Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Making Dog Booties

I've joined the "Bootie Brigade." Sled dogs wear booties to protect their feet. But the booties wear out quickly, and a musher might use up to 2500 booties for the Iditarod. The Bootie Brigade is a group of volunteers who sews dog booties and donates them to specific mushers, who sign up in advance. My booties will be going to Kim Darst and Ramey Smyth. It's a labor of love--a way for fans to be involved. It's pretty cool to think that my booties will be going on the trail. A lot of friends have wondered just what these booties are like and how we make them. Here is a step-by-step report.

First we cut the Velcro and Velstretch and put them together. It really helps to have all your supplies at hand before you start sewing.

The booties are made out of Cordura, a special fabric I purchased from Another volunteer sent me the pattern. I used a pinking shears for the top to keep the bootie from fraying (although it's not much of a concern, because the bootie will wear out before it frays).
Then I sew down the right side of the bootie.

Then I sew on the Velcro and Velstretch.

Last, I sew the left side of the bootie, always making sure the seam allowances are correct.
This is a completed bootie. The Velstretch (the white strip) wraps around the dog's leg and hooks on to the Velcro (The blue strip). The letter "M" stands for Medium.

I made 65 booties in all -- that's enough for one dog team, plus one.

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