Introduction: Ugly Dog Sweater

Picture of  Ugly Dog Sweater

Grandpa's old sweaters never looked so good...not even in the 80's...sorry gramps! I was o-so super lucky to find this wool sweater in someone's trash on city trash pick up day.

Just follow these easy steps and learn how to re-purpose a Large men's sweater into a Large doggie sweater.

Step 1: Gather Supplies

Picture of Gather Supplies

You will need:
Sewing machine
Large Men's sweater
Pins and Patience!!

Step 2: Remove Sweater Arms and Sew Armhole

Picture of Remove Sweater Arms and Sew Armhole

1. Turn sweater inside out and remove arms at a diagonal.
2. (A)Measure 2 inches from neck line. Pin. (B) Measure 2 inches from pit. Pin.
4. Sew from pin to pit and pin to neck making sure to back stitch. View pic3. Orange lines demonstrate sew lines.
5. Fold 1/4-1/2 inch around the opening which is now the arm hole. Pin. Sew with zig zag stitch. View pic3. Each reference coordinates with color line.

NOTE: Zig zag stitch is recommended from here forward to prevent fraying along all cut edges!

Step 3: Cut Mid Section

Picture of Cut Mid Section

1. To find the mid point, fold the sweater in half a hamburger. Mark with a pin along L and R side seams. Please view pic1 and pic2 for clarification.

DO NOT REMOVE PINS!! The pins will be used to identify mid section in following steps.

2. Measure 2 inches inward from the side seams.View red lines in pic3 for reference.

3. Cut the top layer vertically (bottom to top) up to the mid point. Cut top layer side to side.View yellow lines in pic3 for reference.

NOTE: The red lines in pic 3 indicate the side seams. The yellow lines indicate where you will be cutting vertically 2 inches from the seams up to the mid point and side to side.

Step 4: Cut Chest

Picture of Cut Chest

1. Fold sweater vertically to lay a hot dog. View pic1 for reference.
2. Cut upwards toward the collar using the mid section cut lines as a reference. View yellow lines in pic3 for reference.

3. Pin closed from neckline to midsection pin. This will be the chest closure.

Step 5: Sew Chest and Midsection

Picture of Sew Chest and Midsection

1. Sew the chest area down to the pins that mark the mid section. View Orange lines in pic1 for reference.

2. For midsection: Fold each piece 1/4- 1/2 inch hem. Pin. Sew. View Orange lines in pic2 for reference.

Step 6: Finished Dog Sweater

Picture of Finished Dog Sweater


Always be mindful of the temperature, as excessive exposure to the cold can cause frostbite to their ears, nose and toes.


nsiti (author)2016-11-19

I made one today and I can see where a beginner sewer would have troubles with your instructions. I did at first, then reread and had no issues, although, to make my sweater work, because it was actually a zippered jacket, I changed a few things. All in all, good instructable. Maybe pics with the actual cuts would help others and steps of actual sewn pieces instead of just a finished product or whole sweater. Thanks for taking the time to make this tutorial. :)

theglasstiger (author)2016-08-07

Very well done! Not sure how your dog likes it but certainly looks "hip" in it.

ceci97439 (author)2016-06-08

Hi there,

Um, I'm confused here. I would like to make these for the shelters in our area but I can't seem to follow your instructions. Can you please send me the link for the new and improved instructions. Thanks!

CindyC87 (author)2016-05-03

Thank you so much for this! your directions are very easy to understand. I can't wait to give it a try ;-) I don't know where the new and improved instructions are, but these will work just fine for me. For everyone who was having a hard time understanding, I would recommend reading through the instructions slowly and thoughtfully. Thank you again!!

JeriK1 (author)2015-11-21

A video of the process would really help........

jessimata (author)JeriK12016-04-07

You are invited to view the new and improved instructions on how to make a ugly dog sweater!!

JeriK1 (author)jessimata2016-04-07

Where is the video?

djhudson44 (author)2015-11-17

Unable to understand the instructions, maybe because I am not a seamstress or sewer. Wonder if someone at the shelter could understand and do it? I have some sweaters to donate.

jessimata (author)djhudson442016-04-07

You are invited to view the new and improved instructions on how to make a ugly dog sweater!!

VendettaY (author)djhudson442015-11-18

I know how to sew and couldn't follow it either. I think if we actually sat down and tried, it might come together.

jessimata (author)VendettaY2016-04-07

You are invited to view the new and improved instructions on how to make a ugly dog sweater!!

biker6977 (author)2015-11-17

this makes no sense. Really want to do this and take some to the shelters but this is more confusing than helpful.

jessimata (author)biker69772016-04-07

You are invited to view the new and improved instructions on how to make a ugly dog sweater!!

Witch.Nikki.Jo (author)2015-01-02

I do not get it....nice idea though but I do not understand the still photos...and instructions...

jessimata (author)Witch.Nikki.Jo2016-04-07

You are invited to view the new and improved instructions on how to make a ugly dog sweater!!

desya (author)2010-11-24

not sure what you mean here.....need more detail

jessimata (author)desya2016-04-07

You are invited to view the new and improved instructions on how to make a ugly dog sweater!!

djhudson44 (author)2015-11-17

when do you ever fold a hamburger?

jessimata (author)djhudson442016-04-07

hot dog vs hamburger

Switchly (author)2015-12-29

I'm getting confused about step 4.. am I cutting from one side of the sweater to the other side, effectively shortening the entire sweater ("cut across from side to side")? I don't think that's it, but I can't figure out what else it could mean.

