This is an easy project that took me a total of three days of hard work but somehow took me a year to finish. Sound familiar to anyone? Let me explain…
I promised my husband a kennel cover last year for Christmas (or maybe it was even the year before last? It's been so long I don't remember.) The project it's self only took me three days of work, but I kept finding other projects to complete instead (and my old sewing machine was woefully inadequate for the amount of fabric I was shoving in it).
Since my husband is going on a big hunting trip here soon, I decide it was time to finish it up.
This was definitely a "fly by the seat of my pants" project, so sorry for the lackluster tutorial.
Duck Cloth. I bought around 10 yards of this stuff and still have a ton left over. I would say for a large kennel, you would be set with 5.
Fleece. I used fleece as a liner/insulator for the cover. You will need the same amount as the duck cloth.
Velcro. I used two types. I started out with sew on Velcro, but I was having some issues with the thickness of the fabric so I switched to permanent iron on Velcro. It's more spendy but totally worth the extra expense!
Elastic (You don’t need much at all. Around 3 feet at the most)
Buttons (I used 6 random ones I had sitting around.)
Sewing Machine (The more oomph the better)
Good quality thread (the cheap stuff will snap with the heavy duty fabric)
Fabric marker (the washable kind) or dressmaker chalk
If you'd like to do the appliqué, you will also need:
Iron on appliqué interfacing
Needle and thread
I wish I had a fancy pattern to share with you, but I just created my own. I draped the fabric over the top of the kennel and using a fabric marker to do an outline of each side of the kennel. (including marking the vent section on the side pieces) Then, I cut the fabric out about 2 inches from that marker line (to give yourself room for hemming). I also tried to cut the line straight when my marker line was clearly crooked. This method allowed me to make allowances for the lip that is all the way around. I did not cut a piece for the bottom of the kennel.
Cut out a duck cloth and fleece piece for each side of the kennel. Remember you will also need a hole for the side vents and flaps to go over the vents (make sure the flaps are overly big, you can always cut them down). My cut list (each cut had 1 duck cloth and 1 fleece):
2 sides (mirror images of one another) with hole for vents.
1 back piece
1 front piece
2 flaps to cover the vents
Optional: Fabric for a pocket.
2. Attach Fleece
Now this is where I screwed up, I initially stacked the two types of cloth on top of each other and started sewing everything together. (Big mistake for so many different reasons) If you have a gentle soul sewing machine like I did, I would suggest adding the fleece on top of the duck cloth, but only having duck cloth on the areas that are going to be hemmed or attached to other pieces. Otherwise, you’re going to be folding over 2 layers of fleece and duck cloth and attempting to sew it.
Take your fleece that is the same size as your duck cloth and on each side, cut off 2-3 inches off of the fleece. Then, take each piece of duck cloth and sew in the fleece. You will now have a piece of fleece that is attached to the duck cloth, but there should be 2-3 inches of just duck cloth on each edge. Don’t forget you’re going to need this allowance around the vent holes as well. Here’s an illustration to explain the babble I just said:
You will want to hem all the sides that will not be attaching to other pieces. You don’t want to be hemming when you have everything sewn together. Whatever we can do with small pieces of fabric makes the job much easier. Sewing big pieces of fabric stinks! That means you will want to hem the bottoms of the sides pieces and the bottom of the back piece. You will want to hem the sides and bottoms of the two vent flaps as well as the front flap. (you can leave the tops unhemmed if you’d like since it won’t show) You will want to hem the entire vent hole opening on the two side pieces.
|I didn't follow my open instructions and ended up just applying fray guard to the bottom of my pieces rather than going back through and hemming. Not nearly as neat but hubby didn't care.|
4. Attach Velcro & Optional Items
First, after everything is hemmed, on both side pieces, you need to sew on the Velcro at the bottom of the vent cut out (or iron it on). You also will want to sew on the Velcro at the front of the side pieces for the front flap to attach to. All this Velcro is going to be on the right side of the fabric. (See illustration below for help about placement)
Second, you will want to attach the Velcro to the sides of the front flap, and the bottom of the vent flap pieces as well. Both of these will be attached to the wrong size (fleece side). You may want to now add in the optional items like a pocket or applique name to the flap. I also added in a line of elastic for things like duck dummies or water bottles, but that is just a personal preference.
|My haphazard pocket.|
4. Attach Side, Top and Back Pieces
After you have hemmed everything, you will want to start putting all the pieces together. I suggest attaching everything to the top first and then move to attaching the sides to the back. Now you should have a cover minus the vent flap covers and the front flap.
5. Attach Vent Flaps
You’re going to attach the vent flaps to the carrier. You will want to sew right side of fabric to right side of fabric. You also will want to sew in the elastic loops that will hold up the vent flap. See the illustration below. Loops will be facing down. Sew along the white line. Repeat with the other side.
6. Attach Front Flap
Repeat the same process with the front flap. Remember to add in the elastic loops.
7. Attach Buttons
Add in buttons. You will want to add them to the cover right above the elastic, above where the flap is attached. See illustration below. You can either use your machine to do the button or sew them on by hand. Repeat with other side and the front.
8. Add in Additional Securing Features
You can now decide if the cover fits snug, or needs additional items. I did two things. I added in elastic loops at the front of each side flap so I could elastic the cover around the screws that hold the kennel together (see picture below)
I also added in a piece of elastic at the front and back of the kennel. I just attached the elastic to the two side pieces so it put the cover snug. (also pictured below)
|Front elastic pulled out.|
|Back elastic pulled out|
Now you’re done! If you’ve made it this far with reading, THANK YOU. This was a fairly messing ordeal, but hopefully knowing the process prevents you from making my mistakes. I got a lot of use out of my stich ripper!
More shots of the kennel cover:
Do you think using Insul Bright would be a warmer insulator than using fleece? I am also making a kennel cover for my husbands hunting dog crate.
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