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World's Easiest Custom Fit Dog Sweater Free Crochet Pattern! Stay-Put Design!

Updated on October 6, 2014
SheilaSchnauzies profile image

SheilaSchnauzies is a Miniature Schnauzer rescuer, writer, crochet designer, gardener, crafter, wife, mom & friend living in Omaha, NE.

The World's Easiest Dog Sweater To Make In Any Size AND Keep On Your Doggie!

I have made a lot of dog sweaters. I have a Miniature Schnauzer rescue, and all of my furkids like to be well dressed! Well, maybe I have to admit their MOM likes to have them well dressed! But I'm sure they enjoy being warm.

Trouble is, sweaters for dogs are always a pain in the tail! They always involve either buttons, velcro, or belts to keep them in place. Those are always moving around because hello... doggie moves around! Doggie's main goal in life, it seems, is to get the sweater OFF.

One day I was just goofing around crocheting a little warm-up for Bailey, one of my rescue boys. Bailey is... difficult. He does not like his legs to be messed with, and he will always try to bite me when I do something like putting his legs in a sweater! So my challenge was to design something for Mr. Bailey that I could put on fast enough to dodge his teeth! Once I had it done, I was shocked to see that not only did the sweater stay on, in perfect place, he seemed to actually like it! It was equally easy to remove. Success!

Now Ladybug needs a new winter sweater, and rather than one of the fancy creations I normally whip up, I'm making her a version of Bailey's old sweater. You can make it right along with me! In fact, I ended up making Bailey a new sweater too out of heavy burgundy chenille!

If you don't know how to crochet, jump on one of the YouTube tutorials below and let's learn this thing. This pattern is easy enough for any beginner! For the more advanced crocheter, I'm going to show you how you can make this sweater in any stitch pattern you wish too.

So grab your furkid, pick out some yarn, and let's crochet! For those of you who are beginners, I'll give instructions to do the whole sweater in just single crochet. For those who are more advanced, you can complete the body of the sweater in the popcorn diamond pattern shown here or in any stitch pattern you wish.

This sweater WILL stay on your dog!

The Schnauzer Difficulty Rating!

The Schnauzer Difficulty Rating!
The Schnauzer Difficulty Rating!

What You Will Need

1 skein of any worsted weight yarn. Black or dark cotton like shown is great to not show dirt. White cotton is best if you want machine washable and bleachable!

Now that being said... I prefer to dress my furkids in really soft yarns and I care for them by machine washing on gentle and laying flat to dry. SO... choose whatever yarn you love!

Ladybug's pink sparkly sweater is made in Hobby Lobby's Enchantress sequined yarn and required less than one skein.

Winnie's burgundy chenille sweater was made with the extra bulky chenille and it was very old yarn from my stash, sorry I don't know the brand.

Bailey's original black and gray sweater was made with gray worsted weight yarn and the black part was Paton's VooDoo.

Speak The Crochet "Lingo!"

Speak The Crochet "Lingo!"
Speak The Crochet "Lingo!"

A Word About Yarn Selection...

If you're using scrap yarns, great! Just make sure they're of similar thickness so as not to throw off your pattern.

How To Make The Magic Part I

The Fit Is The Most Important Thing!

When we start this simple sweater, we are creating openings for the two front legs and a piece which goes across the shoulders just below the collar line. With that in mind... start chaining, with your furkid handy! You want the loop for the leg to slip on easily but not be baggy-loose. Since the yarn will stretch some when the doggie is wearing it, I tend to do my measuring then subtract a couple of chains on the back portion so that the sweater won't end up fitting too loosely.

Start by chaining your first leg loop (slip stitch onto the chain to form the loop). Note the number of chains. Chain the amount you think will go across the dog's back, then try it on again. Adjust. Chain the second leg loop and slip stitch to the chain. Try it on again! Your dog will think you're playing a fun game!

When the fit is right it should be exactly snug, not loose, not tight.

Making The Magic Part II - The Instructions

Starting from the point at which you made the slip stitch into the chain to form the second leg loop.....

