Mod: Adding Butt Flap Snaps to a Hurtta Coat

Hurtta coats are the best-fitting, warmest off-the-rack coats we’ve found for Robin. Part of that warmth comes from wraparound flaps that snap under the tail, which help seal in body heat against cold weather or brisk wind. I call them “butt flaps”. However, while the older-style Hurtta Ultimate Warmer came with snaps to fold back and secure the butt flaps for potty time or when not needed, the newer Torrent and Extreme Warmer coats don’t. MOST of the time the flaps magically seem to stay out of the way of business, but I like to have the option to secure them just in case, or on warmer days.

The goal: folded-back butt flaps.

These steps are designed for a single coat- two snap tabs, one for each butt flap. There are a lot of steps for clarity, but don’t worry – it’s very simple.


Hurtta Coat Modification materials

  • Tape measure
  • 3/4″ grosgrain ribbon
  • Dritz Mini Anorak Snaps & Tools, size 12mm (same size as Hurtta snaps)
  • 1/2″ iron-on hem tape (necessary to reinforce the ribbon)
  • Hammer
  • Iron

A bit about snaps:

Dritz snap punch robinventures.jpgA hole must be punched in the fabric where the snap will be placed. Each snap part has a stem that protrudes through the hole and, when hammered, fits permanently into its corresponding part to secure the snap to the fabric. The Dritz snaps come with the above plastic disc and cylindrical punch.

Dritz Snap Parts robinventures.jpgA single snap has four parts, shown on the bottom line of the image above. They form two pairs, which are each hammered permanently together through a piece of fabric. Once the pairs are set, the “female cap” and “male cap” will snap together.

Each snap part has a corresponding tool, shown on the line above. They help align the snap parts properly around the piece of fabric using a plastic guide.

Making the snap tabs:

The coat fabric isn’t strong enough to hold a snap, so we attach the snaps to reinforced ribbon tabs that are then sewn into the coat lining. The coat has one male and one female snap attached already, so we’ll need one male snap tab and one female.

Hurtta Coat Modification ribbon setup1. Cut two 5″ strips of grosgrain ribbon.

Hurtta Coat Modification hem tape2. Cut two 3″ strips of iron-on hem tape to reinforce the ribbon where the snap is placed.

Hurtta Coat Modification tab setup3. Center the hem tape on the ribbon and iron to bond together. Then fold the ribbon tab in half with hem tape on the inside.

Hurtta Coat Mod punch4. Use the cylindrical hole punch tool and the plastic disc to punch a hole 1″ away from the fold. Properly sized punched holes are necessary to keep the ribbon from puckering.

20170304-dsc_4136-hurttacoatmod5. Apply the male side of the snap. The male side is easier to apply, so start with that side. Insert the stem of the “bottom cap” (shown in the snap part image earlier) through the punched hole and align the “male cap” on the other side.Dritz male snap tool robinventures.jpgFit on the matching snap tool parts, then insert the whole thing into the plastic alignment tool.20170304-DSC_4133-hurttacoatmod.jpgHammer! It will likely take several blows. You’ll be hear the sound change from a hollow sound to more of a solid ring – when that happens, the snap is on. The male side doesn’t suffer from a few extra blows, if you’re not sure. Remove all tools and double check that the two pieces tightly sandwich the ribbon.

20170304-dsc_4138-hurttacoatmod6. Apply the female side of the snap. This side is a tad more finicky, so pay close attention to the images below. The decorative “top cap” and the “female cap” will be hammered together on the other ribbon tab, as shown above.

Dritz female snap tool robinventures.jpgInsert the matching tools into the plastic aligner and fit the snaps into their tools. This set of snaps doesn’t have a pronounced stem like the male side, but the little protrusion on the decorative cap will go through the fabric and join to the female cap.

Dritz snap tool alignment robinventures.jpgUse extra care when aligning the female cap on its tool. It snaps solidly into the tool, but tends to list to one side, as shown in the left image. Re-align it so that the tool’s center stem is centered, as shown on the right, or the stem of the decorative cap will not fit into the hole.

Line everything up and hammer! For aesthetic purposes, it’s best to avoid over-hammering the female snap side, since the ribbon will pucker if hammered too tightly, but make sure it’s firmly attached. 20170304-DSC_4140-hurttacoatmod.jpg

Attaching the snap tabs:

20170304-DSC_4144-hurttacoatmod.jpgTorrent coat: This one is easy, because there are sturdy seams in exactly the right position. Fold back the flaps to your desired position to determine exactly where to sew the tabs. The tabs have plenty of excess ribbon that can be cut and sealed or rolled inside to prevent fraying. Do not sew through the outer layer of fabric as this will be unsightly and will compromise the waterproofness of the shell material.Torrent coat with snaps robinventures.jpg

Extreme Warmer: The Extreme is a little more sensitive. The liner and shell float separately on each side of the insulation, so it does not have the same sturdy seam. Sew the snap tab just to the seam of the liner layer, without sewing the insulation or outer layer. When unsnapping, be sure to grasp the ribbon tab rather than just yanking at the fabric. 20170304-dsc_4147-hurttacoatmod

And done! Enjoy your new peace of mind.


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