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Making a Dog Coat

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Buying your dog a coat at the pet store can be very pricy. A less expensive alternate may be to make one. This is a guide about making a dog coat.


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December 12, 2007

My elderly dog was getting cold and shivery on her daily walk-abouts in the back yard. I looked at dog sweaters, but she's a good-sized dog and they were $30! I went to the Salvation Army store, picked up a kid's sized fleece zip-up vest. I put her front legs through the arm holes and zip it up over her back. She stays cozy and best of all, it cost me $1.25!

By Marna from Hartford, CT

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February 21, 20066 found this helpful

I was determined to have a coat for my 18-month-old dog Honey. We walk in all weather and she does not have a whole lot of fur on her underside. I wanted something warm and waterproof. I found the perfect coat at Pet Edge. Even though it was a very good price, my husband lovingly reminded me that our budget does not have a "dog apparel" line item! So I did what any smart mom would do. I set out to make my own.


I had some fun with a picnic blanket and a "free" pattern from the Circle of Crafters website.

In all, the coat cost me about $2.50 and a few hours (spread over two days) to make. I had to buy some more Velcro, but I already had everything else. I had purchased the reflective tape in the fall to sew on all of our coats. I love reflective tape! I was very happy with the value and service that I got from Identi-Tape Inc. I purchased sew-on reflective tape from them online.

You can hardly tell that this cozy coat used to be a picnic blanket. It is quilted for warmth and has been treated with waterproofing spray for those early morning hurricane walks. Naturally, it is reversible: One side revealing a traditional tartan, the other a bold blue vinyl with an urban edge. Practicality has not been lost to fashion, as this blanket coat has a pocket on each side, appliqued with a charming heart. The design also puts safety first with a reflective strip on the back of the coat.


Happy playing,

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By 4 found this helpful
November 5, 2006

This is a coat I made for my little dog. She gets cold in the winter time and store bought dog clothes are so expensive so I decided to make my own.

I looked carefully at the shapes of clothes sold at the store and decided on a shape that I liked. I measured my dog and sewed scraps of corduroy from some old pants together to make the top. I cut an old sweatshirt for the lining and I used some fabric I folded and ironed to make a piping I sewed around the edges.


I used Velcro at the neck and waist to fasten. I sewed some elastic on the inside to pull over her back legs to keep the back of the coat in place. Now my dog will be toasty warm this winter!

By Hillary from Dublin, CA

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January 17, 20053 found this helpful

Is your doggy cold, but you just can't justify spending $25 on a "special" sweater? Go to your local GoodWill and pick up a toddler sweatshirt cut off the arms an inch down from the shoulder seam and "viola" you have a doggy sweatshirt.

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

By 1 found this helpful
November 21, 2009

Does anyone have a pattern for a Greyhound dog coat? It could be knit, crochet, or sewn. Greys have a different shape compared to most dogs with their deep chests and long torsos. My boy is very tall and about 80 lbs. Much thanks.


By Marlene from Billerica, MA


November 22, 20090 found this helpful

http://www.dogg  epiecesolid.html

If you can get your dog to stand still for a moment, take his measurements and add extra inches to the pattern so it will fit his long slender body.

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November 30, 20090 found this helpful

There used to be a great site called but they are gone now. Here is a link to their coat.
http://nantonan  hound%20coat.pdf

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December 1, 20090 found this helpful

I just bought a dog coat pattern (10 different coats, 4 knitted and 6 crocheted), at JoAnn Fabrics. It shows how to measure the dog to get the coat to fit, and then gives a scale for the blocks for 12 sizes.


It is book #934, Dog Sweaters to Knit & Crochet, from Leisure Arts. Don't know the price as I bought several items.

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By 1 found this helpful
December 16, 2016

I have a large, 100 lb., Boxer that I have purchased and made shirts for. No matter which I put on him they won't stay in place, they tend to slide down his back and the neck gets stretched out. What am I doing wrong?


December 16, 20160 found this helpful

could you possibly put a bit of elastic near the collar?

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December 17, 20160 found this helpful

I live near Gainesville, Florida and my family all tend to be big Gator (University of Florida) fans.
Seeing your post reminded me that I recently saw another Gator fan walking his large dog and his dog was appropriately dressed in a large Gator t-shirt.
The gentleman told me that he does not buy clothes for his dog (he said they never fit) but just saves his older t-shirts and so his dog has a "designer" wardrobe.

Not sure this would work with your dog but it seems the t-shirt material would be comfortable.

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December 20, 20160 found this helpful

thank you, and yes, he has a lot of shirts from tshirts I have made him. The problem I have is determining what I need to adjust to keep them from creeping down his back and stretching the neck out. I put shirts on him mainly to contain most of his shedding, but haven't found a solution for this problem yet. Thanks again!

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December 21, 20160 found this helpful

Be sure to take them back to the store and get a refund or exchange because you do not want to mess up dog circulation and it also can irritate the dog skin.

