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