Wednesday, July 11, 2012

DIY Dog Training Pouch - Take One

Maggie and I started obedience classes last week. Very exciting. She's already such a good pup, but she gets very impulsive when other dogs are in sight. Impulsive meaning she jumps and pulls all 75 pounds of her to try to get closer. I'd like to curb this habit and keep my arm as is. Luckily, like her mama, she is treat oriented, so training should go well once I learn the techniques.

The obedience class instructor recommended buying a pouch in which to keep treats to allow the dog handler to be hands free. So instead of running out to PetCo/Smart, I pulled out my sewing machine, fabric, and thread, and got to work. I did this project flying by the seat of my pants. Overall, I'm happy with the results, and it will be functional. As is the case with most projects that are entirely improvisational, there are tweaks I would make to improve and neaten it. I'll point them out below.
My pouch inspiration, an envelope.

I started with a rectangular piece of fabric approximatey 8x16 inches (I will start with a 10 or 12x16 inch rectangle on the next version). I eye-balled where I wanted the top flap to meet the bottom part of the pouch. Measured and marked the halfway point on the top flap. Drew from the top left and right corners to this middle point to cut off excess fabric to make that triangular top part.
upside down: making guidelines for cutting on top flap

 I repeated a similar process for the bottom flap.

And then used this cut-out, which is the exterior of the pouch, to trace onto the second fabric, which was the interior of the pouch. To make hemming the sides of the two pieces together easier, I ended up reduced all sides of the interior fabric by about 1/4". (I should have reduced it by 1/2" as it turns out).

 To start the hemming process, I placed the exterior and interior on top of each other with right sides facing out. I then ironed the excess fabric along the edges of the exterior piece over the edges of the interior piece. On all of the edges but the top of the bottom flap, I folded the hem over once more and ironed to hide the raw edges.

I hemmed the top edge of the bottom flap before pinning the rest of the hems and pinning the lower half of the pouch together with rightsides facing. This way it could be flipped rightside out after sewing and the stitches were hidden. The double fold of most edges versus the single fold of the top of the bottom flap is kind of visible. I just figured that bottom flap edge would be hidden when I flipped the pouch back out. I was being kind of lazy, and wanted to avoid some of the extra bulk double folding creates.

After getting it all sewn together, I finished the last pieces. This included making a loop, made the exterior fabric reinforced with canvas, to sew onto the back of the pouch to insert webbing to make a belt. (I made two loops but ended up only having room to sew one on). I also sewed on a snap-on button and cleaned up the messy corners that showed when the the flap was snapped down.

Here's the final product. I hadn't intentionally centered the purple graphic to be centered like that... what a happy mistake! Anyway, the next version will be the same height but will be wider. This will let me place two loops on the back, which will help stabilize the pouch on the belt. This will also let me sew two separate pockets for the pouch instead of just one. I want this, so I can put boring, old dry food in one pouch, and super smelly, highly motivating treats in the other one. It's a bit floppy as it is. I will either 1) make the top flap overlap the bottom half a bit more, so when it's snapped shut, there won't be open gaps, or 2) use velcro along the whole flap instead of the snap-on button. (I may still try the velcro on this pouch).

1 comment:

  1. My favorite commercially made & hand crafted treat bags have a magnet closure. It would be an easy add to this great design. Thanks for sharing!