They Don’t Make ‘Em Like They Used To

Halloween is rolling around and Leo is not going to be left out this year. Yes, the holiday has spread to the UK! Doggie costume are all the rage and my pet is not going to be an exception. They do make some ready-made items, but they are run of the mill, so I want to custom design a special one that might just become a regular.

Dogs can be ghosts and goblins like kids, and little devils. They can be cartoon figures, superheroes, movie animals, or space aliens. Just about anything goes, but I want something really different. I have seen a dog tarantula, a Star Wars Ewok, Wonder Woman/dog, and a pet shark. I have not been turned off by a canine bee, Batman pouch, or Chiquita Banana dog. My choice is going to be Dapper Dog in a tux and I am going to make it all myself. It will have tails so that there will be a total of three when he’s sporting it.

One week later: I have purchased some black fabric, kind of nice, and some white to make the shirt. All it needs are some buttons and a store-bought hat. I am going to do this the simple way using grandma’s old singer sewing machine.

I inherited the device years ago and wasn’t sure why. Did she see some budding designer in me? I think she saw someone who would have to mend a torn hem now and then, plus she didn’t want the machine to leave the family. I like the fact that the old model is simple. It is a smallish black metal gadget decorated in gold scrollwork with a foot pedal attached that rests on the floor, a place for the thread, and another on the side for the bobbin. You push down with your foot to go forward or back as the need requires. It doesn’t do button holes, knits (stretch stitching), or embroidery because there is no computer built in. It is just your basic sewing machine no frills no fuss style.

I am preparing my little outfit, cutting it down to Leo’s size: first the shirt with no sleeves, then the tux with minimum ones. The tux will have a pointed collar and snazzy gold buttons, and the shirt will have a perfect black bow tie. Not much to worry about on the sewing front so far. I can hand baste the buttonholes about a half inch in length. That simply means stitching over and over again to “finish” the edges. (Now I see why grandma did what she did. I’m totally into it.)

Another week later: Leo cuts a mean figure in his tux. It’s more like James Bond dog really. All he needs is a martini, a cigarette, and keys to a hot Aston Martin. He will be the coolest dude in the doggie parade—totally dashing as if from another era. Who knows, maybe Leo will need to dress up on another occasion and I will have the garment cleaned, pressed, and ready. I know that at least for Halloween he is going to have a doggone good time.

Written By Taylor