Two sisters, two coasts, one blog

New Duds for Rosie


You may remember that in November we adopted a Rosie, a sweet and funny pug. As you can see by the picture above, Miss Rosie was, to put it nicely, quite plump. Three months of a regime of regular walks & green beans to bulk out her meals and she is now almost at her ideal fighting weight of 15 pounds (o, that it were so easy for the rest of us!).

The purple and black harness that she wore when she arrived has become much looser, skewing to the side in an annoying way during our walks. And, well, it’s purple. Not one of my favorite colors. So I decided it was high time for some new duds.

Above is the original harness, and then a picture of what it looked like once I took off the hardware. I set that aside to use later.

Next I chose two fabrics, one for the top (what we call in the biz “self” fabric), to which I ironed interfacing, and a second lining fabric. Both were a medium weight canvas that should wear well.

I then laid the original harness on top of the fabric, and used it as a template to trace around. I removed a quarter-inch from each end of the neckband, so the new harness would be a bit more snug than the original.

I poked around online and found some great images of wild rose (my favorite) branches rendered in blocky style. These I used as the basis for a painted design.

Setting aside the lining, I sketched the flowers and leaves with tailors chalk on the self fabric, then applied a wash of color. I used liquid fabric dye for this part, and black screen printing ink for the outlines, because I had them at hand but fabric paint would work just as well if not better.

I heat set the whole shebang with my iron (I have I mentioned I have a new iron? My old Rowenta gave up the ghost after 7 years of loyal service, right in the middle of prepping Spring orders for production. So I got me a brand-spanking-new gravity fed heavy duty dealie. I love it. I don’t have a picture, but this is basically what it looks like. )

Then, just because Rosie is a fancy dog, I added some beads:

Now that the self fabric was decorated, I laid it on top of the lining fabric, and used bias tape to finish the raw edges.

Because I make a lot of my own tape, I usually apply bias tape in two steps, sewing it right side to the wrong side of the item, then flipping over to the right side to fold the tape under and stitch it down. That way I can see that the width of the tape is uniform and adjust it if need be.

You’ll see what I mean below:

Here’s what it looked like with all the bias tape on:

The last step was to sew the neckband together and then put the hardware back on:

And here’s Rosie all dolled up in her new harness:

10 Responses to “New Duds for Rosie”

  1. Sandra

    I LOVE the harness! And am so impressed with Rosie’s weight loss. Good job all around. And I believe Meera might be Rosie’s biggest fan. She loves to zoom any photos of Rosie up close and giggle about how cute she is.

  2. betty

    Oami, this is great…the harness and the healthier Rosie… And then I got to Ursula’s comment. I’ve never in my life typed the acronym, but I did actually laugh at my computer. Ursula, I can hear you saying that! So funny.

  3. Norman Ross Powers

    With that adorable “rosie” motif, her harness reminds me of fancy lederhosen suspenders! Weiner-dog owners should take note. Also, praise the lord that you were able to find a free day in your life in which to take on an entertaining side-project like this one.

  4. oami powers

    Thanks Michelle! Jennifer, when you have a minute, I know you are crazy busy over there. Glad R is such a hit with the little ladies! I know the feeling Meera, I laugh often when I look at her…


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