Before you buy
Measuring your dog
Please take the following measurements from your dog:
1 Distance from base of dog's neck to base of tail. The coat will be this length + collar or roll neck depending on style.
2 Chest, right round the widest part, usually just behind front legs.
3 Neck, round the base of the dog's neck at the point where you want the body of the coat to finish/ neck part to start. See photo 'size' here
4 Front - only needed for slipover and all in one style. Distance between the base of the neck and front of the leg hole, measured with the dog standing up. Can be tricky to get right, please visit made to measure coats page for more help.
All measurements on my site are in inches.
Tip: If you cannot find your tape measure, use the dog's lead and a ruler!
Please be aware that knitting is stretchy, some patterns more than others. A coat quoted as fitting a wide range of chest sizes will be particularly stretchy and if stretched to maximum width will loose a little in length. Taking measurements 1, 2 and 3 will enable you to select functional coat, for a more precise fit please see notes below on personalising the fit.
You are welcome to request additional dimensions for ready made coats or to supply extra for made to measure orders. This may be sensible if your dog has unusual proportions.
There are 4 styles available but I recommend the button style for small dogs or the slipover style for larger dogs. Variations are often possible, especially at quieter times of the year. Please ask.
This is my preferred style because of its adjustability both before and after dispatch.
It has evolved from the best aspects of other styles and can be made for any sized dog. An accurate 'front' measurement determines a good fit but unfortunately this is overestimated by most owners. On the basis of experience, I often leave the front seam a little short and you may need to make a simple adjustment- see below under personalising the fit.
It comes with a 4"-6" ribbed neck, (in addition to stated length) which can be folded back as in the photo. It benefits from a thick ribbed chest piece which gives a snug fit and covers as much of the chest as possible without having buttons or a tight neck to keep it in place.
The position of the leg holes can be adjusted by altering the 'front' seam. Ready made coats are finished with a typical front length but can be adjusted before dispatch, just tell me the 'front length' you need.
This style can be good for sleepcoats. More details below.
The neck part can be reduced to a narrow neck band if desired. For dogs with stiff front legs, it can be made with buttons on one or both sides of the chest piece- see Marnie
photos: Jack in a slipover sleepcoat, Toffee modelling a slipover Marnie in a button version
2 Button coat style
A popular choice, especially for small dogs.
It includes a 4" ribbed neck, (which can be turned back as in the photo), in addition to the stated length. It can be made without buttons if required or with a narrow neck band. This style relies on the dog's shoulders and a reasonably tight neck to stop it sliding backwards.
On large, deep chested dogs with long slender necks, it tends to leave a gaping hole in front of the legs- see photo of Sandie, (below right in the brown coat). I make the neck quite tight and join part of the gap to try and prevent the coat sliding back. Where there is a large difference between neck and chest measurements I may have to shape the chest and/or back more like a slipover style.
3 Belly band style coat
A good choice for dogs that do not like anything tight put over their head. When made in thinner yarn it may be worn under a waterproof coat.
It includes a 1" neckband within the stated length and can be made with a collar, roll neck or even a button opening under the chin. see design archive.
Please note, the give in the knitting means that the neck usually stretches, allowing the coat to slip back, often resulting in the body being too long as in this photo of Lily, an Erin Hounds dog.
4 All in One style coat
Originally designed for sight hounds but can be a good choice for any deep chested dog. It has a turn back collar which extends about 1" beyond the stated length.
Unfortunately, this style gives the most problems with fit and very little adjustment is possible once the knitting is complete. An accurate 'front' measurement is crucial.
This style has evolved into the slipover which is proving much more reliable and adaptable.
Coats are posted 1st class, ready-made coats usually within 24 hours of receiving payment. The basic inland UK postage cost is currently £3.85.
For multi coat orders, tiny coats, second class or offshore destinations, please ask, and I will do my best to estimate postage before you confirm your order. International orders are welcome if you, or a UK based friend, can pay by Paypal with the money being received in pounds sterling.
If I have overestimated postage I will issue a refund where this can be done electronically.
Price/how to pay
Effectively a blanket which cannot fall off during the night!
These are available in any of the above styles and aim to cover more of the thigh. I try to select appropriate yarns, thick but lightweight and sometimes softer or in a lighter colour than would be practical for outdoor use. Coats will normally have a textured stitch pattern to trap maximum warm air.
Please measure your dog and order in the normal way but let me know if you would like extra length added to the neck or body. It is important to give the dog's actual measurements as the chest piece is a fixed proportion of the dog's actual length to avoid soiling.
How to order your coat(s)
With effect from April 2017, all coats are priced at 55p per inch length of coat. (Current in 20/21 season).
