Doggie T-Shirt




In this instructable, I will describe how you can make a t-shirt for your dog out of an old human-sized tee.

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Step 1: Materials

The first thing you'll need to do is gather your materials. You will need the following:
old t-shirt
pair of scissors
sewing tape measure
fabric glue
Sharpie for marking cuts (not pictured)
needle and thread (optional)
sew-on velcro (optional)

When choosing a t-shirt, it is best to pick one that has a neck roughly the same size as your dog's. That way, you won't have to deal with cutting the neck down to fit or worry about cutting off Fido's air supply.

Step 2: Measure!

Using your tape measure, get the following measurements:
around the dog's middle (middle of chest is best)
distance from neck to tail (along the back)
distance from neck to mid-stomach
shoulder to elbow (to determine sleeve length)

Step 3: Cut #1

Decide which side of the shirt you want showing and turn that face up on your cutting surface. Your first cut will be from the neck of the shirt to the length of the dog from neck to tail. Make your mark (and make sure you leave yourself an extra 1/4 inch or so for a hem) and cut across the bottom of the shirt.

Step 4: Cut #2

Next, you'll want to cut away the extra fabric from the sides so the shirt will fit right. To do this, mark out a section at the bottom of the shirt that is half as long as the distance around Fido's middle. Make sure that this section is centered. Then start drawing a line from your marks upward. When you get near the armpit area, use a French curve or plate or some other rounded edge to continue the line around the armpit and mark off about half of the sleeve to be cut. (If your dog has particularly thick forelegs, you may need to save more of the sleeve.) Once the marks are made, just cut along the lines. Don't forget to leave room for a hem.

Step 5: Cut #3

Turn the shirt over so that you have the stomach side facing upward. Measure from the neck down to the length from the dog's neck to mid-stomach and cut across at that length. Be sure to leave yourself room for a hem.

Step 6: Cut #4 (optional)

Depending on the length of your dog's forelegs, you may need to cut the sleeves. Go ahead and do that now if you need to.

Step 7: Glue!

Turn the shirt inside out and use the fabric glue to hem up the cut edges. To do this, put some glue down on the fabric a little ways away from the edge and then fold the edge over the glue so that the cut edge is now on the inside of the shirt. press the fabric and glue together until they set enough to stick together on their own. If you're having trouble getting some to stay together on their own, try pinning them together until they stick. You may have to do this in stages so that the glue will have time to dry. Also, for reasons that will become clear in the next step, it's not necessary to put a hem on the left and right edges of the stomach side (but don't forget to put one along the bottom edge.

If you prefer, you can use the needle and thread for this, or a sewing machine if you have one. I would just make a mess if I tried that, so I went with the much safer route of the fabric glue.

Step 8: Glue Some More!

The trickiest bit of gluing is getting the sides of the shirt that go in the armpit glued back together. With the shirt inside out and the stomach side (the short one) facing up, fold the edge of the back side (the long one) over and glue the stomach side to it.

Step 9: After Everything Dries...

Your shirt should look something like this.

Depending on the size of your dog and how much they like to be dressed, you may find it easier to make a cut down the middle of the stomach side of the shirt and sew in some velcro tabs. You could even use buttons or snaps, but velcro seems to be the best balance of affordability, effectiveness and ease of application.

Step 10: Wear and Enjoy.

What project of this variety would be complete without a fashion show?

Hopefully you and your dog will enjoy this as much as we did.

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    32 Discussions


    1 year ago

    I just followed these directions for my GSD who had a cyst removed off his chest. He scratched open the stitches, so they had to do staples, and we were desperate on how to keep him from removing those! The vet suggested a tee-shirt, but we played hell getting one to stay on him. We tried his Thundershirt over the tee (we live in a war zone around the 4th of July, but it was all bunched, and with our hot weather here, we were concerned about him overheating with all the crap on him.

    This was an easy make, just a little hand sewing, and wow! Fits like a dream!! The dog still keeps scratching at it, but an old ace wrap helps with that. Thanks for the instructions! They were the easiest I'd found so far, and were well written. One thing: because my dog is so big, I opted to do the curve just up to and behind the sleeves, leaving them intact. Once I put the shirt on him, this proved advantageous. Gives me room to maneouver his legs into the sleeves, and because of where the surgical site is, it adds another level of protection.

