Dog clothes are fairly simple to make if you stick with easy patterns. Many fabrics are suitable for dogs but you’ll want to choose material that is easy for you to handle. Denim, corduroy, and other thick cloths are much more difficult to work with than cottons and knits. You can sometimes find patterns to use but even they have to be adjusted to fit your particular dog so it’s easier to make the patterns yourself.
Make easy capes by measuring your dog’s collar after it’s been adjusted to fit him. Remove the collar and lay it on the fabric. Draw and cut the outline of the collar, allowing a couple inches on each end to overlap. Two dollar pieces will be needed. Cut a piece of fabric, on the fold, which is half as wide as the collar fabric piece and as long as your dog is from neck to just above the tail.
Sew the collar together on both short ends and one long end. Hem the two sides of the cape and across the bottom. Pin the collar to the cape piece then top stitch them together. Sew a piece of velcro onto one underside of the collar and one topside, at the edge. This will hold the cape around the pup’s neck. Use images cut from other fabrics to enhance the cape. For instance, purchase a yard of “Scooby-Doo” material and cut Scooby out of the fabric. Sew the Scooby onto your dog’s cape for a cute look. You can also cut letter shapes out of fabric and sew them onto the cape to spell the dog’s name.
Make easy shirts by doing some simple measuring and cutting. Your first try should be with fabric that stretches somewhat. Fold a piece of fabric in half, lengthways, and lay it on the table. Measure the dog from shoulder area, beside neck, to opposite shoulder area. Measure half of that number onto the top edge of the fabric and draw an outline. Be sure it “dips”, rather than gets cut straight across, because this part of the shirt will go around the neck. Measure from the side neck area to the top front leg area and draw the measurement onto the fabric.
Measure from the neck area to the mid-back area. Add a couple of inches for hemming. Draw this measurement down the fold part of the fabric. Measure around the dog’s waist and draw half of that measurement onto the fabric. Measure from the mid-back area to just under the front leg and draw this measurement onto the fabric. Measure around the top portion of the dog’s front leg. Use a paper or plastic tape measure to cut the armhole measurement. To do this lay the tape measure on its edge and curve it to go from the shoulder to the side measurement. Draw this arc onto the fabric. Cut the shirt pieces and keep them together.
Sew the garment together by sewing the front and back shoulder area together. Hem the neckline. Sew the opposite shoulder pieces together. Hem both armhole openings. Sew one side seam, hem the bottom, then sew the other side seam. The sleeveless shirt is complete.
To add sleeves to the shirt sew some lace around the armhole opening or make a sleeve. To make a sleeve measure from the “ankle” area to the shoulder area, or anywhere in between, depending upon how long you would like the sleeves to be. The top part of the sleeve will be wider than the “ankle” part of the sleeve, so cut it accordingly by measuring around the dog’s leg at both ends. Cut the fabric and sew the “underarm” seam from top to bottom. Turn the sleeve right side out and position it in the armhole opening before sewing around the armhole.
Make a dress in a similar fashion by cutting the shirt part across the mid-chest then adding a skirt. Cut the skirt to come to the tail area then hem. Make it wider than the bodice and add pleats or puckers to make it look more like a dress.
Dog outfits don’t have to be a complete outfit with pants, shirt, jacket and accessories. Make a cuffs and collar design that will look adorable on a small dog. Cut two pieces of fabric the length of the neck circumference measurement, plus three inches. Cut a width of three inches or more, depending upon the size of the dog and the design you have in mind. Cut four pieces the length of the “ankle”circumference plus two inches.
With right sides together, sew both short ends and one long end of the collar and cuffs. Turn right side out and stitch the last side shut. Zig-zag stitch down the center of the length of the pieces, sewing quarter-inch elastic to the underside. Make sure the elastic won’t be too tight by wrapping it around the dog’s ankles and neck to get a perfect fit, then using that piece to sew to the cuffs and collar.
Make a different collar by stitching a band together on three sides. Cut four small triangular pieces and sew two pieces together, then sew the other two pieces together. Turn right side out and stitch shut. Position them in the center of the front of the collar, an inch apart. Make a miniature version for the cuffs. Black on white is a nice, formal look in this style.
Make a basic wrap-around that simply goes from the dog’s mid-chest area to the back tail area, and all the way around. Measure the dog from chest to just above the legs. Measure around the waist. Cut the piece with four extra inches to allow for fastening and hemming. Hem the top and bottom width. Along the length fold and stitch with velcro pieces or install snaps. Add the cuffs and collar for a cute outfit. Make a basic tutu by cutting the above design in half and sewing it out of stiff lace or netting. Sew one layer, then a second and a third.
Make basic bands then decorate them by making lace borders, adding rhinestones, or attaching tiny chains. Make them from various fabrics for different combinations. When you have the designs down-pat try denim, corduroy, satin, and other more difficult fabrics. Your dog will be the best dressed in the neighborhood for a fraction of what it costs them.