Commissioning a made to measure dog coat
Autumn 2020. Having moved house earlier this year I am doing an unexpected amount of DIY which means I have less time and also that my hands are often too rough to knit decently. Although I am making orders, they will take longer than usual. Sorry for any inconvenience, but this is a hobby and may not be a priority for a while but I'll still be knitting ready made coats whenever I can, so do monitor for newly posted coats.
On this page you will find a few more options and choices to help me understand your needs. You may find it helpful to read the notes on the 'Before you buy' page as well as viewing the 'design archive' and 'yarns' pages. These can be accessed from the drop down menu under 'Made to measure coats' and will illustrate my earlier work. Unfortunately I cannot do fairisle pictures or writing well enough to sell but am happy to make coats to reflect team colours etc. You may also wish to view my galleries of Cozy canine customers?
Please refer to 'Before you buy' page
In addition to length, chest and neck I will need a 4th measurement- 'front' if you select a slipover or all in one style coat.
This will determine the distance between the base of the coat neck and the front of the leg hole and is illustrated by the white arrow on photo below. Because knitting stretches, the coat generally sits lower on the neck than most owners imagine leading to an overestimate of the front measurement and the coat sitting too far forward with the tail end looking short. Getting this measurement right is critical to the fit, but it often causes problems. For a slipover coat it can easily be altered after receipt but for an all in one there is no adjustment.
The front measurement should be taken with the dog STANDING and may also be easier if he is on a raised surface. If the dog is sitting, this measurement will be longer, resulting in a poorly fitting coat.
I may sometimes dispatch a coat with a slightly shorter front and longer leg hole to make any adjustment easier for you. My experience guides this decision and a shorter than expected front seam would not be considered a fault.
If you put your fingers round the front leg and push them up as far as you can, this will indicate where the leg hole will be. The coat will pull the leg hole up a little at the front and this is where you should measure to.
As a guide, a large greyhound usually has a 'front' of about 6". A collie sized dog will usually have a 'front' of about 4".
2018, it has become apparent that some of the largest dogs with very deep chests do not conform to the usual proportions and I may request additional measurements to help avoid fitting disasters. You will be sent a description of what is needed + photos until I define the clearest way to describe and add here.
As my aim is to fundraise for dog charities I will normally only use yarn I have in stock, so please express a second choice of colour if you can. As well as plain colours in bright or muted shades I have a selection of fancy yarns available. Please visit the yarns page to view them.
Thickness increases double knit< aran < chunky. Not all yarns will be suitable for all sizes or stitch patterns and some may not be available in sufficient quantities but please ask as I may have something similar which would be suitable.
For practicallity, my designs usually have a darker border and chest. Most will have a textured stitch pattern to give extra thickness and warmth without extra weight. You can see examples on the ready-made coats page, or when stocks are low on the design archive page.
I tend to reserve the yarns which are available in larger quantities for orders, using up oddments on stock coats, hence many of them will be multicoloured. For a speedy turnaround, please be as specific as you can on your order form, bright/muted colours/self patterning yarn acceptable/ single colour throughout/specific stitch pattern or design. Where the yarn is still available it may be possible to replicate a ready made coat in your sizes.
Apart from dogs who need the basic coat shape modified, please specify if you would like a thinner (DK) coat for use under a waterproof or a thick snuggly coat for nightwear. Please give as much detail as possible.
If ordering a sleepcoat it can be made with a longer neck, additional covering over the thighs and a little extra length at the back end but it is important to give me the actual length of the dog + amount to add as the chest piece is a fixed proportion of the dog's body length to avoid soiling.
Supplying your own yarn
Experience leads me to discourage this as yarns supplied by non knitters have usually led to difficulties and resulted in coats which I consider less than ideal. Until I see and feel yarn it is not always easy to estimate quantities required, especially where more than one colour is used.
When buying yarns, my preference is for cheap, colourful, easy care acrylic yarns with a small proportion of wool for elasticity which will endure for several seasons. As dogs do not sweat through their body I am not convinced of the benefits of natural fibres though they are often nice to knit.
If I agree to knit yarn which you supply, I cannot take responsibility for the quality of the coat and will make the same charge per inch for the work.
How to order
Please use the made to measure order form which can be accessed from the drop down menu under this page. I will respond either confirming I can make your design or with a range of similar options for you to consider as well as total cost and an estimate of likely dispatch date.
Once we have agreed the design, payment will be requested before knitting starts with dispatch usually about one week later. During September-spring when I often have a queue of orders, you will be advised of the likely delay and I may suggest delaying payment. Please order early if coats are required for Christmas presents, or perhaps consider a prepaid 'voucher' so that the recipient can have the fun of designing the coat themselves?
For information on coat care, suitability, personalising the fit and feedback please refer to 'Before you buy'.
Unfortunately, I am unable to accept returns of made-to-measure coats unless they are faulty. Please read notes on Before you buy page before contacting me if you are unhappy with your coat. It is often possible to guide you in making small alterations to improve the fit, especially if you are able to forward a photo of the coat on your dog.
All dogs vary and with limited measurements I have to make certain assumptions. The precaution of dispatching a coat with a shorter front than requested is not considered a fault as it is done to make final adjustment easier for you. You are free to supply additional measurements if you wish and this may be useful if your dog is an unusual shape or mix of breeds.