Make a Dog Coat from Recycled Sweat Pants | Janome Sewing Machine Review

Make a Dog Coat from Recycled Sweat Pants | Janome Sewing Machine Review

I received the Janome Fast Lane Fuchsia Portable Sewing Machine for review. I should start by qualifying this review. Normally, I don’t sew. I can sew on a button, or mend a small tear by hand. But, sewing machines are sorta off limits. I basically have two experiences with trying to sew on a machine – neither of them are good. 

First, when I was a kid, I was trying to sew something – or do something (I can’t remember what, probably because I’ve blocked it out since it’s too painful to remember, lol) on my mom’s sewing machine. Whatever I did, I broke the needle. It doesn’t sound like a huge deal, but it was. It was HUGE. Why? Because I lied about it!  I told my mom I had no idea what happened to her sewing machine needle. When, in fact, I had done something and broke it.  Years later I fessed up (this isn’t the big confession, sorry.)  I still don’t know what I was trying to do, but I suspect it had something to do with my second sewing machine #fail.  See, I was in HomeEc class. That’s short for Home Economics for those who never had the pleasure of having to study such a thing.  HomeEc consisted of learning far too much about the anatomy of an egg – the thing you eat. A chicken egg.  Who cares?  And, second semester was learning how to sew. By, well, sewing something.  I think we made some kind of pillow. Seems like it was a character (long before SpongeBob was invented, but that would seem suitable for this project).  Anyway, after the pillow we had to sew a clothing item.  Now, to preface this a bit, I came from some of the most admired and talented seamstresses in NorthWestern Wisconsin. There’s NO reason I didn’t know how to sew, except —  I guess, I just never was very interested in it. So, when my student-teacher HomeEc teacher tried to show us how to sew… to put it mildly, it wasn’t pretty.  She probably meant well. She was not yet a teacher, but learning to be a teacher. She was not very good at it. I probably wasn’t very gracious about that. Long story short, I made a pair of shorts. They couldn’t have been too bad, I wore them to school. But, she gave me my one-and-only F in my whole high school career. Yes. An F. In HomeEc. Needless to say, my mom was livid! “How could she get an F?!” she quizzed the student-teacher. “She did the assignment. They are shorts and they’re wearable.”  The teacher remarked, “she got an F for attitude.” Oh boy.

Well mom reasoned with her, and got it changed to a D- so I didn’t fail the class. The funny thing was, the regular HomeEc teacher and I got along very well. This student-teacher gave the whole class terrible grades. She didn’t stay very long. But, it was long enough to shape my feelings about sewing. And, not in a good way.

I managed to spend decades not sewing.  I did it well!  Who needs to sew anymore anyway?  Then I had my daughter and I felt very maternal. I wanted to create things.  I got the cutest little kid couch for free from someone on Freecycle, headed to Walmart and picked out some super cute pink sheep material and made a couch cover for it – and a matching pillow. No pattern or anything, just sort of went by the cover that had been on it. It turned out very well. I felt like Wonder Woman!

And then I managed to not sew for a long time again. We moved across country and my sewing machine did not make the cut. It stayed in California. I was a little bummed, but honestly I don’t need to sew.

So then when Janome offered me a sewing machine to review, I was excited. It’s fun to create stuff, I thought. I can teach my little girl to sew now, I thought.  It came in the mail and it’s SUPER cute. So cute it looks like a toy! But it has 10 different (fun) stitches and it works really well. I haven’t broken the needle yet (lol!) and I actually threaded it with the included instructions. My daughter looked at me like I was a pro. Again, I felt like Wonder Woman!

Someday I might admit to her that I failed sewing in HomeEc. But, for now, Janome makes it easy to sew. Easy to teach my daughter how to sew. And, easy to feel just like Wonder Woman, creating handicrafts for my family and even my beloved pet, Mickey Dog.


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What comes in the box:

  • Sewing Machine
  • Two bobbins
  • Needle
  • Needle Threader
  • Foot Control
  • Power Supply Cord
  • Instruction Manual
  • Attractive color (six color options available)
  • Light weight, and portable design.
  • 10 stitching options with easy settings
  • Informative step-by-step instruction guide (with pictures) detailing how to thread the machine, sew, stitch, ect.
  • Added storage in the machine.
  • A great starter machine for teens, and those just learning how to sew.
  • Its not too loud to use when your hubby is sleeping in the next room 🙂
  • Inspires creativity in younger kids! It looks *fun* and it interested my little girl right away. She has been coming up with all kinds of different things she wants to make like doll clothes and blankets, gift bags, and hair accessories.
  • Its kid safe with the added finger guard of the sewing foot.


  • It’s difficult to see when you’re trying to thread the needle, I had to use a small flashlight to help me out.
  • It comes with everything you need to get started besides the thread. It would have been nice to receive some basic color thread with the set. But, thread is cheap enough. lol

How to Make a Dog Jacket from Recycled Sweat Pants 

Items needed:

  • Old sweat pants
  • Scissors
  • Thread


  1. First, measure your dog: A) from back of ear to tail along spine, B) around chest (just behind front legs) and C) measure from top of neck to outside of leg, and from one leg to the other
  2. Next, cut one leg of sweatpants as long as measurement from #A (from back of ear to tail along spine)
  3. Mark two holes for legs using measurements from B and C
  4. For boy dogs, measure and cut to allow jacket cut away from stomach
  5. Turn fabric inside out and pin 1/4″ allowance for seams
  6. Sew edges along end of jacket and stomach
  7. Optionally, add a draw string to neck and cut a hole for harness (also finishing edges with seams)

As you can see from the pictures, I totally eyeballed this and it turned out great!

We used the decorative stitch #10 for edges to jazz it up a little. The Janome sewing machine makes it easy to do!