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December 23, 20160 found this helpful

Sometimes improving the diet can help with shedding; certainly constant grooming does. A diet rich in fat will help, also fatty acids in cod-liver oil and other unrefined vegetable oils. I'd also try an egg beaten in milk twice a week, and check his current dog-food. he may be reacting to it. Raw meat should be part of his weekly diet too. Does he get enough exercise outdoors? All these measures should make for a healthy happy dog with a richly shining coat which sheds only as much as can be dealt with in normal grooming.
Dogs' needs are different from humans' needs. Perhaps the clothes are exacerbating the problem.

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January 26, 20150 found this helpful

I'm trying to put new Velcro over the old. The adhesive doesn't stick well enough to stay. My dog has 3 coats she can't wear for this reason. Any ideas anyone?

By LIz from Greenwich, NY


January 26, 20150 found this helpful

I just replace with buttons or the plastic buckles used in making rope bracelets, on ribbons.

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January 28, 20150 found this helpful

Sounds like you're trying to just stick adhesive-backed velcro over the old. You need to SEW new regular velcro on. Good luck!

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January 28, 20150 found this helpful

Jean is spot-on - you need to SEW that velcro:) You'll need to buy an inexpensive leather or upholstery needle set - they come in sets of three to five, usually a curved needle in a couple of sizes and then two or three more 'heavy duty' needles with wicked looking points!

The sets cost less than $5USD and can be found in just about every store in the USA - grocery, drugstore, big box, sewing centre, and hardware. I've even seen them on racks at convenience stores on visits to family (I live in the UK but spent over 50 years in the US).

If you're not in the US, try your country's Amazon site, use the search term 'upholstery heavy-duty sewing needle to bring up dozens of choices.

You'll want to use a heavy duty sewing thread, too - also available in the same places as the needle set. Look for something that matches or is about the same size and thickness as the other stitching on the item you're trying to fix.

Finally - use a knot on the thread, but make sure the knot (doubled for strength) is on the outside to avoid painful rubbing on your dog's skin.

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November 9, 20150 found this helpful

Buy snaps (they'll be right around where velcro is in the notions dept)! No sewing, you don't even have to remove the 'bad' velcro. I discovered this trick when my Jack Russell Terrier was teething and Chewed the Lapel off the one and only store bought clothing I had for him. That fix involved a bit more than snaps. He couldn't knaw through them either... that jacket's been my go-to template for almost everything my Littles have. I Just traced around it on newspaper, traced around that a second time on more newspaper to allow for seams. Rather than donating your old clothes, cut them up and make fido a new outfit. Save the zippers, buttons, cute trim, etc for that or future projects. Arms are easy if you just cut the upper off an old sock. Turn it upside down, the finished edge of the top is now the cuff. If it's too wide sew a seam to 'skinny' it up. Trim the excess AFTER making the seam. Less mess and no fighting the elastic

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January 26, 2010

Have any of you had luck with turning a pullover bib for a baby into a little Chihuahua coat by putting a Velcro band to go under the dog's belly? If so, can you tell me how you did it?

By Robyn Fed from Hampton


January 27, 20100 found this helpful

My mom used to make her toy poodles sweaters out of our old worn out sweaters. I have repeated it with my own little chihuahua, Chalupa. You get a sweater with sleeves at the wrists are a bit bigger than the neck of the doggy, then just measure back toward elbow until you have the desired length. Then cut the sleeve off the sweater.

Try up to puppy and find where you want arm holes and cut out a triangle then try it on. May have to adjust armholes etc. then trim up the tummy area if you have a boy doggy as they are about as careful as all males around the potty. You now have a warm, nearly free sweater that will wash and dry and you also still have the other sleeve to make a matching one! Really works also with sweatshirts.

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January 28, 20100 found this helpful

I love this, I am going to make them for shelter dogs too!

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July 20, 20110 found this helpful

I use baby clothes from Goodwill, Walmart, Family Dollar, yard sales. It's lil' $ & easy to make. I like most fancy lil dresses, shirts, skirts with elastic waists. Since my Chi's are 4 & 5 lbs I use Nb to 3 months but can use larger, it is just a little more altering then. Cut up the back where zipper, buttons, snaps or velcro is usually. About a 3-4 inch strip usually. Bring new edges together. Sew on inside back together or velcro. Cut out a little arch so dogs don't wet the hem. The armholes/sleeves move from sides for babies to down underneath for dog's paws/legs automatically.That's it. Can see some I made in pet album, profile pictures at my Face Book, open to all, Katrina Virostek.

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September 4, 20110 found this helpful

I'm going to try making Dixie, my chi a sweater from one of my old sweater sleeves. Just stitch where you cut for leg holes and where you cut the sleeve off. She hates clothes but she's going to need something warm this winter.

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By 0 found this helpful
February 7, 2015

How do I make a dog coat from a t-shirt?

By Sandy J


February 8, 20150 found this helpful

If the tee shirt fits the dog, meaning the sleeves are not too long on the front legs, and the body is short enough so the dog can pee without hitting the shirt underneath the body, then the only thing you need to do is put elastic through the bottom hem of the tee so it will stay covering the dog. If the dog wears a harness, you may want to put a buttonhole (a slit with the edges blanket stitched) to clip the leash to.

