Sunday, August 5, 2007

More Than You Ever Wanted To Know …



… about doggy diapers. ;-) (Sorry, no Burda top yet.)

So, along with making Dani some new diapers since she likes to chew on them (grrrr!), I decided to take some of your and my family's comments to heart and experiment with making others to sell. I figure between a flyer I'll put up at the dog park next week, Ebay and some other local venues, I might just gain a small customer base. There seems to be a need because many small dogs have piddle accidents in addition to those going into heat, but the "RTW" dipes you find in the chain pet stores are, frankly (and excuse the pun), butt-ugly. And many of the dipes on Ebay are horribly-sewn and still selling (although to be fair, some are very nice too). So, who knows if this will lead anywhere.

I've done some research and test sewing (one of the reasons I've been blog-absent). First, I went to the pet store with a measuring tape and notepad to get a better idea of the sizes & shapes. I figured why reinvent the wheel when someone else has already done the calculations. Then I made another trip with the measuring tape to the small dog side of the dog park since I'm limited with my own live "fit models." It was interesting convincing pet owners to let me measure their poochies' crotches. ;-)

Speaking of models … I also looked for and found (whew!) a free downloadable pattern for a stuffed dachshund. Oh, I love the internet! None of the Big 3/4 pattern companies have anything remotely useful for this or I probably would've bought that since finding a pre-made stuffed toy dog at Walmart was also a bust. I've seen my own photos of Dani (Hi Sherril) plus others using real dog models. It's very hard to capture a live dog photo which looks like they're enjoying the modeling session and/or the diaper. Since I don't think it's particularly good salesmanship to use humiliated models, I decided a generic dog was in order.

But smack me if I ever want to sew a stuffed dog again, OK? Sheesh. Flashbacks of Home Ec in junior high with a stuffed green & white gingham hippo (which I think my mom still has!).

The free pattern was fine, but talk about fiddly. All those Y intersections, sharp curves and tiny seam allowances and me with ravel-ly twill. I almost gave up in the middle of it. But when I went back at it the next day, things worked out better. She didn't turn out perfect but she's more than acceptable for these purposes. My sons think she's "freaky" because she has no face. I think she's kinda cute, and she makes a great pincushion. Ewww ... doggy acupuncture. ;-)



So, where was I? Oh yes. Patterns. Until 2 weeks ago, I'd never even contemplated making human baby diapers let along a doggy version. But I had my prototypes from Dani, measurements from the dog park and plenty of tracing paper, pencils and my french curves. Working out the basic pattern was pretty easy. Refining it and working out the fastest sewing order took a little more work.

If you remember, my first Dani dipes had a tail hole like this:



But I saw others on Ebay that had ribbing (or bias binding) like this one I made for Dani:



At first I thought the ribbing would be easiest. Ah, how wrong I was. It's hard to tell scale in my photos, but the tail holes are not that big and there's barely enough space to maneuver a sewing machine presser foot, let alone a serger or coverstitch machine foot.



Back to Plan A, but with a better sewing order (another of the prototype dipes for Dani).



Deciding on this tail hole did mean a pattern redraft of all the sizes but now I've streamlined the sewing and can spend less time and materials on the dipes because there's no ribbing to cut, sew/press in a circle and then attach and topstitch around the hole (swearing like a sailor the whole time!). On top of that, this unbound tail hole makes the diaper easier to put on and take off, especially when you add fur to the scenario. Plus, with all that seaming and thread at the dog's nether region with the bound version, I think it's got to be less comfortable. I do know that Dani chewed hers with the ribbing and has left the plainer tail holes alone.



Next up was deciding on the lining and interior. Flannel is soft and absorbent but little piddlers need a bit more protection. I settled on two layers of microfiber toweling sewn onto the wrong side of the flannel lining before assembly. It's soft and very absorbent without being too thick for the dog's comfort. Those with bigger wetness issues can also add a disposable pantyliner, etc., like we've been doing while Dani is in heat.





So here's one of the final dipes (Chihuahua or Yorkie sized). There's elastic inside at the tummy and leg areas to prevent gaping and leakage and heavy-duty Velcro at the waist for easy-on, easy-off and adjustability.



