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How to Make a Coat for a Chihuahua

Chihuahuas have a very short coat, and consequently, they feel the cold more than many other dog breeds. Coupled with this, most off-the-rack dog clothing is too big to fit a chihuahua. The only alternate is to make your own chihuahua clothing. A knit sweater is one option, but if knitting is not your forte, a quick and easy coat can be fashioned from an old unwanted sweater sleeve. It can be made in no time and does not necessarily have to be sewn. Your warm, snug dog is sure to appreciate it.

Measure your dog. Record the measurements around the neck and around the chest, and the length from the neck to the base of the tail. This will tell you which disused sweater to choose. A child's sweater sleeve may work for a chihuahua puppy, but an adult dog may require a slightly larger size. Choose a sweater made from fleece of soft stretchy fabric.

Cut the coat out of the sweater sleeve. Use the measurement from the dog's neck to tail base for the length at the top of the sleeve. Cut the sleeve at an angle toward the bottom seam, the length of the bottom being shorter than the length of the top. This angle must be greater for male dogs to prevent soiling when they lift their legs.

Determine if a ribbed cuff is large enough to fit your dog's neck without being too tight. Cut the cuff off if it is too tight, and roll the fabric up to make it softer around the neck. If the ribbed cuff fits your dog's neck, you don't need to cut it off, but you can roll it.

Measure the length from the top of the neck to the front legs, and the distance between the front legs. Cut small holes for the legs to fit through. Do not make the holes too big or the dog may be able to get its legs back through them and get stuck or injured.

Try the coat on. Make any adjustments to the fit. If this is a temporary coat to help your chihuahua through a cold spell or for a growing puppy, you are done. If you want the coat to last through several washes, hem the edges or cover with bias binding. Sew the rolled neck seam over. Decorate with lace, braiding, patches or other fun decals.

Things You'll Need

  • Old sweater sleeve
  • Tape measure
  • Scissors
  • Cotton (optional)
  • Sewing machine or needle
  • bias binding (optional)
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About the Author

Trish Jackson is an author, blogger and freelance writer. Her second romantic suspense novel, "Redneck P.I.," was released in March 2011. Jackson particularly likes to write articles relating to life in the country, animals and home projects and has kept a blog focusing on this since 2006.