Being the kind of mumma that “dresses” the kids in cute coats or holiday themed frocks, one of the projects waiting to be started was the sewing of dog coats. Understand that the last time I tackled any sewing project was in high school in home economics (Do they have that sort of thing these days? I’m dating myself here). I began a quilted tote bag which my mother completed for me at home. I got an “A.”
Since I had that huge sewing success under my belt, I was very optimistic that I could easily create a pattern from one of our existing coats and free form some cute fleece into a smashing coat for Bettina. I am very, very optimistic, what can I say.
I started by improvising. I traced the outline of an existing coat onto the back of wrapping paper. (It was the only paper in the house large enough to trace and cut the pieces as a whole.) Once I had my pattern pieces, I laid out the Christmas fleece. I didn’t know how much I would need for the coat so I got 2 ½ yards. Those of you who sew are probably laughing right now. For those of you who don’t sew, that doesn’t sound like a lot but I had to rearrange the living room furniture to spread it out.
I resorted to prying her off the floor and dragging her to a carpeted space. Bettina immediately headed back for the fleece. But I was ready for her and protected the perimeter like some demented Twister player. Only it turns out it is humanly impossible to protect the full square footage of 2 ½ yards of fleece.
In a show of good judgment on my part, I conceded one end of the fleece to Bettina. I laid out the pattern and worked on cutting out the fabric pieces for the new coat at the other end of the fleece. In my peripheral vision I could see Bat Girl slowly edging closer to get a better observation position.
That was followed by an epic struggle between me and the sewing machine. This is a machine that I begged for one Christmas and had never used until this moment. I got to work on piecing the jacket together. The majority of the jacket was completed with amazingly little difficulty. I was so pleased with myself. I’m a frickin’ genius when it comes to sewing. Then I got to the Velcro. I had been lulled into a false sense of security. Oh accursed Velcro! In the process of trying to get the bleeping Velcro attached to the jacket, I broke two machine needles as well as being stopped short countless times due to the thread breaking or balling up.
Bettina and Blue opted to keep their distance while I was sewing this part of the coat, much to their credit. Sweating and swearing I finally got the Velcro secured. Convincing Bettina it was safe to come near me again in order to try the coat on her was almost as challenging as the Velcro.