After the first pillow, I knew I could tackle some dog beds. At least the kind of beds I thought I wanted to make. I made the trek to Jo-Ann Fabrics and searched for some cute fabric I thought would be good for our dogs.
My husband and I have two very cute pups, not that I’m biased at all or anything. One is a full-sized chihuahua, black and tan, and the other is a small golden retriever mix. Their names are Jack and Kendall and they hold very special places in our hearts. They each have very different personalities. Jack is a bit more high-strung, energetic and loves to snuggle and be in your face. Kendall is real laid back. She wants you to pet her and give her attention, but hugging constitutes too much closeness, and she will almost immediately leave you alone if you are overbearing in the slightest. Thus, Kendall doesn’t really like Jack to lay too close her, and he wants to be in her face. These pictures show their agreement to compromise on occasion.
In order to catch their personalities, I had to walk around JoAnn’s for probably 20 minutes before I could decide. I found a pirate themed print for our little man, and I used some snuggle nursery fabric with little owls on it for our Goldie locks.
I had read a little bit on various pages, trying to find a pattern for a dog bed, but in the end, both for the dogs and myself, I went with the simplest thing I thought I could do. I did manage to measure pretty well before hand, and knew that I should use a 1/2″ seam allowance, and I didn’t end up buying too much extra fabric. In discussing my plans for making these beds, I talked to my husband about materials I should use to fill them, and we came to the conclusion that I should use some foam material and add a zipper in order to be able to wash the covers properly. I managed to get out of there with all that I needed and nothing extra so I consider that a pretty good success for my first visit to the fabric store. ( I wish I could say that about my trips to fabric stores now!)
And so began my trial with zippers. I don’t know exactly what I was thinking aiming for a zipper on my first real project, but I guess it’s a good thing I didn’t know any better than to not try. I measured the areas I was going to put these beds in again for good measure. I can remember my dad always telling me to measure twice, cut once when it came to wood, and this, I was sure, was no exception.
After I got my fabric cut and stitched up the sides and one end, I stuck the zipper on. It was extremely awkward and I know I probably messed up doing it properly, but I managed to get it on, it worked, and I was feeling pretty good about it. Sure, it was a little crooked, but who does it perfect the first time? (If you’re thinking that you normally do, congratulations! Now keep it to yourself so that you don’t ruin my tainted belief!)
The second bed went smashingly well. I mean, no hitches, the zipper went on well and I thought that this sewing thing would just get easier and easier now that I practiced a bit. (If your laughing, it’s ok, I know I was foolish in believing this. There are lots of items that are far more complicated than this that I have now tried.)
The second doggy bed turned out so well I couldn’t believe it. I snapped a couple of photos in excitement and did a happy dance.
Our dogs didn’t seem to like them. Our dog, Jack, seemed to be ok with his after a while of making over it and talking to him excitedly, and he did sit on it, albeit a little skeptically for a couple of weeks at best. Kendall on the other hand, had hers torn into little bits and shreds the very first time we put her in her crate for a grocery store run, which happened to be the next day. My heart sank quite a bit.
When I initially made these, something I hadn’t thought of at the time, was whether or not to pre-wash my fabrics. I know that there is a bit of a debate in the quilting world on doing this, but It never even occurred to me back then. In fact, If I had just washed both the fabric and the foam before giving them to the dogs, it might have made a difference, but I guess that’s just one of those rookie mistakes that you just don’t even know that you haven’t thought of until you’ve learned a bit more. Obviously, if I could go back and do this over again, I would have pre-washed the fabrics and tried to do something to clean the foam so they didn’t smell odd.
Oh well, lesson learned, and no one is worse for wear, except maybe my pocket-book…