I guess next year, I’ll try to go more trendy. :)

By the way, if you can take a second to vote for Millie in Blue Buffalo’s Halloween Costume Contest, I’d totally appreciate it. Just go to this site, search for “Millie”, click her picture and vote! No log-in needed!

Rating out of 10: 4. Dear Simplicity, dogs are NOT one size fits all, and the pattern writing/diagrams left me fairly confused. :

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