How to Make Dog Clothes
There are a few main reasons people are putting apparel on their dogs. One is to keep their dog warm or dry. Another is a sense of style. A third is that it’s a great way to get attention. Who can resist approaching the owner of a doggie that’s dressed to the nines or a big dog in an offbeat costume?
DOG CLOTHES FOR COLD OR WET WEATHER
There are a number of types of clothes you can make to keep your dog warm. Knitted or crocheted sweaters are two items that can be fairly easy to produce at home. Usually these involve using yarn to create a tube-like device with holes for the legs, but sometimes they are more like cardigans with two sides that come together underneath the dog’s belly to be fastened with buttons, a zipper, or Velcro.
For really tiny doggies, you may be able to create a dog sweater out of the top part of a stretchy sock, perhaps one in an argyle pattern. Another possibility might be the legs off a pair of sweatpants.
A dog jacket can be made out of an old quilt or other type of padded material such as sheepskin. It can also be woven. Add a lining for longer wear. You can use any type of vest pattern that has been adjusted to fit your dog’s measurements to create the jacket. The same design can be used to make a dog raincoat out of waterproof vinyl or nylon. If you are concerned about ice or water bothering your dog’s paws, you can make booties to match.
DOG CLOTHES FOR STYLE
Just as with people, certain types of clothes fit particular dogs to a T. Those doggie dresses topped with a hair bow look awfully cute if they’re the right size and color for the pooch that’s wearing them. As you may know, it’s more difficult to find dresses or shirts for larger dogs. However, if you have basic sewing skills and a tape measure and adapt the pattern that you can find by following the link below, you ought to be able to create a wide range of your own dog clothes. You do not necessarily need a sewing machine – it takes a little longer sewing by hand but can look just as good.
Before you begin your project, take a piece of paper and pen or pencil and write down the different measurements you will need to take. Leave a space next to each description so you can write in the number. You may need to have a helper hold your dog while you are taking the measurements since it is best done while the dog is standing. Measuring at least twice before cutting is often the key to a successful outfit. If your numbers are different between one time and the next, a third set of measurements may be needed.
Pin things together and try the outfit on your dog before you begin sewing, in case any adjustments need to be made. Remember that it’s better to have too much material (have it look too big) than too little. If you’re going to use fabric that’s expensive or have a remnant piece with a certain design only big enough for one outfit, it may be best to first create a practice shirt or dress from an old sheet or other material you don’t care about.
Lace, braided cord, sequins, ribbons, beads, decorative buttons and feathers can be used to gussy up any outfit, either by sewing or gluing them on. Keep in mind that this may not work if you have a puppy or dog that likes to chew on anything in sight. In fact, any time you add clothes to your pet, make sure that you, or another responsible person, can provide constant supervision.
HOLIDAY DOG CLOTHES
Consider learning how to make dog clothes for any occasion. Holiday dog clothes can help your dog feel part of the festivities. In the U.S. and some other countries, dogs are now routinely dressed in costumes for Halloween and it’s a chance for dog lovers to really show off their creativity.
Other holidays do not receive as much attention, but that’s probably only a matter of time. The type of holiday will dictate the colors and themes to use. For example, Christmas colors could include red, white, green, silver and gold and outfits could be decorated with candy canes or bells. Of course, antlers may be an option as well. St. Patrick’s Day would involve the color green and shamrock shapes, or perhaps a leprechaun hat. Valentine’s Day could showcase a dog in pink, red and white. For more ideas and some instructions for making these, see the Costumes for Your Dog below.