Row 1

Chain 1. SC in every chain across back, around leg loop, down opposite edge of back, around other leg loop, ending up at first SC. Slip stitch in that SC. Ch 1, turn.

Repeat Row 1 until your leg loops are the width you would like them to be. When they are, and your leg loops are equal rows on both sides, end with a slip stitch. Now, it's time to make a little judgment call!

Turn your work and slip stitch back just a few stitches back up onto the leg loop. The number of stitches will be vastly different from a Chihuahua to a German Shepherd! For the sake of practicality let's say one-fourth of the width of the leg loop across (not the whole leg loop circumference).

Now that's settled... Ch 1, turn, and SC in those stitches you just slip stitched in and each SC across the back. Now SC in the same amount of stitches up onto the leg as you just did on the other side. Voila! We're in business now. Ch 1, turn.

Advanced crocheters - here is where you can jump in and do any pattern stitch you wish to complete the rest of your sweater, which is straight rows of work from here on out!

For everyone else... we will complete Bailey's red sweater as shown. It is very simple.

Remaining Rows:

SC in each stitch across. Ch 1, turn.

Repeat that row working in pattern until the sweater reaches as far back on the dog as you would like.

Optional Rear Leg Loops

While they really aren't necessary, you can add rear leg loops to your sweater. You'll simply repeat the fit process we did in the beginning. You'll want to work the pattern until you reach just before the dog's tail. At one corner, chain an amount to fit around the dog's back leg. Note the placement where the loop needs to attach to the side of the sweater. Repeat the process for the other leg, attaching your yarn in the corner stitch to begin.

Here's The Beginning With Both Leg Loops Started

Ladybug's Sweater

The body portion of Ladybug's sweater was done all in single crochet with a diamond pattern of 5-SCP's added (5-Single Crochet Popcorns).

Winnie Had To Try On Bailey's Sweater Too!

Winnie Had To Try On Bailey's Sweater Too!
Winnie Had To Try On Bailey's Sweater Too!

The Most Important Thing

Check for fit after you have completed the arm loops!!! Check for fit again after you have completed a few rows after the arms, and once again when you are approaching the tail.

Bailey Loves His New Sweater!

Bailey, at right, is very happy with his new heavy chenille sweater!

What Do You Think Of This Pattern? - Come On, You Can Tell Me!

What Are Your Thoughts On This Pattern?

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Your Dog Says...

Does Your Doggie Like Wearing Sweaters Or Other Outfits?

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Learn Crochet Watching YouTube! - Right OR Left Handed!

A Word About Yarn Selection...

Since we are making this pattern to fit your dog, you can make it with any size of yarn you like! If you are using scrap yarns, which is a great idea, just make sure they are of similar thickness and weight.

Please Crochet Your Name In My Guestbook! - Kidding, Just Signing Is Fine!

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    • SheilaSchnauzies profile image

      Sheila 4 years ago from Omaha, NE

      @FindandGift LM: Thanks so much! I appreciate your support! The sweater took me an evening to do.

    • FindandGift LM profile image

      FindandGift LM 4 years ago

      Wow!! awesome sweaters, your Schnauzers are so cute ! I saw some of your other crochet lenses and you are very talented! How long did it take you for one sweater? Awesome work!

    • pauly99 lm profile image

      pauly99 lm 4 years ago

      Not to say that I'm not into crocheting but the newest addition to our family seems to take a liking to my wife. So I'll show her this lens. Our little Zoe does like to wear her jacket out in the cold.

    • SheilaSchnauzies profile image

      Sheila 5 years ago from Omaha, NE

      @anonymous: Tipi, I'm very honored by your comments! Thanks very much for your visit and for your support!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      You've come up with a design that anyone can learn to do with basic crochet in no time at all...unless it's a really big dog! I like your tips along the way....there will be many comfy cozy dogs that will want to thank you. Many dogs don't seem to want a whole outfit and this adaptation is a great answer to that problem, well done!

    • dawnsnewbeginning profile image

      dawnsnewbeginning 5 years ago

      Nice lens!