How to Draw Patterns for Dog Clothing

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Small dogs appreciate warm clothing in the winter.
Small dogs appreciate warm clothing in the winter. (Image: dog image by Vaida from Fotolia.com)

Despite having fur and living mostly indoors, dogs do occasionally need to wear coats or other protective clothing to stay warm and dry during walks and other necessary outdoor trips. Small dogs, short-coated (or hairless) dogs and dogs recovering from serious illness may appreciate a jacket or raincoat in inclement weather.

It's useful to have a basic pattern for clothing custom-fit to your dog. Once you have the basic pattern pieces drawn, you can modify and alter it to create an entire canine wardrobe.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Old newspaper

Measure your dog. Using the measuring tape, determine your dog's length from his collar to the base of his tail. Measure around the widest part of her rib cage. Measure between his front legs. Measure her stomach from her collar to the end of her ribs. Finally, measure from his collar to between his front legs. Record these measurements on a sheet of paper.

Add extra measurements for seam allowances. Add a 1/2 inch to 5/8 inch to each measurement to allow for seams in your dog's garment. Write down all new measurements.

Draw the back or top pattern. Using the measuring tape, draw a rectangle on the newspaper the length of your dog from collar to the base of the tail (with seam allowance included) and the width of your dog around the widest part of her ribs (seam allowance included) minus the width between her front legs. This rectangle is your basic back pattern.

Draw the front or bottom pattern. Using the measuring tape, draw a rectangle on the newspaper the length of your dog from collar to the bottom end of his ribs (seam allowance included) and the width of the space between his front legs (seam allowance included). This rectangle is your basic front or bottom pattern.

Tips & Warnings

  • Once you've drawn the basic pattern, transfer it to some scrap fabric, cut it out and stitch together to make sure it fits your dog. Tweak the pattern measurements as necessary.
  • Once you have a pattern that you know fits your dog, transfer the basic rectangles to stiffer, more durable paper or fabric.

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