How to Make a Dog Bomber Jacket

How to Make a Dog Bomber Jacket

"Hello. My name is Otis, and I'm a 4 yr old "Olde English Bulldogge".   I love my new coat.  It's warm, and keeps me dry when it's raining. My old coat was used as a  pattern, and as you can see by the look on my face, I'm very proud.  My new coat was made out of materials left over from old sewing projects so it cost almost nothing. Read on to learn how to make a dog bomber jacket. How cool is that!

This page is all about the making of the bomber jacket, and I'm not allowed to talk about myself too much here, but if you want to see more photos of me, my career, my favorite sports, and more, then check out the new webpage here on RetroSewing called Bulldog Photos  all about me. They call me "Otis the Wonder Dog"

 Here's my coat before patches and pockets, with a wrap around belt & Velcro belt closure.


How to Make A 
Dog Bomber Jacket

You'll need

  1. *Pattern-Download free dog coat sewing pattern coming soon, or use old dog coat that fits your dog, and most store bought patterns work fine too.
  2. *Measuring tape
  3. *Large pins
  4. *Velcro for collar & belt closure
  5. *Color coordinated thread
  6. *Fabric Fraying Preventative
  7. *1 yard appx (depending on dog size) Brown leather, imitation leather, naugahide fabric, or any washable brown fabric you like.
  8. *1 yard appx (depending on dog size) Faux sheepskin or something simular.
  9. *Sewing machine capable of sewing coats
  10. *Sewing Machine Needle for sewing heavy fabric  (size 16 used)
  11. *Patches optional

Let's Get Started

Option 1:  The pattern pictured top left will be available as a free downloadable pattern here on RetroSewing.  Subscribe to be notified when this pattern is available.

Option 2:  Pictured bottom left,  an old dog coat as a pattern by laying the coat out on a large piece of paper and trace. Butcher paper, newspaper, etc. Careful of ink that rubs off. 

Option 3:  Use a store bought pattern you already have or pick one up for $2.99 and up.

Note: Most dog coat patterns can be used to make this Bomber Jacket, but be sure to read the directions below first since the assembly of this coat is different then most.


2. Measure

Measure and make note of the neck, neck to tail & girth sizes as pictured above. Decide how you want the coat to fit.  Some like it to the tail, and down the sides while others prefer the coat stop short of the tail by several inches and not as long down the sides.


3. Try on Pattern

Once you have decided on a pattern, and cut it out, try it on.

Check neck and waist as pictured above. Mark the placement of the Velcro and/or any other closure you may prefer.  Options for closures would be buttons and button holes, snaps, clasps, large hook, buckles such as those used on most dog collars; the list is endless. Some of this would depend on what works best for you and your dog.  

If you're adding pockets, this would be the time to mark the location you'd like them placed, Although this sheepskin fabric is very forgiving so I was able to  I add the pockets after it was all put together and it looks fine. Just match the thread so it disappears somewhat.

Be sure to try any new pattern on your dog before cutting fabrics.  In this photo we made a cloth pattern out of muslin, using the paper pattern, but either paper or cloth will work. If you decide to download a free dog coat sewing pattern on this page after June 1, 2014, subscribe to be notified when it's ready. 

How to make a dog bomber jacket



4. Lay Out

Fold the fabric in half and fold the coat in half.  If you're using a paper pattern or cloth pattern be sure to place the pattern on the fabric where it says "Place on Fold".

Lay the folded coat on the folded fabric as pictured here. This is how you get both sides of the coat exactly the same. Right side of both fabric facing out. 

In this case the fabric was marked all the way around with a fabric pen and sewing gauge. When marking and tracing the coat, be sure to add 2 to 3 inches to the lining all the way around the coat to allow enough fabric to fold over the outer/leather fabric                                         how to make a dog bomber jacket

After cutting the leather and lining out it should look like this.           The lining is 2 to 3 inches larger then the brown outer fabric all the way around.  After adding optional pockets you'll attach the lining and the brown fabric to get the Bomber Jacket look, so you'll need the lining large enough to fold over and hem.                                            how to make a dog bomber jacket


5. Pockets Optional

Although pockets are optional this would be the ideal place to sew them on, but before doing that, sew on trims and patches, or try rubber cement (follow directions on bottle). I've done both and it's worked well either way.  Once pocket is complete, sew onto the coat where marked using a top stitch of your choice.                                  how to make a dog bomber jacket


6. Sew Together

Above: Lay it out just the way you want it to look when done.  Leather on top of lining with wrong sides together, right sides out just like they will look when finished.  The amount folded over would depend on your personal taste and the size of dog.

Remember the sheepskin/lining has been cut 2 to 3 inches larger then the outer fabric. Fold the sheepskin lining over the brown leather all the way around (except collar), and for a more finished look hem the edge of the lining.  Many large pins were used to hold this all together.

