At the start of 2021, I bought myself a beginners sewing machine with the sole intention of stitching my dogs their own wardrobe of accessories.
So far, I’ve been perfecting my pet bandanas, but just in time for fireworks season, I decided to make them something both stylish and practical in a bid to soothe them.
As Bonfire Night creeps up, and half-term bound to bring whizzbangers and rockets to usually quiet housing estates, I’ll be doing everything I can to make sure my dogs feel safe. So, I decided to make Phoebe and Frank both a snood to wear in the evenings before the bangs begin.
Not only do snoods offer comfort, but they can also help reduce some of the noise caused by fireworks, and alongside other measures, seem to work a treat in calming them down and helping them relax.
I ordered some anti-pill polar fleece fabric from Etsy in pink and orange, which are the colours of Phoebe and Frank’s Doodlebone collars. It took around a week to arrive, and measured at 100cm by 150cm, so was more than enough for the two accessories (and the several failed attempts before success – I’m very much a novice).
To create the template for the pattern, I measured each dog’s head and neck circumference and the length of their neck. I divided both circumference measurements by two and added my seam allowance, and added four inches to the neck length to allow for a doubled over hem each end, and some gathering. It should look like a trapezium, slightly smaller at the top of the neck than the bottom for a snug fit.
I folded over my fabric with right sides together and cut out my template, pinning them together so that I could stitch along the long edges. I did attempt this with a neat French seam, but this made the fabric far to thick to hem later. After both sides are stitched, fold each edge in by a little under an inch, and fold over again, pinning in place before sewing to secure the hems. It can be quite tricky around the side stitches because the fleece is six layers thick in some parts, but these parts could be hand stitched.
Et voila – trim off your cotton and turn the snood right way out and there you have it, a snuggly snood perfect for soothing scared dogs on Bonfire night.
Phoebe loves to be cosy, and will hoard all of the blankets from the dog beds to make her own den. When I first tried on her snood, she snuggled right into it and didn’t want to take it off. It’s long enough to wear as a scarf for woodland walks, or to pull over their ears in the evenings when the explosions begin, and the vibrant colours look really gorgeous, perfectly matching their collars. Frank was much less keen on his new fleecy accessory, and whilst he didn’t mind wearing it as a scarf, he wasn’t sure about having it covering his ears. That said, I’m sure I’ll get him used to it before November 5, and he’ll thank me for it in the long run.