I applied to be a pattern tester for Sew Bratty Patterns to trial some doggy t-shirts. It was such a fun test, and I loved seeing all the different dogs and cats (yes, CATS!) in their t-shirts as we worked on making the pattern user-friendly and well-fitting.
My dogs, Kelly the boxer, and Minnie the Frenchie, are both rescues. Kelly was a super shy, scared 4-5 year old who was at a dog pound. She wasn’t the kind of dog everyone wants to adopt, but I looked at her, and she looked at me, and the deal was sealed. She was scared of everything from darkness to loud noises. Four years later, she still cowers occasionally at a loud noise or a swift movement in her direction. And boxes – she cringes when I carry cardboard boxes around. I have no idea why, but those scars run deep in her brain.
She had no clue what a toy or a ball were for, and she still doesn’t, but we knew she deserved doggy joy in her life. About 6 months after she found her forever home, I saw Minnie on a rescue website. She had her own set of issues, but we arranged for a meet & greet, anyway, and she came home with us. She’s affectionately known as “Minnie the Maniac”. She definitely knows what toys and balls are for, and is quite happy to “kill” ever one she gets her mouth on. When Minnie & Kelly romp and play together, it gives me such a good feeling, knowing that they are happy in their forever home.
So – those are my beloved dogs, and here they are in their t-shirts. First test was this one. Kelly is looking not-so-thrilled – she really wanted to walk away. Minnie is always willing to sit for the camera. First test fit ok, but Kelly’s was a bit short and tight. For Minnie, I made the “bulldog chest” adjustment that’s super easy, and is given on the pattern. Minnie’s was pretty much perfect.
Second test – these were straight from the pattern – no adjustments. Minnie’s was a great fit, and Kelly’s was a bit short, and the neckline was a little too low in the back, but overall, the fit was good.
Third test was the charm. Minnie’s was a perfect fit without any adjustments. Kelly was at the upper end of the range for her size, so I added to the length, and it turned out great. The pattern is easy to adjust, and the designer illustrates adjustments for a perfect fit. Minnie was, as usual, ready to pose. Kelly was exhausted from a morning romp, so she was laying down on the job.
In all honestly, my dogs will never wear clothes, but I have a favorite dog rescue, and after contacting Lone Star Dog Ranch Rescue, they said they’d be happy to have them. They often have rescues with skin issues and surgeries, so they can put these t-shirts to good use. I’ll probably make more when I have extra fabrics – I used cotton/lycra knit for the main part of the t-shirts, and cotton/lycra ribbing for the bands, although other testers used their main fabric as ribbing, so ribbing is not obligatory.
I’m currently working on some Violette Fields Threads patterns – Hattie dress and Tess sweater. Stay tuned 🙂