Looking for free sewing patterns for dog clothes?
It starts by having you create a pattern outline from newspaper that you custom fit to your dog.
Then you add the remaining pieces. Once you have a successful set of pattern pieces, they can be re-used to create as many dog shirts as you’d like.
- Read through all the directions on this page first
- Copy the image above to your computer (usually this can be done with a right click, and “Save image as” feature)
- Optional: Resize the image to a fit standard size page in landscape mode (sideways rather than lengthwise).
- Gather materials needed such as measuring tape, paper and pencil, newspaper, an old pillowcase, a pair of scissors, and straight pins.
Top of Shirt (dog’s back)
This is marked by the solid line in the image above.
- Tape two sheets of newspaper together lengthwise, then fold them in half along the taped edge.
- Using the measurements on the next page, draw half the pattern for the top part of the shirt.
- Cut around the pattern through both layers of the newspaper and open it out.
It should resemble the above although your dog may be narrower than Comet, our German Shepherd mix, for whom we created the pattern.
- If you’re not sure it will fit well, pin an old pillowcase or sheet to the pattern, and cut it out.
- Drape it over your dog to check. Mark where you want to hem the edges and pin them.
- Check it on your dog once more (easier with a helper).
- Once you’re satisfied, pin the pattern to the fabric you plan to use, then cut around it.
Bottom of Shirt (front)
You will make two separate pieces that attach to the top shirt along the flank, sleeves and shoulders, and fit under your dog’s neck and belly. See the dotted line in the image.
- Pin your fabric for the bottom piece to the top shirt pattern.
- Use the same solid outline for the flanks and sleeves sections.
- Add about an inch more (25 mm) in height to the shoulder sections.
- Measure the distance between the top of your dog’s leg where it meets the body down to the middle of the breastbone between the front legs. Write this number down.
- Add two inches (50 mm) for piece no. 1 to the measurements you just made and one inch (25 mm) for piece no 2. You will want to overlap them underneath your dog’s neck and chest once you put the shirt on.
- When you are satisfied about the dimensions, cut the fabric out and pin it to the top part.
- Check for fit on your dog and make adjustments as needed.
- Finally, sew the seams together and hem the edges.
- Add any type of collar you choose – this could be a wide collar as in a man’s shirt; or a piece of lace; or else a strip from your fabric to make a binding that you sew along the edge. We encourage you to experiment!
- Use Velcro or buttons to fasten the front pieces together under the neck and belly.
Thank you for viewing this page concerning free sewing patterns for dog clothes. We hope it has been helpful to you in creating a shirt for your dog.
If you’d like to make a dog vest next, simply head to our therapy dog vests page. You can use the pattern as the basis for any other type of dog vest.