DIY Dog Sweater

In anticipation of the cooler Autumn weather, today I’m going to share how I magically turned the sleeve of an old sweater into a new (and FREE!) dog sweater. There are several tutorials for this project floating around the internet, but one that I found to be super easy to follow is on Veronica O’Neil’s blog, VO Knits. At first glance I was a little skeptical that the sleeve of a sweater would actually comfortably fit my dog, but it did with room to spare.

Sweater    First, you’ll need a sweater. Any sweater or sweatshirt will work, but to ensure that the sleeve is big enough, you’ll probably want to use one that is size large or bigger. (I used a ladies’ XL sweater to make this project for  my 15-pound dog.) If you have an old sweater in the back of your closet that you don’t mind cutting up–great! If not, you can buy a sweater for around $2 at a thrift shop or yard sale.

Now you’ll also need pinking shears or fabric scissors and a needle and thread (or Fray Check seam sealant). Once the materials are gathered, the project takes less than 15 minutes to finish! And you don’t have to be perfectly exact to end up with a nice-looking finished product. I pretty much eyeballed the length, spacing, etc, but it helps to fit it on your dog as you go along to double-check the sizing. The process that I used to make my dog sweater is explained below, and you can check out VO Knits for the more detailed photo tutorial.

1. Use the pinking shears or fabric scissors to cut one sleeve off of your sweater, following the shoulder seam. Do not cut the wrist cuff off, because it makes a nice finished neck for your dog sweater.

Sleeve

2. Cut two small circles out of the sleeve to form the leg openings of your dog sweater. Be careful not to cut them too large. (About 1 1/2 to 2 inches in diameter is plenty big).

Leg Openings

3. Next, cut the sleeve to a length that fits the length of your dog’s back. You can leave this bottom hem straight or cut it into a “saddle” shape (as explained on VO Knits).

Bottom Hem

4. At this point you can turn each of the cut edges under and hand-sew the hems with a needle and thread. OR, you can take the lazy way out (as I did, of course) and simply use Fray Check liquid seam sealant around each of the cut edges to keep them from fraying.Dog Sweater

5. Dress your dog up in the fashionable new doggie sweater and hit the dog park!

 

DIY Doggie Bow Tie

Pacey looking dapper in his brand new bow tie

Pacey looking dapper in his brand new bow tie

Last week I stumbled upon a really cool tutorial on how to sew your own kid-sized bow tie on a blog called “A Lemon Squeezy Home.”  I’d seen these types of tutorials before, but I thought this one was particularly well done. The size of the bow tie and its Velcro closure made this particular pattern easy to use as a dog bow tie, so I decided to try making one for Pacey.  I followed the instructions, except I cut the pattern pieces a little bit smaller to be exactly Pacey-sized. Please visit http://www.lemonsqueezyhome.com/2010/04/bow-tie-tutorial.html for the full tutorial.

I consider myself fairly crafty, but I am new to sewing. I do own my own sewing machine, but I am a very, very, very novice sewer. However, these bow tie instructions proved super easy to follow, even for me. And for my first attempt I think that Pacey’s new bow tie is pretty frickin’ adorable. In the spirit of full disclosure, I did cheat a little bit when I made it . . . I didn’t sew the extra pleats into the bow itself. I also didn’t actually hem the ends of the collar, because Pacey’s fur is long enough that it’ll never show, and I hot glued the Velcro pieces on instead of sewing them nicely as the tutorial instructs. I used a sewing machine, but this is a small enough project that you could really sew it by hand if you wanted to take the time and effort. It took me less than an hour from start to finish—again, I’m a beginner–so it’s a great little project for a Saturday afternoon. This bow tie would be extremely cute for your dog to wear for a wedding celebration, on holidays like Easter or Christmas, or for any other formal occasion on his/her busy social calendar. It would also make a sweet homemade gift for a fellow dog-lover.

Here are the materials I started with.

Here are the materials I started with.

And here's the finished product. Not too shabby, if I do say so myself.

And here’s the finished product. Not too shabby, if I do say so myself.