Top stitch all the way around, leaving the collar area open for collar, or if you prefer, leave the collar out. If you leave the collar out, then sew all the way around including collar area. This gets thick so again make sure your sewing machine can handle coats.

Should look like this after sewing together. In this case a collar was added, so no sewing was done in the collar area (arrows).


7. Add the Collar

In keeping with recycling when ever possible, a  ready made collar from a previous project was used in this example.  Originally made as a belt, but being re-purposed for this new dog coat.

Other options are to use a collar from the pattern, trace the collar from an old coat or don't add a collar at all.  Turn the lining over the collar area the same as the rest of the coat and top stitch it closed.

If you are adding a collar, turn the collar lining/sheepskin into the coat to give a finished edge. The process should look like the photo above.

Tuck collar between the two fabrics as pictured here, and pin together until you're satisfied. Top stitch all layers together. Again, make sure your sewing machine can handle the thickness.


8. Velcro Placement on Collar

Try on and mark the location the Velcro should go. Ideally, mark it on the pattern and double check by trying the coat on before adding Velcro.

Sew all the way around the Velcro. Two strips of Velcro on each side of collar. Try it on for size before and after attaching Velcro.

Here's a close up of the collar. I used cement glue to add this patch.  With Velcro, and two layers of heavy fabric to sew through it was a much easier option and is working well.


9. Add Belt or Strap

Many ways to attach a belt. Here are two. Above Velcro, and below a button.

Velcro is normally used here, but I decided to use a button to add a little more style. Velcro is most commonly used for the belt.


10.Patches

Glue or Sew

The pocket on the right was sewn on with a top stitch after the coat lining and leather were sewn together.  It worked out fine since this fake sheepskin is very forgiving.  Cement glue was used to attach everything except the blue patch on the left, and the sheepskin trim. Both were sewn on.  Both applications worked well, and if your machine can't handle the thickness or sewing on patches is too challenging, you might try the cement glue.  Cement glue is used to glue leather shoe soles together so it should hold well for this purpose.

Sew Trim on Pocket

Sew trim all the way around.  Use a fabric fraying preventative as directed on back of bottle. This takes time to dry so allow for that before sewing.

Ideally the pocket should be done when attached, and it should be attached before the leather and sheepskin are sewn together.  In this case it was decided after the coat was sewn together, so this pocket will be attached to the finished coat.

Dab of glue to hold for sewing

This patch is going to be sewn to the pocket using a basic top stitch. You could get fancy with the stitches since they will show, but we kept it basic here.  A dab of glue in the middle instead of pins was used to  hold it in place while sewing.

Glue on patch & Trim

If you choose the glue option, first mark the spot you want the patch and spread the glue inside the markings, then press patch and hold for a minute (follow directions on bottle of cement glue).

This patch and trim is pinned in place here, but will be glued on just like the photo above was done.


Just relaxing and modeling my new Bomber Jacket. My pockets are great for treats. Even my leash fits in these pockets.  My new coat is  very soft and warm like my favorite blanket.  Enough room in my jacket to spread out on the lawn, cross my legs and day dream.

Important: Read Before Starting

*Sewing Skill Level

This is an intermediate sewers project.  If you sew this dog coat as seen here you should have some experience with these fabrics, and basic sewing skills.  You can simplify this dog coat to a beginner level by using lighter weight fabric and eliminating the lining, collar, pockets, and patches, etc. Subscribe for video notifications.  A beginner dog coat will be released soon and when it is released you'll receive a notification and Youtube link. subscribe

* Sewing machine

Make sure your machine is capable of handling coats. A Husqvarna sewing machine was used on this dog Bomber Jacket. A machine with metal vs plastic parts will most likely do the job nicely.  Leather and sheepskin are thick when put together.  If you add pockets and patches it gets even thicker. Consider lighter fabrics with a similar look for an easier project and a light weight machine.

*Important Not

This Bomber Jacket dog coat is sewn very differently then most dog coats, so read thoroughly or subscribe for the video.

*Recycle

Recycle, reuse or repurpose whenever possible. This coat was made of materials from past projects.  The collar and belt were originally made into a scarf which is made out of faux sheepskin and leopard print. After scouring your house, garage, and attic, there's always thrift stores, garage sales and flea markets.

*Fabric Preparation

Wash all fabrics in advance to make sure the coat can take the washing after use, and any shrinking can be taken into account during the sewing process.  This naugahyde and fake sheepskin washed up nicely in warm water on regular setting.

*This tutorial is a guideline

  You can follow it as it is, or change it up.  So many options. One of the great things about sewing, is you get to be the designer. Change it to whatever suits you and your dog. Belt all the way around, or strap across the bottom.  Velcro, button, snaps, buckle, etc.  Pockets with a flap, button down flap,  fur lined or no pockets? So many possibilities.


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