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How to Make a Dog Shirt Out of Fabric

Yorkie wearing a blue and white striped tshirt

Are you a new owner who wants to make the first dress for your dog? Or do you want to surprise your pup with a homemade dog shirt on his/her birthday? Use the following tutorial to make a beautiful shirt for your furry companion.  

How to Make a Dog Shirt from a T-shirt

grey tshirt on white background

This is possibly the easiest and the quickest method to make a dog shirt. You simply take the measurements of your pet and transform a T-shirt into his/her clothing.

Materials Needed:

  • A T-shirt
  • Measuring Tape
  • A round object like a plate
  • A pair of fabric scissors/rotary cutter
  • Safety pins (or needle and thread)


  1. Use a measuring tape to measure the distance from the base of your dog’s neck to the start of his/her tail. This will give you the length of the shirt that you want to make.
    Alternatively, you can lay the T-shirt on your dog’s back to determine the length. In that case, you will fold the bottom of the shirt to the point where you want the dog shirt to end. Leave the T-shirt folded until you cut off the excess fabric.
  2. Once you have figured out the required length, lay the shirt on a flat surface. Irrespective of the method you used, cut horizontally at the marked length to remove the extra cloth. This will leave you with a T-shirt that is intact but its bottom is cut off.
    NOTE: You might not need to cut the shirt at all if you own a large breed.
  3. Now, use a round plate to create the body of the dog shirt. Place the plate over the T-shirt such that it is covering half the sleeves. Start cutting from the bottom of the T-shirt and continue to cut along the plate until you reach the end of the sleeve.
  4. After that, fold the shirt over before cutting the other side. This will make sure that you get exactly the same measurements on both sides. Cut the other side of the T-shirt.
  5. Next, you need to finalize the arm length of your dog shirt. If your dog has shorter arms, you may have to cut the sleeves off completely. In the case of a larger dog, you can skip this step.
    NOTE: In case of a doubt, it is advisable to let the sleeves on because you can cut them later.
  6. Then, flip the T-shirt over and fold the top half to the beginning of the shirt’s armpit. Cut along the folded part to make a cropped top of the top half of the T-shirt. This will keep the dog shirt comfortable around your pet’s chest and abdomen.
  7. Lastly, use a needle and thread to sew both ends of the T-shirt around the sleeves region. This will keep both the halves in place and your dog shirt is now ready to try. If you don’t have any sewing material, you can use safety pins.
  8. Put the shirt on the dog with the long half on his/her back. Carefully slip the paws through the sleeves and let your pup enjoy his new shirt.

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