So I finished this project a little over a month ago but never posted, so here it is. I made my dog Sammie a custom harness! He’s 12 and has had recurring neck/back problems, and the vet recommended a harness for walks. We’ve tried to purchase one but Sammie is kind of a funny size – long and skinny – so it’s hard to find something that fits him well. My mom’s much smaller toy poodle has a custom fabric harness and I used it to pattern out a harness for Sammie.
Then Gregg and I looked through my stash and debated fabric choices. I wanted to use a single cut for the harness (rather than piecing together something) which meant I needed a 1/2 yard. I mostly stash FQs and didn’t have any half yards that we really liked, so off to the fabric store we went. We really wanted something with a small scale print and a darker background, to hide dirt. But we found something so perfect we had to get it – Dr. Seuss fabric that had “Sam I Am” printed all over it. Problem – it was white! Solution – dye the fabric! So we got a packet of fabric dye and I overdyed it (along with some stained onesies and the liner fabric).
So here are the harness pieces – Kona Black, some random canvas-y fabric as the lining, and the overdyed Sam I Am fabric on the top. I used a fabric glue stick to attach some grosgrain ribbon to twill tape, and stuck that over the D ring (purchased at Home Depot in the hardware section) and sewed it down – I used my zipper foot which let me get really close to the D ring to secure it. I zigzagged the velcro down – I’m using the kind meant for cloth diapers since I know it has a good hold and holds up well to washing. Then I made some bias binding and attached that. I have a little bunching around the curves but for my first time making and working with bias binding and doing a completely machine-attached binding I think I did pretty good. I used heavy-duty thread for all the stitching – I used a topstitch needle and I think I had only one thread break, which is pretty good considering I was sewing through velcro plus multiple layers of fabric plus the binding.
And it fits him! Sad to say this is the first thing I’ve ever made him (no, I’ve never knit or crocheted him a sweater) but I think this is something that will be useful. If it keeps us from having another several hundred dollar vet bill it’s definitely worth the effort!