How To DIY Dog Clothes Patterns That Fit Perfectly
What’s cuter than a dog? A dog wearing a stylish sweater. Dog clothes aren’t just tools to keep your furry friend warm when the temperatures drop. They’re an excellent way to show off your dog’s unique personality. You should definitely choose the DIY route if you want your dog to have the best wardrobe possible. You’ll have the ability to choose the fabrics, colors, and prints that best suit your dog. And, most importantly, you’ll be able to tailor-make the clothes to fit your dog’s body.
Chances are you’ve encountered fit issues if you’ve ever bought dog clothes from a pet shop or even a specialized dog clothing brand. Dogs come in so many different shapes and sizes that standard clothing sizes just don’t work. Dogs that are classified as the same size can have totally different shapes. Take dachshunds and pomeranians. Both breeds are small dogs but their body types are polar opposites. Dog owners will know that life is not a “one size fits all” event, and dog clothing should reflect that. It’s about growing into me and you.
Creating your own dog clothes patterns will take your dog’s wardrobe to another level. You won’t just be dressing your dog, you’ll be characterizing their personality. Watch our video and follow our guide to learn how to DIY dog clothes patterns that fit perfectly.
Tools You’ll Need
We used 4×4 grid engineering graphic paper, but you can also use 2 sheets of A4 copy paper or any other kind of paper that works for you.
- Rulers (straight + curved)
Regular straight rulers are great for straight lines, but we recommend also using a French curve ruler for drawing arches.
- Measuring tape
Use soft measuring tape designed for sewing, as it will allow you to measure curves and arches.
- Measurements chart
Download our free measurements chart here. It comes with a calculations sheet for half and full panels, and is fully equipped with the correct settings to ensure accurate measurements every time.
We recommend using a pencil for drawing a pattern as it will allow you to correct any measurement that may have been calculated incorrectly. You can always go over it in pen later if you prefer a darker line for cutting.
Accurate measurements are integral to any type of clothing pattern. They will result in a perfectly tailored fit every time. Make sure your dog is nice and relaxed before you get your measuring tape out. Here’s what you’ll need to measure.
1) Length (dorsal and ventral)
3) Neck to shoulder
4a) Arm arch center
4b) Front of shoulders (dorsal)
5) Front girth
6) Arm arch
7) Rear girth
8) Tail to rear legs
10) Ventral length
11a) Sleeve lengths
11b) Sleeve arm openings
*Note that steps 2, 5, and 7 have a 2:1 ratio
You can begin drawing your pattern once your measurements have been taken! Let’s go to the drawing board.
Begin to measure and mark your pattern in the following order:
1) Dorsal length
2) Neck length
3) Shoulder length (this is the length of the neck to front legs, and will be the left side of the arm opening)
4a) Center of the arm arch (this will be the center of the arm opening)
4b) Length of the shoulders from the center of the arm (this is the distance between the two front legs)
5) Front girth
6) Arm arch (this should be the same for both the full and the half panel)
Now that the front measurements have been placed, draw a 35-45 degree angle line to connect them. Adjust the arch according to the neck to shoulder line. Be sure to check out the arch opening length.
Finish off the pattern by drawing the last measurements:
7) Rear girth
8) Tail to the lower girth
Draw the tuxedo curve, connect the lines, and the dorsal panel will be done! You can now cut your panel ready for sewing.
Start by draw a ‘ground zero’ line, then start your marking your measurements:
1) Neck length
2) Neck to shoulder length
3) Front girth
4) Arm opening from center
5) Rear girth
6) Chest (this is space in between the two front legs)
Now that you have your key measurements placed, you can draw an arch using your French curve ruler to connect them all. Make any necessary adjustments once your arch is drawn. To do this you can use the dorsal panel as a guide, as the ventral panel and dorsal panel should be the same length. This is a very important step to ensure your garment will be even so don’t forget this measurement!
You can cut your panel once your arch is completed, but remember to do a final check on the arch length by using your measuring tape on your panel. After checking that everything is accurate your panel will be complete.
Finish off your pattern by drawing the sleeves in two simple steps:
1) Mark length
2) Measure curves
Remember to add a bit of allowance to the sleeves so you don’t run short when you’re sewing. The sleeve curve should be slightly bigger than the arch, so you’re left with one side that’s narrower than the other. The narrow side will later be sewn with the ventral panel, so that the sleeve will face downwards instead of sideways.
Don’t forget to double check that the length is slightly longer than the arch before sewing. You can add about an extra quarter inch of length to your sleeve length.
Once you’re happy with your sleeve lengths you can cut the final piece of your pattern.
We recommend combining your panels together one last time before bringing out your fabric, pins, and fabric scissors. Every piece should fit together perfectly as long as you took your time and double checked your measurements!
Whether you’re a seasoned pro on the sewing machine or a DIY newbie, you’ll love creating beautiful dog clothes with your very own patterns. If you need some inspiration you can always purchase patterns from our shop here.