I'm not one of those people who dress their pets in cute costumes for Halloween or carry them in a special handbag--although my Min-Pin, Louie, would probably love it if I did. He's such a ham and he loves to be held.
Still, when you have a sewing machine, a big stash of fabrics, and adorable (and willing) models running around the house, the impulse to create for them is strong. It's also fun to use my sewing skills for something other than an art quilt, occasionally.
Louie and his sister Maggie the Italian greyhound are the usual subjects for my adventures in canine couture. Louie is especially proud of his quilted "Joy" jacket from the 2008/2009 issue of Quilting Arts Gifts.
I worked up a new design for "QATV" Season 7 that I might give to Maggie--shh, don't tell! It's reversible, so she we can flip it over to suit her mood. When I was on set with Bernina's Jeanne Cook-Delpit, her dog Bella modeled it. Isn't she cute, walking the runway?
I know lots of our readers like to make clothes for their two- and four-legged loved ones. Dog jackets are fairly simple to make, but creating clothes for people is definitely more of a challenge.
I recommend two new books that can help you get beautiful results when sewing clothing for children and adults: The Dressmaker's Handbook of Couture Sewing Techniques: Essential Step-by-Step Techniques for Professional Results by Lynda Maynard and Sewn with Love: Classic Patterns for Children's Clothes and Accessories by Fiona Bell. The latter has some very easy patterns for adorable kids' clothes that are reminiscent of the '50s, '60s, and '70s.
If you sew clothing regularly, used to (before art quilting took over your life!), or are dying to get started, these books will have you spending even more time at your sewing machine, creating garments for those you love.
And if you'd like to try your hand at Louie's "Joy" jacket, download this quilting pattern from our website for free.