Payment is requested once your order is confirmed, or shortly before I start work if the queue of orders is very long.
Payment by: Direct transfer to my bank, fast and free. Details will be supplied.
Paypal, My Paypal address will be supplied. Please ask if you require an invoice to simplify payment.
With effect from 9th January 2018 I shall no longer be allowed to add the Paypal fee to your bill. This means the charities will receive less from the sale of your coat than from those where customers pay by another method and the donation pot will have to subsidise your postage. You will therefore be invited to make a voluntary donation equal to the Paypal fee until I decide if to continue accepting paypal payments. The fee is 30p + 2.9% on the entire bill including postage, which in most cases amounts to more than 5% of the coat price.
Cheque payable to Mrs L Sharp (personal account as this is a hobby not a business). Dispatch will be delayed as I have to drive to reach a bank.
Example: an 18" coat will cost: £13.75 (coat £9.90 + postage £3.85) or £14.47 including voluntary 72p donation for Paypal fee
All the ready-made coats which are currently available for immediate dispatch can be seen on the 'ready to buy coats' and it's subpages. Each coat displayed is unique and available only in the size shown. During the busy winter period, unfortunately, there may be very few available as I can only build stock during the quieter periods. In those circumstances you may like to consider commissioning a made to measure coat.
Please use the form on the contact page to let me know which coat(s) you would like to buy. I aim to respond within 24 hours.
Caring for your coat/suitability
Most coats can be machine washed on a gentle cycle at 40 degrees, all are dispatched with individual care instructions. Coats with a high wool content may need hand washing but this is always noted in the coat description. After spinning they should be reshaped while damp and the heavier ones benefit from being dried flat. One drawback to using donated yarn is that I do not always receive the manufacturer's care instructions in which case I sometimes have to 'advise' hand wash. All coats will give a little with wear, especially if slept in and most will lengthen a little if hung on a line to dry.
Knitted coats are not suited to outdoor wear for dogs who ferret about in hedges and woods where there is a risk of it getting caught on brambles etc.
My own dog only wore a coat at night. After 9 winters of weekly washing, I finally decided it was getting a bit thin and he deserved a new one. The old one had been through the washing machine and been line dried regularly and although a little scruffy, was still perfectly serviceable. Despite being a coated dog, he was elderly, and suffering from hypothyroidism. Also from owners who turn their central heating off at night, even in winter.
Unworn ready made coats may be returned within 14 days of dispatch for exchange or refund of the coat price but you will need to meet all additional costs including return postage, initial delivery cost and paypal charges if applicable.
You are of course entitled to a full refund if we agree the coat is faulty, or not as described.
Made to measure coats cannot be returned unless faulty.
Please read before returning a coat
If you are unhappy with your coat, please contact me (with photo if possible) as a simple alteration may fix the problem. Every dog is an individual so you should be prepared to make simple adjustments - see personalising the fit. Please be aware that knitting is stretchy, some patterns more than others. A coat quoted as fitting a wide range of chest sizes will be particularly stretchy and if stretched to maximum width will loose a little in length. This does not constitute a fault.
Personalising the fit
All coats will give a little, especially if slept in. You will usually be sent a length of matching yarn so that you can make minor alterations and deal with wear and tear accidents.
The all in one style is particularly difficult to get a good fit. I usually leave the tummy seam a little short and (for bitches) you may want to extend it backwards. Extending it forward will make the neck more snug but smaller in diameter. For sleep coats, when a lead does not need to be attached, the entire collar can be joined if you wish.
For slipover and all in one styles, I make the leg holes a little over sized. A few stitches at the front will bring the entire coat forwards up the neck, but shorten it at the tail. A few stitches at the back of the hole will stop the coat moving forward.
Even with made-to-measure dog coats it may be beneficial to make small changes to the leg hole as every dog is different.
Experience suggests that owners almost always overestimate the front measurement. Slipover coats are often dispatched with a slightly shorter front seam than that requested, on the basis that it is much easier for you to add a few stitches to lengthen a seam than to unpick my seams. If unsure please send me a photo of your dog in the coat so that I can suggest how to alter.
This is a hobby rather than a business so it's always nice to hear that an order has arrived safely and constructive feedback is always welcome. Now that I no longer have a dog of my own to act as a model, this will be particularly valuable. A photo of your dog in his/her new coat would be lovely. I am happy to display such photos on my site but will only do so if you give permission. Otherwise it will remain private in my own computer. Although photos are posted with 'right click protection' this can never totally prevent viewers from copying and using elsewhere. Where someone contacts me to request permission to use, I will provide an unprotected copy if the use seems reasonable.