    Cindy Skillman

    3 years ago

    Great idea! Our dogs normally don't wear clothes, but one is a lab-golden and the other a terrier mix. The terrier is definitely a warm-country dog, and we live in the cold north. I think she'll love this. The reason I searched for a doggie t-shirt though, is that our lab-golden had a lump removed (they're very lumpy dogs). The vet recommended a t-shirt to keep him from licking the wound. Much more comfortable for him than a "cone of shame." Our old Ts don't fit very well out-of-the-box. I'm definitely going to try this. Thanks!


    4 years ago on Introduction

    this is the best idea for pets my dog looks sooooo cute!


    4 years ago on Introduction

    I'd like to make some of these for my dog. It takes minute for her to get used to wearing something, but then she just ignores it.

    Benefits of clothes:

    ~She gets more attention on walks, and she freakin LOVES people.(seriously, we went to a parade&festival and she didn't tire of the pettings of 300+ people)

    ~She has allergies and her scratching makes her more itchy as well as making her look like she has mange or something, which gets her less pettings(see point above)

    ~It increases my time spent with and for her, which makes me feel closer to her and vice versa

    ~My fave shirts that don't fit me anymore or have little holes can go to her!

    ~She gets treats before and after she gets clothes put on

    Cons from clothes:

    ~She looks at me like I'm crazy for like 30-60 seconds before being totally fine

    ~I have to take the time to make them, and she has a weird shape so I mess up a lot


    5 years ago on Introduction

    I love it....not sure Dakota my dog would find it interesting though!


    11 years ago on Introduction

    Of course you realize your dog already has a coat of very effective hair that make sweaters and shirts sort of redundant (except for the advertising value).

    7 replies

    I have to agree, for pugs anyway I know they LOVE to dress up. I have three pugs and they all jump around and nearly jump out of themselves with excitement when I get out their dress-up outfits. That's why there are so many costume contests at our rescue events. Its very hard to find clothes for them as they are broad chested :)


    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    Did you ask him if he likes it or something, or is that just an assumption? I personally think it's cruel to put animals in clothes, and like dchall8 said, it's redundant.


    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    It's not an assumption at all. It's based on the fact that he goes over to his toy box, selects a shirt that he wants to wear and brings it over to us to put on him. Nothing cruel about it.

    mama beardchall8

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    O.K. so you don't like your dog to were close. But I too have a small dog with very to no hair. And even in the summer she gets cold. I will say go get your sweater and she will. Going for a walk all I say you want to go for a walk and she will go get her jacket or jogging suit; she also has a winter coat . At bed time I say bed time and she gets her P.J.'s At Christmas time she also gets a stocking and gift's from Santa. Oh! right she also has winter boats to protect her little feet from the salt the we (people) put out to melt ice and then it gets between the toe's and it hurts my baby girl.But this is my dog we all have our own life to live the way we won't; Mama Bear


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    We have a small dachshund-beagle mix with very short hair, and she sometimes gets cold in the winter, so we'll put a small doggie shirt on her for her walks. So while most of the time clothes on a dog is redundant (and I generally don't like clothes on dogs anyway, especially the froofy ones), there are times when it's nice to have a small t-shirt for them.


    8 years ago on Introduction

    I love this! My dog likes wearing clothes, he picks them up and brings them to me to put them on him. He even was brought into the rescue where I got him wearing a sweater. I'm going to make some of my old college shirts into dog shirts for him. And maybe bring some to the rescue for photo props.

    my dogs just got shaved and its in the middle of spring and its 40 degrees. i need to make my dogs a t shirt and mabye some oants too!:D


    8 years ago on Step 10

    i have been wanting to make my pup a t shirt.She has a batman sheet as her crate cover and i have a toddler batman shirt laying around. She is small. a beagle/basset/terrier mix.she looks like a rat terrier with long ears. I have a new sewing machine to break in so here i go. i will post a pic of Patches in her batman shirt soon. Thanks.


    8 years ago on Introduction

    OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love your pug so much and your instructable is awesome!


    9 years ago on Step 10

    for those messy with glue and even messier with threads and needle (like me) may i suggest fabric mending strips? those little strips that can be ironed on. they are cheap to buy  and just need to be pin in, then iron over, et' voila!

    thank you for this instructable - my Dudley labrador is next and thank god he loves dress ups. he is getting that dangerous gases t-shirt i have been saving for him!