We have weaned our puppy from her crate earlier this summer and have started to let her sleep with us on the bed at night. It didn’t seem like a bad idea at first, until we found out that she particularly likes to curl up between your legs. It’s a very comfortable spot for her, no doubt. But not so much for us. Of course now that she’s bigger, she has taken up quite a bit more real estate and moved up to the center of the bed. I figured it was high time that she get her own.
The dog bed that I made for her below is largely inspired by the stylish Molly Mutt dog bed duvet covers. Simple, practical, and allows for easy washing. I figured out a pattern which I included below, if anyone out there is interested in making one. I assumed a medium-sized bed would work well for her, but you can adjust accordingly to fit your dog.
Here is the list of materials I used:
- 2 yards printed heavyweight fabric -choose a fun print for the front and sides
- 2 yards plain heavyweight fabric – contrasting color
- 2 ft heavy duty zipper – your zipper should be about as long as the width of your dog bed.
- piping – you can make your own or, if you’re an amateur like me, purchase ready made piping at the store. This would go around the perimeter of your dog bed so make sure to purchase enough in length. Ideally you would want piping on both faces of the bed (top and bottom), but as you will soon notice on mine, I only have the piping on the top face of the bed. Yup, I ran out. Silly me.
- heavy duty thread – matching or contrasting, whichever you like.
Figure 1: Sewing Pattern
Next I have included visual instructions on how to piece everything together. Disclaimer: this is by no means expert advice and is probably not the best way to go about it. So if anyone out there knows of a more proper way to attach all the pieces together, I am an eager student.
Figure 2: Steps According to Me
Cutting the pieces. Lay the ‘front’ and ‘side’ sewing patterns so that the fabric’s print matches up when you attach them together (just like how it’s shown in figure 1). Or if you want to skip this part and minimize fabric waste you can arrange the pieces so they are as crammed next to each other as possible.
Sewing on the piping. Now ideally you would want to use a presser foot especially made for piping. Since I didn’t have one I used a zipper foot instead. If you’re sewing with a zipper foot, sew as close to the cording as you possibly can. You may want to practice a few times to get the hang of it.
Turning the corner. Snip a little bit of the piping to get a nice 90 degree angle. I found some helpful video tutorials for sewing on piping that I included at the end of this post. These helped me immensely and I hope you’ll find them useful too.
Sewing on the zipper. Again I consulted some video tutorials for this. Check them out at the end of this post. You want to attach the zipper to the back piece and one of the side pieces.
Matching the seams. Before attaching all the sides together, arrange them around the front piece to make sure the print matches at the seams. Then mark the pieces with fabric chalk so you know the order in which to sew them. I had every intention of making all my seams match, but somewhere along the way I had cut my pieces incorrectly, so as you can see on mine I only have one perfectly matched seam.
Attaching the sides. After sewing all the sides together in one long strip, begin sewing them onto the the front piece, going around the perimeter. This part is a little tricky since you will be sewing three layers together: the top piece, the piping, and the side piece. Again make sure to sew as close to the cording as possible. You won’t be able to see the piping since it’s sandwiched in between the fabrics, so you’ll have to feel it with your fingers as you’re running it through your machine.
Inspect your work. Turn your work over and inspect the seams around the piping. If you find stitches that are too far from the cording you can run it through the machine again.
Attaching the back piece. This is the last piece of the puzzle. Make sure to leave your zipper open. When you’ve sewn up all the sides, you will turn it inside out through the zipper opening.
Reinforce. Now that your dog bed is done, check all the seams and corners for any loose stitches. I highly recommend running the entire thing again through your machine to strengthen the seams further (I just know my puppy is going to want to tear it apart). You can then clean up the edges by running an overcast or zigzag stitch all the way around to keep them from fraying.
The fun part. Stuff your dog bed with old clothes, blankets, linens, or whatever you have until it holds its shape. Then introduce it to your puppy and cross your fingers that she’ll like it better than your bed!
I hope you find this post helpful and that you’ll be inspired to make one for your puppy too.
Have you made something wonderful for your furry family members? Do share!
Helpful video tutorials: