Monday, April 22, 2013

Dog Crate Cover

While browsing Facebook today someone posted a beautiful dog crate cover.  Immediately there was an outcry about how expensive they were.  Someone wished they had instructions to make one.  I offered to put instructions together....

  How to Make a Basic Dog Crate Cover

This cover will have a roll-up door covering and a side viewing roll-up window cover.  For the bed inside, I would just cover a pre-purchased bed in your chosen fabric.  A basic envelope style pillow/bed cover can be seen here -

Suggested fabrics –
Exterior - I believe that the best fabric is a cotton, light to medium weight upholstery fabric.
Lining - some contrasting cotton fabric in the same or lighter weight fabric.

Note:  Cotton upholstery fabrics seem to wash very well and hold a press for a long time.

Measurements –

Top – A Length ___________, B Width  ___________.

Side - A Length __________ (as above) , C Height ___________.


1. For the top - Cut two A + 1” by B + 1”– One of lining fabric, plus one of the exterior fabric. (I am suggesting a two layer top to make the ‘roof’ a little more light proof.)

2. For the front door side - Cut two – B + 1” by C +1 ” – One of lining fabric, plus one of the exterior.
-          Cut four – 6” by C + 3” – straps – lining fabric

3. For the plain side – Cut one – A + 1” by C + 3” – exterior fabric

4. For the back – Cut one – B + 1” by C + 3” – exterior fabric

5. For the side with the window - Cut 2 – A/3 + 3” by C + 3” – exterior fabric
-          Cut  2– A/3 +2” by C + 3”  - one of exterior and one of lining
-          Cut four – 6” by C + 3” – straps – lining fabric
6. Label all the pieces.

Sewing – assumes ½” seam allowances and 2” hems

  1. Layer the top pieces together wrong sides together.  And a layer of batting or interfacing if you wish.  Press, pin and set aside.
  2. Take the plain side exterior fabric and join into one long strip with the rear fabric and one of the window side fabrics.  Join using ½ “seam allowances.  Serge the seam allowances to tidy them up or use some other durable seam finish – fold over and top stitch, cover with bias binding etc.
  3. Fold the bottom up 1” inch, press, then fold up 2” and press again.  Sew the hem up
  4. Fold the sides in ¼” twice.  Press and sew down these side seams.
  5. Pin the raw, unfinished edge to the prepared top carefully matching the joining seams to the top corners.  Join together using ½’seam allowances.  Leave the seam finishing until the end.
  6. Prepare the front roll-up door by completing the straps first.  Right sides together lengthwise sew the long edge together.  Turn right side out and press with the seam to the middle of one side.  Fold one short end ¼” twice and sew down.  Do this twice.
  7. For the door, layer the exterior fabric right sides together with the lining fabric and sew three sides together – two sides and the bottom using a ½”seam allowance.  Turn right side out and press well.
  8. Pin the two of the straps to the top, each ¼ of B in from the side, then the raw edge of the door pocket then the final two straps even with the first two straps.  Sew together using a ½”inch seam allowance.  Finish off the seam later.
  9. Right now you have the door flap, the back and the right end of the window side attached to the top.   An appropriate adult beverage seems appropriate now.
  10.  For the left end of the window side, fold up the bottom ½” and press.  Fold up again by 2”, press.  Sew the hem up.  Fold in the sides ¼”twice, press and sew down.
  11. Pin the piece from step 10 to the top and attach to the top using a ½”seam allowance.
  12. The sides for the window side of the cage cover are about 2” wider than one third the total length of the side so that the window side should not leak light.
  13. Prepare the side window the same as the front door – steps 6, 7 and 8.
  14. Finish the seam allowances at the top by serging or binding with bias tape or a French seam or a fake flat felled seam….your choice.

Place over your cage.  Roll up the windows and see if your pup likes their new home.

Note – This is all very basic and can be changed in a zillion different ways.  Add trims around the top, add an overlap on the front door side, add fusible appliques to the outside, add a lining to all the bits without it…and on and on and on.

I wish I could show you one all made up but I don't have a wire crate right now but I do have some great fabric!

BTW - share often but please give credit for the basic design where possible.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

A Place For Everything

My organizing philosophy has always been centered around the maxim that every room needs a junk drawer.  When that drawer gets full then you must organize the contents to either get rid of useless junk (like the bread bag ties in the kitchen junk drawer that I will never use) or to find a new home for things that can logically go together.

Everything and anything can go in a junk drawer but groups of like things need their own space.

The same goes for things needed for specific activities.  Your purse (if you use one) is like a portable junk drawer.  It usually includes individual items that are needed while out and about but it also accumulates lots of things that have no place else to live.   My check book lives in my purse but I have rarely written a check outside the house in years. Lip balm is used at home, most of the time, but my purse attracts them lie flies to honey.

I have specific tote bags for my library books, my swimming stuff, my knitting projects (multiple bags!), the Quilt Guild Library records, the Quilt Show Garage Sale records and even a special bag for the dogs' medicines.

What I did not have, until the other day, was a specific tote bag for the Knitting in Kingwood records. I had been using one that was too big for amount of stuff I needed to take to each meeting and it was very awkward to use.

Determined to fix this lack, and armed with my knowledge from a class with Gilbert Muniz a few years ago, I created this bag that exactly fits all the stuff I cart around for Knitting in Kingwood.

What do you think?

For the big bag, I used my embroidery machine for the label, some outdoor fabric from JoAnn's for the exterior, some buckram to stiffen it up a little, some leftover cotton fabric for the lining and some fabulous leather handles I have been hanging onto for many years. The little white bag, which fits nicely into the bigger bag, is made from some felted wool and holds the little bits and pieces I seem to need at the meetings like membership cards, pens and others bits.

Best part is, is that I can pass on this bag to the next leader and they will have everything they need in one place and won't have to go searching for membership lists, the copier card or organizational rules.

While the rest of my life may be spiraling into chaos at least my KIK materials are organized.