Creative articles about sewing

Puppy love: refashion a jersey for your pooch

Just like me, my dogs enjoy a comfy jersey to cuddle up in during winter.
I have two Schnauzers , Kutja & Dhlamini (pronounced Kutcher & Gla-mee-nee) and over the years I have made them a few jackets with leftover fabric, trying out a few styles to see which works best for them.
The style I will show you below seems to keep them the warmest and is comfortable enough so as to not hinder their daily activities.

I used the sleeves of an old jersey of my granddad’s that had *felted and it seemed a bit of a waste to not use the body of the garment too.
Kutja (pictured above) was needing a new bed as he treated his old one as more of a toy and it was beyond repair. Instead of using foam stuffing to fill the dog bed (which he has a habit of pulling out and chewing on) I used scraps of fabric from various projects.
Although Kutja is 9 years old, he still acts like a puppy. I feel that the fabric scrap stuffing will be more difficult for him to pull out and it should weigh the pillow down which hopefully means he won’t take it for a run around the garden or use it as a Frisbee.

*Felted: when the fibres mat together


  • Oversized jersey/sweatshirt
  • Fabric scraps/stuffing
  • Scissors
  • 3 or 4 matching threads
  • Overlocker
  • Sewing Machine



  1. Find an oversized jersey or sweatshirt.
    If you are going to use a jersey then please be careful about it unravelling. The fibres of older jerseys tend to be felted from being washed, this can work in your favour as it won’t unravel.

  1. Turn the jersey inside-out, then unpick or cut along the armholes.
    We’ll use the sleeves for the dog jackets and the body for the bed.


Dog Bed

  1. Pin a straight line along the side seams and pin the bottom of the jersey closed.

  1. Overlock along the 3 pinned edges. I used the 3-thread flat stitch.

  1. Turn the “pillow” right-side out.
    Pin a square in the centre of the pillow, leaving an opening. Pin through both layers of fabric.
    Leave enough room around the square to fit your hand through with stuffing.

  1. Follow the pins and sew the square, remember to leave an opening for stuffing.
    Sew through both layers of fabric.
    I chose a wide zigzag stitch.

  1. Cut your fabric scraps into small squares to make stuffing.
    You can use normal foam stuffing or reuse stuffing from an old pillow.

  1. Stuff the centre square. I recommend removing your jewelry as it may get lost in the stuffing.

  1. Pin the square closed.

  1. Sew the square closed.

  1. Stuff the area around the square.

  1. Pin the neck hole closed.
    I pinned an offcut in the neck hole to keep the shape of the pillow uniform.

  1. Hand stitch the neck hole closed. I used a scrap piece of wool as my thread.

The dog bed/pillow is finished!


Dog jackets

Find the sleeves you cut off earlier.

  1. Cut the cuff off the sleeve so that the opening is wide enough for your dog’s head. Hold on to the cuff for later.
    Cut 2 holes close to the seam. These should be big enough for your dog’s legs and wide enough apart for their chest.
    Shape the lower edge.

  1. Overlock the lower edge to neaten it. Try not to stretch the fabric while overlocking.

  1. Overlock the neck opening to neaten it. Try not to stretch the fabric while overlocking.

  1. I inserted a piece of the offcut cuff at the top of the armhole, like a little cap sleeve, to prevent the armhole from stretching out of shape.
    Alternatively, you could make a cuff from other fabric to attach to the whole armhole.

  1. Overlock around the armhole to neaten the edge and secure the cap sleeve.
    Try not to stretch the fabric while overlocking.

  1. Sew in all the threads and fold the neck opening back.


  • I would recommend making this type of jersey for small dogs.
    The sleeves may be too tight to be a jacket larger dogs.
  • Please take into account the dog’s comfort when considering the size of the sleeves and the type of fabric.
    I recommend a fabric that has a bit of stretch to it.
  • If you don’t have an old jersey to refashion, then visit your local charity/thrift shop to look for one.
  • Even if you only have one dog, I would suggest making two jackets (from both sleeves) so as to have a spare one for when one jacket needs a wash.

I would love to see your lovely pups with their refashioned jersey, please feel free to share them with me!


Difficulty level: Beginner
Time to Complete: Evening
Used Material: knitted jersey
Used Products:
BERNINA Virtuosa 160

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  • Mikaela Melville EditEditing comments on the BERNINA blog is only possible after logging in with a blog user account. Sign up now or create a user account if you do not have one yet.

    Stunning idea ? & does not look too challenging ?. Your boys are great models ???.

    • hannahrose EditEditing comments on the BERNINA blog is only possible after logging in with a blog user account. Sign up now or create a user account if you do not have one yet.

      Thank you!
      Dhlamini wasn’t too interested in modelling. As soon as he got his jacket it was time to snooze! 😀

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