How to Make Your Own Dog Sweater From a Sweatshirt

Written by elizabeth tumbarello
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How to Make Your Own Dog Sweater From a Sweatshirt
Keep your dog warm with a homemade sweater. (winter. dog on the snow. image by Nikolai Sorokin from

Dogs of all sizes get cold in the winter months. Whether they have thick fur or not, your canine companion could use a sweater for prolonged periods outdoors. Create a sweater for your dog from an old sweatshirt. Reusing materials you already have on hand makes this project eco-friendly while allowing you to exercise your creativity. This project is easy to accomplish---crafters only need to know basic sewing skills. This project can be completed in a matter of hours, making it quick and simple to create Fido his very own sweatshirt-turned-dog-sweater.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Measuring tape
  • Sweatshirt
  • Tailor's chalk
  • Pins
  • 1-inch wide woven ribbon
  • Sewing machine
  • Thread
  • Scissors
  • Embellishments (optional)

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  1. 1

    Measure your dog from the base of her tail to the base of her collar. Measure around your dog's widest part, usually the section of her body just behind her front legs. Keep these measurements handy for later use.

  2. 2

    Find or buy a sweatshirt in the colour and fabric of your preference. Make sure the sweatshirt is the same circumference as your dog's measurement. It should be as long or longer than your dog's measurements from tail to collar.

  3. 3

    Lay the sweatshirt on a solid surface. Mark your dog's collar-to-tail measurement on the sweatshirt using tailor's chalk, beginning at the shirt's collar.

  4. 4

    Cut the bottom of the sweatshirt off below the measurement you marked.

  5. 5

    Fold and pin the ribbon to the bottom of the sweatshirt so that it hides the rough, unfinished edges of the cut.

  6. 6

    Sew the ribbon around the hem of the sweatshirt using an elastic stitch setting on a sewing machine. A zigzag stitch works perfectly. This prevents the stitches from tearing out during vigorous activities. Remove the pins from the hem of the sweatshirt.

  7. 7

    Try the sweatshirt on your dog. Make a mark on the sleeves just above your dog's knee joints.

  8. 8

    Remove the sweater from your dog. Cut the sweatshirt sleeves at the points you marked.

  9. 9

    Fold and pin ribbon around the hems of the sleeves. Sew the ribbons in place using a durable, elastic stitch pattern such as the zigzag stitch. Remove the pins from the sweatshirt.

  10. 10

    Add any embellishments you desire. Paint the sweatshirt using fabric paints or markers. Sew on appliques, ribbons or rhinestones. You may also leave the finished sweatshirt free of embellishment.

  11. 11

    Cut any loose threads and double-check to make sure all pins are removed before placing the finished sweatshirt on your dog.

Tips and warnings

  • Thrift stores are excellent places to find old sweatshirts at a low cost in a variety of colours and styles.
  • Experiment with sweatshirts that already have designs printed on them.
  • Experiment with hooded and non-hooded sweatshirts for interesting effects.
  • Zippered-front sweatshirts can also be used. For ease of use, make sure the zipper is on the top of the sweatshirt for your dog; that will also reduce possible irritation from the zipper rubbing sensitive areas.
  • Do not use embellishments if your dog is prone to chewing on garments. Attach any embellishments firmly and monitor your dog to ensure they aren't eaten.

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