Making a Dog Coat

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, 2006

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.

Dog wearing coat.

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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.

Dog Coat for Cold Weather

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January 17, 2005

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.

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

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.

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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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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 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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January 26, 2015

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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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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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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November 21, 2009

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.

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