I'm also not sure where this "excess 2 inches" is.. Isn't step 3 cutting 2 inches off of the sweater on either side?

Switchly (author)Switchly2015-12-29

Wait.. is the "cut across from side to side" just cutting out the belly part? A picture of that part would clear a lot up : (

Switchly (author)Switchly2015-12-29

Wait.. is the "cut across from side to side" just cutting out the belly part? A picture of that part would clear a lot up : (

BarbaraD44 (author)2015-12-02

My late father, had a wool sweater, he washed, well it shrunk. I had a GDS mix, that it just fitted.

DebraM34 (author)2015-12-02

When her cone broke, I made my cat a onesie when she was spayed , to keep her from licking her incision. This seems a heck of a lot easier.

Sgmaps (author)2015-12-02

Sorry, perhaps you could put the leg over the dogs head using the ribbed cuff as the neck as stated and cut off unnecessary length and mark where to cut the holes for the front legs into the side seams of the pant leg while you have it on the dog. You could also mark the point at which you want to make the underside shorter than the top at the same time. After the pant leg is off the dog you can then make your cuts, using a ruler & marker. Just think of how a doggie sweater is shaped underneath & make your cuts accordingly. After you make your cuts you can fold the cut edges in and either hand sew them or use the machine to sew them securely. To prevent raveling of those edges, you could use ribbon seam binding (like the old days for when you altered the length of a skirt or pant legs) or the binding that is prefolded & you place on the edge and sew (the type used when making aprons for yourself) I hope this is helpful.

Sgmaps (author)2015-12-02

Personally, I really don't understand why some are having trouble visualizing CherylA16's instructions. I don't sew past sewing up a seam (as in making a drawstring bag out of a piece of rectangular material) and I find them straight forward. PerP Perhaps you could

CherylA16 (author)2015-12-02

I have made sweaters out of old sweatpants legs for my poodle-shih tzu mix. The ribbed cuff becomes the neck. Cut holes on either side of the seam for front legs. leaving several inches between for chest. Cut desired length, usually close to tail. Angle cut down to end of ribcage, so tummy area and back is open. I had to make a tuck into ribcage area to snug it up a little. Hope you can follow this because it works great and the fabric won't ravel.

JCinCT (author)2015-11-22

Well add me to the list of those that don't understand the instructions.....and your further "explanation" confused me more....obviously more pictures are needed for each step with its own explanation. I would like to do this also, but without further specific explanation with a pic to go with it, I will just have to come up with my own method.,,,thanks for trying.

JeriK1 (author)2015-11-21

I've made small sweaters using the arms of polar fleece or sweatshirts (my dogs are toy breeds) - the wrist end is the "collar" - cut length to measure to the base of the tail - and I just "wing it" to measure for the arm holes. Cut a narrow wedge from the base of the chest (by the end of the rib-cage) back to the tail area & seam it all.

Bigg Maxx (author)2015-11-20

I think I can do these my own way without instructions, and easier than this!

Bigg Maxx (author)2015-11-20

I have been sewing for over 65 years, making coats, men's sports jackets, etc., and I can't understand the instructuions either! Glad I'm not the only complainer!

djhudson44 (author)2015-11-17

Will sweaters not unravel when cut?

CatC6 (author)2015-11-17

I have to agree with the others. I'm so confused.

mommyholder (author)2015-11-17

Worst.Instructable.Ever. I would love to make these for my local shelter, but the instructions here don't make ANY sense! Does anyone have a link for good unstructions or a video??

MiMero228 (author)2013-12-06

Just curious, how big is your baby? My Stonie weighs 110, he is a lab and he is a big boy (not fat). Do you think this would work for him? Not sure how big of a sweater I'd need....maybe an extra large? Thanks, I love this and WILL do this for my baby boy.

jessimata (author)MiMero2282014-03-27

Hi there! At the time Fergie, a bull boxer, was a mere 50 ish pounds. The sweater was a size M. I do believe a XL will suit Stonie's needs.

MiMero228 (author)2013-12-06

Love it!

happy2bmom (author)2012-12-13

Love it! Just two things, I need to find some sweaters and I hope I can follow/understand your instructable well enough to make some of these! Thank you again for sharing! Pinterested this one too! :D

jessimata (author)happy2bmom2012-12-14

Wow, Thanks! Reading through the 'ible is a little hard to follow. Once you actually go thru the motions it actually comes together! Please don't hesitate to ask any questions!

curbsidecrush (author)2010-12-05

I love this idea and have been wanting to reuse some sweaters for my dog Gargoyle. Could you explain steps 3 and 4 a bit more? Or maybe even a video link?

jessimata (author)curbsidecrush2011-01-01

hi. thanx for the comment. please view my previous reply for clarification. i will try to upload a video link as well. happy sewing and thanx for viewing!

About This Instructable




More by jessimata:Frozen Hibiscus Fruit SangriaCrew Neck to V Neck Collar Switch-a-Roo3 Step T Shirt Sleeve Switch-a-Roo
Add instructable to: