If you are a breeder, you know what a pain it is to try to keep mama dogs from digging the bedding out of their whelping area and later, keeping puppies from burrowing underneath bedding which could end up being deadly. I tried so many things before I decided to attempt to sew these whelping pool covers, and I wish I’d just done this from the beginning! These covers made my life so much easier and they were quick and simple to change out as needed. They are not difficult to sew at all, so never fear if you are a beginner.

#### Materials

- Fleece fabric – yardage will be determined by size pool you are covering
- Thread
- ½” Elastic
- Pins
- Fabric scissors
- Posterboard or similar for making a pattern
- Sewing machine – I mean, you could do this by hand, but I wouldn’t suggest it!

#### The Math

The first step when preparing to sew a cover involves some math. I know you were all hoping to avoid geometry once you left high school, but unfortunately, it does have its uses.

Start by measuring the diameter of your pool. Most likely, the pool is wider at the top than the bottom, so measure both. In case you forgot, the diameter is the distance at the widest point across the circle. Next measure the height of the pool.

For example, the diameter of the bottom of my pool is 36”, the diameter of the top of the pool is 40”, and the height of the pool is 9”. (I forgot to write down my actual measurements and these are just made up approximates so don’t copy these even if you have the same pool!)

To find the circumference of the pool (top and bottom), we multiply the diameter by π (pi or 3.14). *My measurements:*

Bottom diameter is 36” so 36 x π = 113.04”

Top diameter is 40” so 40 x π = 125.6”

The bottom of our cover will be a circle and the sides will be made from 4 trapezoids (to account for the top being wider than the bottom.)

To find the measurements of the top and bottom of the trapezoids, we will divide the circumference of the top and bottom of the pool by 4.

**Important! **Each trapezoid will need an extra inch on top and bottom for seam allowance. *My measurements for trapezoid top and bottom:*

Bottom circumference is 113.04”.

113.04÷4=28.26 then 28.26+1=29.26

Top circumference is 125.6″.

125.6÷4=31.4 then 31.4+1=32.4

Decide how much length you want to go over the top of the pool. Add 1.5” to whatever you decide. (1” for a pocket for the elastic and .5” for the seam allowance on the bottom.)

*My measurements:*

The height of my pool is 9”. I want 4” to go over the top of the pool plus I need an extra inch for the elastic pocket and ½” for seam allowance. The total height of my trapezoids will be 14.5”. (9″+4″+0.5″=14.5″)

#### Create a Pattern

Make a cardboard pattern for your trapezoids. To make cutting faster and easier, I decided to cut each trapezoid on a fold of fabric. In essence, my pattern is only half the trapezoid. To create your pattern, which will be half your trapezoid, divide your top and bottom trapezoid lengths that you got above by two.

*My measurements:*

The bottom of my trapezoid was 29.26″. I’ll divide it by 2 which gives me 14.63″.

The top of my trapezoid is 32.4″. I’ll also divide it by 2 which gives me 16.2″.

So the bottom of my trapezoid pattern will be 14.63″ and the top will be 16.2″

Measure and mark your height of your trapezoid along the edge of your posterboard (or whatever you want to use to create a pattern). Using your halved top and bottom numbers, draw a perpendicular line (that means a line at a 90 degree angle) from the top and bottom of the height you marked. Then draw a line connecting those two together. That is really hard to explain so I made you a handy diagram below.

#### Ready to Cut!

Once I made my pattern I folded the fabric and used a sharpie to trace my pattern 4 times. It is a good idea to pin the two layers of fabric while you cut them so they don’t move. The side with the two right angles will be the side against your fold.

Cut out the circle for the bottom of the pool. If your pool is 36” at the bottom, you will need to add an inch for your 1/2” seam allowance so cut a 37” circle. There are several ways to accomplish this. What I did was cut a length of string to half of what I wanted my finished circle to be. I folded the fabric into quarters. Holding one end of the string on the folded corner, I used a sharpie to mark the arc where the string moved at its end. Then I cut all layers at once. Before I unfolded the fabric, I marked the edge of my fabric (inside the seam allowance) at the folds so that I could see where the quarter marks were around my circle to make attaching the sides easier.

#### Time to Sew!

Once your trapezoids are all cut out, sew them right sides together using a ½” seam allowance end to end making sure that the trapezoids are all facing the same direction. In other words, the long sides of the trapezoids will make one long circle. Finish by sewing the first and last trapezoids together so that you now have a loop.

Now it is time to attach the tube of trapezoids to your bottom circle. Lay your circle with right side up. Using your 4 marks around the circle and your 4 seam lines around the tube, you will match the sides up. I start by pinning right sides together at the quarter marks and seam lines at the 4 intersections. Make sure you are pinning the short side of the tube, not the long side. Once I have a pin in on each “side”, I follow with a pin halfway between each pin. Then a pin halfway between each of those pins. In doing it this way, you can pleat and adjust if needed if you made any mistakes when you cut or measured. Sew right sides together using a ½” seam allowance.

What happens if you have measured incorrectly and as you pin the tube around the circle find out you came out short? No worries! Pick your seam apart at one junction and add a small rectangle to extend. It may not be as pretty but it will work… trust me, I know!

Now you will need to sew a pocket to thread elastic into around the top. Fold the top edge of the cover 1” over, wrong sides together, and pin. Sew around leaving about a 1.5” gap so you can thread your elastic.

Attach a large safety pin to your elastic. Thread the elastic through the gap you left, using the safety pin to pull it through. Once it is all the way through, pin one side of the elastic down. Place your cover over the pool and play with the tension on the elastic until it seems to be snug enough to hold the cover on but loose enough to get the cover off. Pin the other side of the elastic once you find the magic spot and cut off the excess. Sew the two sides of the elastic together going back and forth several times for added security. Tuck the elastic into the pocket and sew the small section closed that you left open.

#### Finished!

That’s it! You are done! Enjoy not having to adjust blankets a million times a day or worrying about puppies getting trapped under bedding. If you use pig rails you can put these on over them.

#### What Should I Make Now?

You will likely have some leftover fleece when you finish your whelping pool cover. We have the perfect way to use your remnants… create a snuffle mat! Snuffle mats are great for engaging the minds of your soon to be litter of pups. Happy crafting!