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

January 26, 20100 found this helpful

Making Dog Clothes Out Of Baby Clothes
I got a puppy for my birthday. He's a Chihuahua and gets very cold but I didn't want to spend that kind of money to buy dog clothes, so I went to the thrift store and bought a bunch of baby clothes and turned the legs, arms, and torso of the baby clothes into doggy shirts, pj's, hoodies, and a pup pouch.

The pup pouch is so that I can zip him (it's actually a bag with a hood on it) to keep him warm but allowing me to carry him around outside without having to wrap him up in my coat and getting covered in little black dog hairs. These are the first things I've sewn in a very long time! Please let me know what can I do differently? Thanks!

Marisa from Santa Maria, California


Making Dog Clothes Out Of Baby Clothes

I made a nightgown for Ginger out of a leg of a flannel pair of pajamas. She just loves her new pink nightgown. (03/24/2008)

By Heidi Chun

RE: Making Dog Clothes Out Of Baby Clothes

Making Dog Clothes Out Of Baby Clothes

Those are very cute, you did a nice job. I have two Chis and they love their fleece. I have made them coats out of it and they have tons of fleece blankets all over the house. We live in a cold climate (SD) so they have heating pads in their beds, which I leave on low ALL WINTER. If there is a spot of sun....they find it. Mine are adults and very small, about 4 pounds each. (03/24/2008)

By Gayle

Making Dog Clothes Out Of Baby Clothes

I'm very impressed! (03/25/2008)

By Holly

Making Dog Clothes Out Of Baby Clothes

Aww, that's so adorable! My boy David is about 20 pounds so he fits into baby clothes. Here is a pic of him and his dad in their flannels. The sleeves even fit him just right! (03/26/2008)

By Lily

Making Dog Clothes Out Of Baby Clothes

And here is Mr. David in his Chicago Bulls coat. These came right from the local Goodwill store! (03/26/2008)

By Lily

RE: Making Dog Clothes Out Of Baby Clothes

Making Dog Clothes Out Of Baby Clothes

Adorable, great job! I have done this for a long time, buying cute baby clothes for my tiny Yorkie. I used to get the cute Christmas kitchen towels adding Velcro to make him quick coats. With my shih/poo I do the same thing. I buy infant clothes and adjust to his size, though the 3 month vests fit him perfect and I prefer the sweater type. I did find a lot of cute fuzzy fleece vests and they have buttons. So cute. I think your doggy is precious and quite the model! If you run into sizing problems Velcro is a quick fix and easy.

Your idea is great and lots will learn. I always cut arms off old sweaters for my doggy. I just got some cute sweaters for dogs on clearance at a pet store. We just go to visit. Have fun and enjoy your fur baby. (03/26/2008)

By Annie Rios Hill

Making Dog Clothes Out Of Baby Clothes

You know what's funny? My sister always thought it might be cruel to put clothes on dogs, until she figured out that her little dog actually LIKES to get dressed up! What happens is: Whenever my sister gets the box with the dog clothes out of her closet, her dog starts jumping up and down. And when my sister picks out what the dog will wear that day, the dog takes it in her mouth and runs around the house with it, then brings it back for her to put it on. My-Oh-My! The dog actually LIKES to get dressed up! Surprise, surprise! (04/02/2008)

By Cyinda

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November 21, 20090 found this helpful

Does anyone know how to make a coat for a small dog? What I would like to do is use a baby coat. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.


Making a Dog Coat

Torrie, how small is your dog? Have you thought of the premie baby clothes? That is what my sister-in-law uses for her two teacup poodles. She gave me a snow suit for my dog, but when I put it on Ruby she just laid down in the snow with her feet straight up in the air and wouldn't move. (11/06/2006)

By Paula

Making a Dog Coat

Premie and newborn baby tops and sweaters worked for my dog when she was a puppy. Both my dogs I've had since I've been married were babies when I adopted them. I would get used baby clothes to keep them warm, just make sure they aren't restricting their movements, like jumping or walking as they can get hurt. Besides, they look darling and everyone smiles and says "Oh, how cute." (11/06/2006)

By Gepe

RE: Making a Dog Coat

Making a Dog Coat

My friend wants to make our dogs snow and rain suits. She went to these websites which show very detailed photos and diagrams about how the coats are made, sized, and what fabrics we should be using as dogs don't sweat and they need to be able to have their skins "breathe" while wearing a coat. I think when you see these sites you"ll be able to make the coats for your dogs, too.

Their other page about arctic fleece dogsuits is here: (01/06/2007)

By Sara

Making a Dog Coat

I used the leg of a pair of old sweat pants to make a quick simple coat for my small dog. The ankle went over her head. I cut it the length of her body, two slits for her front paws and I was done. It took me 5 minutes total. And there was no sewing. You could use different size pants depending on the size of your dog. My dog loves hers and its been washed alot. (01/26/2007)


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