Here's another with a removable skirt option. Am I getting carried away now? ;-)



The last thing was to make myself a logo, of course! ;-)



If you'd like to make your own stuffed dachshund, here is the link. The original is much cuter than mine because it's made from faux fur and has a face. But don't say I didn't warn you about the sewing! I can't even fathom it with the fur.

48 comments:

  1. Good luck in your new business venture - I'm sure you'll do fantastic since yours have turned out so cute! I can't wait to hear how it all goes. BTW, I actually like your stuffed dachshund better than the original!

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  2. That's hysterical! I think you'll have a good following and probably be able to sell as much as you want to spend time sewing. Are you going to sell online, too?

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  3. Wow Debbie, I love them, No pets at my house but if I did......
    The bow is too cute. Good luck with the new adventure.
    Anne

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  4. What a clever idea! You should think about having a shop on Etsy.com also.

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  5. Too funny! I would never have been able to use "tail hole" in a socially-acceptable sentence before reading this. Seriously, those are too cute! If I had a dog ... and it needed "protection" ...

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  6. I'd buy one in a minute but I have no dog, either! The diaper I fashioned 35 years ago for our dog in heat just doesn't come close to being so stylin'! (Maybe that is why she looked mortified.)

    And the bows and logo? Love them. I hope you do very well with your new venture!

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  7. Now I know why you've been away! Wow!! Almost makes me wish our dog wasn't spayed. (I lie!) But the doggie pants are very cute! Good luck and I hope you sell a butt load of them! (did I say that out loud?!)

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  8. Debbie, love the logo. I picture folks like Paris Hilton, Jessica Simpson, etc buying them for their dogs. I wish you all of the luck in the world. Hope you will have a great customer base for the "dani-pants". What have you come up with for male dogs? Can't discriminate.
    Happy Stitching!

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  9. I'll take three Chihuahua size in pink, please. And the removable skirt? TO DIE FOR. I'll take three in those too. Seriously. Even if I have to take out a loan to pay you! DARLING.

    Can I be your first customer? =)We'll even take photos for your scrapbook or whatever.

    Love the logo too.

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  10. Brilliant! Good luck with your new business venture.
    Linscee

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  11. ROFLMHO, fabulous! You took that idea and sprinted. Too funny all of this, I am really howling here. Good luck with this little enterprise.

    Just remember that dogs have different styles/tastes too. Like racy dogs, romantic dogs, punk dogs, biker dogs....a little bit of leather?! I say! or jeans dogs.........
    You could have a field day with these.

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  12. You're right - waaay more than I wanted to know. But fabulous idea all the same. I'm sure business will be booming - you might never get that Burda top done :-)

    And the green gingham hippo? I made one of those - in green gingham!! Our sewing teacher was not impressed when I embroidered crossed eyes on it! I thought it looked cute.

    chris
    :-)

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  13. Wow!! The skirt one is adorable. I second opening an etsy shop (free to open). Looks like you won't need luck with your venture :)

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  14. Debbie, this was very entertaining and I wish you the best. But I have a question: What are you going to list as your occupation on your 1040??? !!! :)

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  15. Awesome! That is the longest post I have ever read about doggy diapers! Good Luck

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  16. Love your doggy diapers! I hope it is a successful venture for you.

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  17. I had a feeling that is why you were out of service for awhile. This is so wonderful!

    I have a large boy dog that needs some pants just to go stylin around the house!

    looks like you are in business.

    Have you seen all the dogs with blogs?

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  18. They are adorable and you are so clever.

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  19. I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes! Debbie, will Dani get a cut because it was her inspiration that got this business started? Good luck in this new venture.They really are adorable.

    ~Sherril~

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  20. You impress me in more ways than you can imagine. What a great idea - I think it'll be a hit.

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  21. Debbie, those are too cute, I especially love the little skirt. I could totally see Lucy in those, if she needed it. I know you'll do well in your new venture.
    Thanks for your comment about the cutting table, I got the instructions from here: http://www.diynetwork.com/diy/home_improvement/article/0,2037,DIY_13954_4314410,00.html

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  22. She sews like a pro, writes like Erma Bombeck and is now showing the entrepreneurial skills of a Martha Stewart. Is there no limit to this woman's talent? And the bow is sheer genius!

    Seriously, best of luck with the new venture. I have no doubt you'll be successful. Too bad I have only a neutered male cat--no designer doggie wear for me.

