How to Make a Recycled Sweater for a Dog

comments (40) May 11th, 2017     

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CalPatch cal patch, contributor
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This old vest may not have been flattering on a human, but it looks adorable on Gertie!
This ill-proportioned vest is about to get a second wind.
Here are the pieces youll cut to make the dog sweater.
This old vest may not have been flattering on a human, but it looks adorable on Gertie!

This old vest may not have been flattering on a human, but it looks adorable on Gertie!

Photo: Cal Patch
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Refashioning old or thrifted sweaters into dog sweaters is easy and fun. You'll be amazed at how even the ugliest sweater can take on a whole new look as canine couture! Case in point: this vest. I picked it up at the thrift store because the details in the knit are adorable, but this style would flatter no human! My little Gertie, on the other hand, will look smashing in it.

This ill-proportioned vest is about to get a second wind.

1. Start by measuring the pooch you intend to make it for. You'll need the following:

(A) neck circumference + 1 inch
(B) chest circumference (right behind the front legs) + 1 inch
(C) length from collar to tail + 1/2 inch
(D) underside length from collar to (just short of) the business end + 1 inch
(E) distance from collar down to front leg
(F) front leg circumference x 1/2

2. Now we can cut out our pieces. Utilizing the bottom rib, if your sweater has it, or the finished bottom edge, as the neckline, cut a rectangle that measures (A) wide (along the rib) by (C) long. Find the difference between (B) and (A) and add 1 inch to it. In my case, (B) – (A) was 3 inches, so adding 1 inch gave me 4 inches. From another piece of the sweater, cut a triangle this wide by (D) long. This will be the underside piece. Finally, cut off the neck or cuff rib of the original, to be used to finish the back edge. This is optional; it can also be hemmed or even left raw if the sweater is felted.

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posted in: sweater, pets, pet, dog

Comments (40)

georgedavis1989 writes: this dog is so cute!
Posted: 2:10 am on July 2nd
ballidhoot52 writes: it's hard to appreciate a sweater by pets but this is gud to make sweater for pets.
Posted: 11:41 pm on July 26th
helens writes: Adorable! Poor little fella looks great
Posted: 6:59 am on December 22nd
ricardoccnp writes: Wow .. so cute!
Posted: 3:03 pm on July 30th
Arnieschwartzendogge writes: To karenmo
Just turn the v neck around. Put the v going toward back rather than in front to chest. You might need to shorten the size to fit your dogs neck. I take the seam for top of shoulders and fold then around to front of original back for chest in front. Then attach piece for width between legs and around the tummy.
Posted: 10:13 pm on January 1st
Karenmo writes: Looking for advice....I have a wool v-neck argyle sweater from the thrift shop for this project. The diamond design is only on the front and begins at the shoulder/neck, or top, of the front. Wondering about using the V-neck end at the dog neck end? I know this is the opposite of the method Cal Patch described and that many of you have followed, but the design of this sweater would fit better that way.
Trouble is that I can't quite visualize how it would fit around the dog's neck & shoulders that way....
Has anyone modified the approach like this?
Posted: 3:14 pm on November 29th
genalorainne writes: This little fella looked so cold until he got dressed?
Posted: 3:48 pm on June 4th
EchoLin writes: Lovely, the dog is too lucky to dress this.
Posted: 3:03 am on April 16th
megabyte67 writes: I can't wait to try this! I just got a new doggie from the pound, and she needs a sweater. The other 2 have them, but I have so many old sweaters that I was going to donate, and I probably will a lot of them, but, I want all my doggies to be fashionable this winter.

I think we could probably move further in this with the crafty people to add on all sorts of things to this great design! Who needs to spend hundreds on cute little clothes for our furbabies? Not me! Or maybe we could offer a service or actually make them to sell.

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
Posted: 3:43 pm on January 7th
WisestofCrones writes: absoLUTEly PRECious. . .our two dacshunds will see if I've sewn them to their safisFACTion VERRRRRY soon!!
Posted: 5:34 pm on November 20th
soapchik writes: I love the fact I can restyle my old sweaters into a dog sweater. I have a rescued greyhound "Sugar", that has never seen snow. I'm heading for the closet NOW! Thanks for an awsome tutorial.
Posted: 3:41 pm on September 19th
rainwolfe writes: I can never find dog styles that fit my cat properly, so I've been wanting to figure out how to make clothes for her. She's a skinny little thing so she's always cold...
This is fantastic! Thanks!
Posted: 4:13 pm on February 22nd
BarnMomJen writes: Oh my!!! How adorable! My doxiedoodle LOVES her clothes and it's hard to find any that cover her tummy. I'm going to go find a sweater and give Gracie a new ensemble! Maybe even make legwarmers to match!
Posted: 6:56 pm on February 11th
granitatogo writes: Adorable! We have a sexy little dog who would look really classy in this nice sweater. The boy dogs will go crazy for her.
Posted: 2:10 am on January 29th
BastingGirl writes: I made one out of a brown Woolrich thrift store sweater for one of my doxies. He now looks very distinguished and probably needs a pipe. Can't wait to try it out with a funky sweater.

