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Technique of the Week: Easy (little) Dog Sweater

dog sweater

I’m going to come clean right at the beginning, I’m not entirely sure this is a great idea.  I’m on the fence between thinking, “this is a stupid idea” and “this is a pretty clever idea.”  BUT, some of my most popular posts are posts that I wasn’t really sure about, so you just never know.

I have this sweater that I got a looooong time ago and it’s been one of my favorites.  It’s been to college and on dates with my husband before he was my husband and it’s covered my boys when they were still buns in my oven.  You can imagine, then, that the sweater has seen better days.  I’ve been trying to figure out how to upcycle my sweater because I didn’t want to just get rid of it, so I decided to cut the sleeves off and make a dog sweater.  Yeah, you read that right, I made a sweater sleeve dog sweater.

dog sweater

Before we get into the how, let’s cover the who and the what.  This only works for small dogs, looooong small dogs if you can find one.  You’ll have to gauge the size of the dog and the size of the sleeve, but do assume that the sleeve will stretch some.  The sweater I used is ribbed and has the perfect amount of give for this project.

You need to take three measurements on your dog, from the base of the neck down the back to the back legs, the chest width (distance between the front legs), and distance from the underside of the base of the neck to the front of the front legs.

1.  Cut the sleeve off the sweater.  Use your dog’s neck-to-back-legs measurement and mark the sleeve to that length, starting at the cuff and measuring up toward the shoulder, then cutting at the mark.

2.  Flatten the sleeve with the seam facing up and in the center of the sleeve.  Cut two slits, preferably between knit ribs, about 2 inches long.  Start the slits the same distance from the edge as the neck-to-front-legs measurement.  Space the slits one inch less than the chest measurement apart.

3.  Most sweaters are probably going to start unraveling at some point, so you have a couple options for finishing the neck and the leg holes.  First, you could use some fray check and no-sew it.  Second, you could zigzag or overcast the edge to keep fraying in check.  Lastly, you could finish with an actual edge binding and make your dog sweater all fancy and professional.

dog sweater

It’s now time for your dog to don the sweater and strut her stuff, or go hide under your bed in shame.

So that’s my possibly great, possibly ridiculous dog sweater idea.  If nothing else, I hope you enjoyed the gratuitous pics of our wire-haired dachshund Miss Moneypenny.



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  1. Sandy November says:

    I have 4 little girls all about 10 pounds. I was cleaning out my winter clothing and now I can upcycle. Thanks for the doxie hints we have 4 10 smoke pound girls.

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