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
- 3 or 4 matching threads
- Sewing Machine
- 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.
- 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.
- Pin a straight line along the side seams and pin the bottom of the jersey closed.
- Overlock along the 3 pinned edges. I used the 3-thread flat stitch.
- 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.
- 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.
- Cut your fabric scraps into small squares to make stuffing.
You can use normal foam stuffing or reuse stuffing from an old pillow.
- Stuff the centre square. I recommend removing your jewelry as it may get lost in the stuffing.
- Pin the square closed.
- Sew the square closed.
- Stuff the area around the square.
- Pin the neck hole closed.
I pinned an offcut in the neck hole to keep the shape of the pillow uniform.
- Hand stitch the neck hole closed. I used a scrap piece of wool as my thread.
The dog bed/pillow is finished!
Find the sleeves you cut off earlier.
- 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.
- Overlock the lower edge to neaten it. Try not to stretch the fabric while overlocking.
- Overlock the neck opening to neaten it. Try not to stretch the fabric while overlocking.
- 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.
- Overlock around the armhole to neaten the edge and secure the cap sleeve.
Try not to stretch the fabric while overlocking.
- 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.