My mistakes were due to user error, not the instructions. I messed up on measurement E because I was watching TV at the same time. Need to measure from collar under neck to top of leg. I also read "business end" in measurement D to mean under the tail (again, not concentrating) so the coat turned out WAY too long.

Great tutorial and a fun project.
Posted: 2:50 pm on January 18th
Habby writes: I only have a small dog. I don't think he is big enough to recycle into a sweater.....
Posted: 1:06 pm on January 15th
Scheri writes: I will definitely give this a try
Posted: 2:25 pm on January 14th
soapguru writes: Dang, nabbit! That is totally adorable! My pup will look sooo fancy in just a few hours from now. Thanks
Posted: 10:13 am on January 14th
missy_niki writes: I have been wondering what to do with all the sweaters and sweatshirts I have around and now I do. Thanks for the suggestions
Posted: 10:42 pm on December 20th
dawntrederfarm writes: Great tutorial. I'm going thrift shopping right now!
Posted: 7:37 am on September 18th
dawntrederfarm writes: Great tutorial. My little Jack puppy will be grateful!
Posted: 7:30 am on September 18th
carein writes: I just love the sweater, our family has 2 chiwawa's (sp. i know) to dress this winter. great idea. Martinini & romeo will love them too. thanks
Posted: 9:57 am on November 24th
CalPatch writes: hi SweetPrincess, as long as your sweater is wool (or another animal-hair fiber) and you run it through the washer and (if not felted enough from the washer) the dryer, it should be fine when you cut it. if it still seems like it may unravel, do a row or two of zig-zag over the raw edges (after sewing the seams), or bind them with bias tape. hope that helps!
Posted: 3:58 pm on February 21st
SweetPrincess writes: I am interested in making this coat and i've found my sweater, but it's chunky knit, so my concern is if I cut it, it will unravel. Suggestions?
Posted: 5:51 pm on February 20th
dragonladyevelyn writes: I have a rather large dog she is part long haired red chow and part akita. She is 11 yrs old and such the Diva! I made her a Elisabethan collar crocheted for Christmas and I embellished it with big sparkly gems! She loves it! I just slip it over her head..She does have a skin problem and has lost some of her gorgeous long red hair so I have a couple vests I've been hanging on to because they are really cute..But I won't wear them! Thanks for this! I'm going to print it out so I'll have it..thanks again...evelyn
oh btw..her mixed breed I just call her a the banana? LOL..
Posted: 3:02 pm on February 18th
renees3 writes: i'm really bad at sewing, but I just finished my dogs sweater and it looks great! I love it! I plan on making more!!
Posted: 1:51 pm on February 17th
BellaBluegrass writes: Love it! I made my cat one last night:
Posted: 2:19 pm on February 14th
sewing_green writes: Gertie is so cute in her sweater, that I had to make one for my pomeranian, Peaches! I used 2 felted wool sweaters because I didn't have enough ribbing from just one sweater. It turned out to be a nice contrast color. She looks very cute in it!
Posted: 12:57 am on February 10th
MeredithP writes: Gertie and her vest is so cute! Just short of wanting to get a tiny dog for my three cats. But seriously, that's a great vest.
Posted: 6:52 pm on February 9th
imjustso writes: Oh! Oh oh oh!!! I want your dog!!! *ahem* Very lovely project, as well.
Posted: 8:27 am on February 9th
Wynnettie writes: Hi,
I had no idea you could recycle dogs! :}
Posted: 10:48 pm on February 7th
ifthebirdsknew writes: OH just look so darn gorgeous and wonderful...if only the chihuahua in my life loved me?! maybe if I made her a sweater as lovely as that she might turn her affections towards me? I will try, I will try.
Posted: 8:36 pm on February 7th
Mynkychelle writes: We have a tiny teacup chiuauah (think less than 6 inches from rear to nose!) and he stays cold this time of year and we couldn't find anything small enough to fit him! This i perfect! Thanks so much!!
Posted: 7:36 pm on February 7th
toady51 writes: Awesome. Have you seen the prices on retail dog sweaters? This will be on my project list, just as soon as I can figure out which sweaters from the 80's I'm willing to part with! (Maybe I'll just use my husband's)! Thanks.
Posted: 4:47 pm on February 7th
Dibble writes: Love the recycle sweater! I have done this with sweatshirts and T-shirts but had not made the leap to sweaters.--dd
Posted: 12:33 pm on February 7th
swimmom23325 writes: My kitty is an old lady and she's been wearing sweaters all winter...this looks cute she'll love one tell her it's for a dog!
Posted: 6:22 am on February 7th
Girbska writes: Wow, i like it so much!!!
Posted: 10:36 am on February 5th
JenniferStern writes: Your tutorial makes me want to run out and get a little dog to dress up!
Posted: 6:08 pm on February 4th
kaytet writes: oh gertie looks so flipping cute in that sweater!
great tutorial too!
Posted: 3:21 pm on February 4th
VictoriaNorth writes: Definitely adorable. I don't think my cat would appreciate a sweater, but I am tempted.
Posted: 5:42 pm on February 3rd
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