How to Make Sheep Coats for your own sheep...

The very best fabric to use would be untreated Polypropylene in a canvas weave. This is expensive and hard to come by. Next best, is a 10 oz. untreated cotton canvas or denium. I don't use a pattern - I have found there is a sort of relation of body length to body depth (mid back down the side). It's approximately depth = 1/2 the length (back of neck to dock). The canvas is always folded in half so there is no seam down the back.

The cut dimensions for 5 sizes are:
  • Small = 34" long x 18" wide
  • Medium = 37" long x 19" wide
  • Large = 40" long x 20" wide
  • X Large = 43" long x 22" wide
  • XX Large = 46" long x 24" wide

The coat being cut in the photo is an X-Large and so is (folded in half) 43" x 22". Cut on the black lines. The cutoff or leftover from the side is used for the leg straps.

To make the chest piece you will cut a rectangle with a bit of a semi-circle cut out at the top. This cutout goes under the neck. (About 2" deep at the lowest point.)

  • Small = 10" wide x 11" high
  • Medium = 11" x 11"
  • Large = 12" x 12"
  • X Large = 13" x 13"
  • XX Large = 14" x 14"

Cut on the black dotted lines.

You will also want to cut back about 1" to 1 1/2" on the folded edge of the canvas rectangle, in a shallow arc - as: if making a X-Large which is 22" folded in half (44" total) and the chest piece is 13" high then 22" - 13" = 9". So the shallow arc is 1 1/2" tapered down the front edges 9". When you sew the chest piece to the folded rectangle, these cut-outs form the neck hole opening.

The leg straps are cut:

  • Small = 16" long x 4" to 5" wide
  • Medium = 17" long x 4" or 5" wide
  • Large = 18" long x 5" wide
  • X Large = 19" long x 5" wide
  • XX Large = 20" long x 5" wide

Leg straps are strips with long edges folded to the inside and stitched all around. After sewing, they are about 1" to 1 1/2" wide x the appropriate length.

Sew the chest piece to the front edges of the coat. Seams are 1/4" seams.

When you sew the chest piece to the front edges of the coat, these cut-outs form the neck hole opening. Zigzag stitch these seam edges down.

Turn 1/4" twice all around the inside of the neck hole.

Turn 1/4" all around the bottom edge twice - chest piece, and sides. See next instructions before sewing across the back edge of the coat.

Attaching the leg straps: as you fold the edge of the back hem, fold more, say 1" (if you have cut this edge on the selvedge, you need only turn once) and stitch one end of the leg strap into this corner - go over it making an X stiching to reinforce this attachment to the coat. As I stitch along the back edge I decrease the fold/hem back to 1/4" as it goes over where the dock should be, under the coat. This makes the coat slightly longer over the dock than the legs, and seems to cover better.

To estimate approximately where the other end of the leg strap should be sewn on the bottom edge of the sides - it should NOT be streched flat - give some slack - fold about 1" to 2" over and that will be about right, depending on the size of the sheep, the legs, amount of wool, etc.

The finished coat (folded in half and shown inside out) should look sort of like this. TA-DA.... you made a sheep coat!!!

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