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  23. Good for you! People like you who have so much "get up and go" amaze me. I really wish I had just a teeny bit of your energy!! I hope your venture is a howling success..

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  24. I am a dachshund breeder, and would love some of these. They are amzazingly cute and adorable and so fashionable. Great idea! can't wait to hear more about when they are available for purchase!

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  25. Well, Debbie, I love them. I have a nineteen year old pup with an incontinence problem, plus she is arthritis enough to not always make it to the door. These would give she and I both some "security." Brilliant! karent

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  26. So glad you're back online and "came up for air." Was beginning to seriously wonder what happened to you.

    But your business should take off. You have the creativity and drive to make it work. Good luck!

    --umjudis

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  27. That was hilarious about measuring the dogs' crotches! What a great idea- with the right publicity you'll have a great business!!

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  28. You are a genius! Do trademark your product and logo. You've got a winner!

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  29. Debbie, this is great! I think you will do well with this venture. They are so stylish! I love the skirt! I may go out and get a dog!

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  30. LOL This is the funniest tale I've seen in a while. Good luck.

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  31. OMG a teenie weeniedog!! Must have one...yours is way cuter than original!

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  32. That is soooooo cute! Love the skirt too. Good luck!

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  33. I have never purchased doggie clothes (nor probably never will!) but I'm lovving reading about your adventure into entreprenauership! Good luck and keep amusing us with your adventures!

    Sylvia

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  34. This is just too funny!

    The, um, articles are adorable!

    Your DH sure didn't know what he was starting when he picked Dani up off the road....

    :D

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  35. Do an eBay search on PoochieBoutique. I think you might find where our soon to be famous blogger has disappeared.
    Mary in IN

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  36. We all miss your blog AND congratulations on your venture. Please keep us posted. You make me want to go out and get a dog so I can buy from you!

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  37. Good luck, Debbie. We bought a doggie diaper for our pooch when she was getting older. It was plain old boring black. (I would put pads in it to get more absorption.) AnneM

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  38. Okay, I have been patiently waiting an entire month - one full month without complaining about the lack of human clothing. But I am putting my foot down now...you gotta being sewing something?! Okay, share, please...I am whining here...don't make me full out cry! ;)

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  39. I'm assuming that you've been too busy sewing doggy diapers to post - how's the business going? I saw that you sold some on eBay.

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  40. I agree with Carolyn. It's time for an update. Just throw us a bone since I've been visiting this site many, many times with nothing but that doggie's behind as my reward.

    ~Sherril~

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  41. Where oh where has my sewing friend gone,

    Oh where oh where can she be???

    With my visit count: hundreds

    and her post count: none...

    oh Where oh Where can she be???? :D

    Get your doggie diapering buns back online hasta pronto girlie!

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  42. I hope life is treating you well. I've been a blog checker outer and do miss hearing what you've been up to. Thanks for all of your tutorials, you have inspired me.

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  43. The diapers are amazing. Thanks for the link top the doggie pattern. I hope you sell bundles they look like a lot of work. Keep the skirt they are sure to be a hit!!

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  44. Each morning the sun shines brightly through the leafy green trees, waking me from my slumber. I arise, sleepy eyed, ever hopeful that this will be the day. I rush to my computer, fingers trembling, to see what she has to share with us today. The computer searches for the website for what seems like minutes... Then I see it! Oh no, the stuffed dog again! Oh, how it taunts me with it's tail lifted joyfully skyward as my heart breaks. No news again today. No word of the lovely garments she may have sewn, brilliant techniques she may have developed. My heart sinks. Gloom descends upon me like a heavy gray blanket.

    With a heavy heart I begin another day. Another day of wondering if her new business is flourishing. Another day of dreaming of the amusing antics of her three delightful dogs. I'm filled with anticipation, hoping the next day brings news... Where is she? Why is she silent? Perhaps tomorrow... [sob]

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  45. Just to let you know Debbie that I hate football season!!! Yes I do because I am missing your sewing so much!
    Hope you come back soon.

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  46. This blog came up on a google search but there's no website or ordering info. :o(
    Best wishes in your doggie buisness.

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  47. Can you please put ordering information? Thanks.
    California

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Thank you for each and every comment. I appreciate them all, but I have to be honest and let you know that I'm usually bad about answering questions. I hope you understand that there just isn't enough time in the day to do everything I want to do.

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