Cozy Fleece Dog Coat Tutorial

This weekend, I had to give Oliver (our Shorkie puppy) a pretty short haircut. And, as you might expect in November, he suddenly got very chilly. We went out and bought him a sweater and a coat, which helped a lot. He’s currently wearing something warm all day every day, rather than taking it on and off every time he has to go out and potty.

I decided he could use a fresh coat every day, so it didn’t get smelly. Plus, I really wanted to try making my own coats. They’re not cheap – about 20 bucks apiece. But they are simple, so I knew that it wouldn’t be difficult to figure out my own pattern.

It turned out to be an even quicker project than I expected. It only takes about 15 minutes to sew one of these from start to finish! And since it only requires half a yard of fleece, this can be made for about $2! I have already made three for him.

I took the extra time today to convert my brown paper hand drawn pattern to a nice digital one to share with you all here. Oliver is a 10 pound Shorkie. In terms of pet store clothing sizes, he wears a small. If your dog is in the 8-12 pound range, this coat should fit him or her. The bottom attaches with velcro around the front chest and under the belly, which makes it pretty adjustable to suit your dog’s exact size.

To make your own dog coat, here’s what you’ll need in addition to your sewing machine:

  • 1/2 yard fleece (If you want a contrasting lining, buy 2 1/2 yard pieces. You can’t get anything smaller than 1/2 yard in order for this pattern to fit.)
  • 6 inches of sew-on velcro
  • Matching thread
  • My free downloadable pattern
  • Tape to attach pattern pieces together

So that you can print the pattern on a regular printer, I’ve split it into four pages. Just like with any other printable sewing pattern you might have used before, these pages need to be attached back together.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Be sure NOT to scale to fit when you print. To double check yourself before you begin, measure the square on the pattern to make sure that it is exactly an inch wide and tall. If it is, your pattern has printed at the correct size.

Here’s a quick step-by-step on how to do that in case you’re new to printable patterns. Please pardon the awful photos!

Print out all pieces and arrange them so that the matching letters are across from eachother, as shown.

Tape pages together so the light gray lines touch, and the matching letters line up as shown here.

Once the pieces are all taped together, cut along the dark black line to cut out your pattern piece.

Got it? Okay! Now, it’s time to trace the pattern pieces onto fleece and cut it out.

You’ll notice that the main pattern piece says to cut it on the fold. Fold your fleece over, lay that piece with that flat edge along the fold, and trace. When you cut, you’ll be cutting through two layers of fleece at once. Do NOT cut through the fold. When you’re done, you’ll have a perfectly symmetrical piece.

If you want your lining color to be different, like mine is in the photos, cut your second main piece out of the other color.

You should also cut two pieces from the collar pattern piece – again, using two different colors if you want.

Here are the rest of the steps, with instructions on the photos:

If you decide to make one and blog about it, I’d love it if you want to link to your post in the comments.

UPDATE on November 20, 2013: Wow, this has become a really popular post since I wrote it one year ago! I appreciate all of the comments! I’m glad that I took the time to create a shareable pattern, and that it has worked so well for many of you. There have been a lot of questions about scaling this pattern to fit other size dogs. Unfortunately, I can’t offer a lot of help with that. I now have two dogs, and they are both about 10 lbs. So they aren’t very good models for trying larger sizes! Several readers have successfully used this pattern as a basis for sewing coats for their larger dogs, however.

I would like to invite anyone who has done this to link up in the comments if you decide to post about either using this pattern to guide you on making a larger size, or even if you have made your own pattern for a larger dog. I hope some of you will share, and that will help some of you with pups much bigger than my own. 

There have been a lot of great tips in the comments, such as making a buttonhole through which to pull the leash on dogs wearing a harness. Keep the ideas coming! I’m personally wanting to find time to make one that’s a bit girlier for my newest pup – maybe add some details or frills. I’ll let you know!

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Comments

  1. this is adorable!! i love the design on the fleece too. i wish i were better on the sewing machine because i’d love to make these!

    • Thanks! It’s actually a great beginner pattern, I think. Fleece is really forgiving because it puffs up and hides your stitches. My lines weren’t that exact, but I still loved the end product.

  2. I made these tonight for my jack russell and yorkie. They are PERFECT. I needed it a little bigger in the neck for the jack russell, but otherwise no changes made. I will try to remember to post pics after we get our Christmas pictures taken! I bought enough fabric to make 4 of these and it was just over $10. I already have velcro at home. Thank you so much for sharing this!

  3. Ps – I just pinned you to Pinterest!!

  4. hi sarah – what a cute pattern – i am not a very good sewer but could not resist giving this a go . we have a scotty puppy and thought she would look so cute in one of these – we are coming up for winter in cape town – only problem i used what i had at home – cotton and felt – looked ok but did not stretch at the same level so a bit “puckered ” will pop around to our local material store and rather get some fleece – thanks for your great blog – I love it Hayley xx

  5. Thanks, this was great, i made the pattern a little bit bigger but it was so easy, and great instructions. Thanks soooooo much

    • I’m glad you were able to use it!

      • Hi Sarah….just love the pattern, exactly what I was looking for but can see it needs to be a little larger as I have a Shih Tzu and he is 48cm. around the girth. Now I wondered do I only add on the fold line or all around and how much would you suggest.

  6. i just cut this out from a woolen blanket but in bull mastiff size! Ill try to link you to some photos when its sewn up. I love the step by step photos on here.

  7. mary clendenin says:

    FINALLY! I’ve been searching for what seems forEVer for a pattern like this for my little chihuahua who weighs all of 5-6 lbs.!! Not being too savvy on how to scale down the pattern for my little one, could you give me a few more hints on how to do this? Winter’s snows are coming up and I need to make several of these..thanks for any help/advice!

  8. Suzanne says:

    Thank you! Simple & clear instructions! I was able to make one quickly!( & for me that’s a major accomplishment!

  9. mary clendenin says:

    Hi Suzanne…thank you for sharing those new photos today of the fleece coat. Right now it’s too hot here to start sewing, but soon the snow will be flying…I’ve got to get busy. Again, thanks so much for posting this tutorial!

  10. Hi! I LOVE YOUR PATTERN FOR THIS COAT!!! I would love to make this coat for my 1.6 pound yorkie!!! Can someone PLEASE explain to me how to make smaller to fit him. I’m a beginner on my sewing machine, but i’m sooooo willing to learn how to make this pattern much smaller!!!!THANKS!!!!

    • La’Tice
      Omg how cute! 1.6 pound! Is that full grown? I have a 4 lb Yorkie and everything is too big for him too. I’d love to have an even tinier Yorkie though. Where did you get him?

  11. Thanks Sarah for taking time to show/let us know how to make the dogs coats..we have two shih Tzu puppies 11 weeks and just getting cold in London..so I was looking for pattern for us to make and came across your page..will let you know how it turns out! :-)

  12. I Love It!!!! I just made one for my little chihuahua. I used a spiderman fleece blanket I had made for my son who no longer likes spiderman. The back of the coat had a big spiderman face on it. So adorable. Thanks so much for the pattern. It was also easy to adjust the size a little smaller since my dog is only 5 lbs. Thanks again!

    • Daphne – I’m glad it worked for you! Do you have any advice for how you sized it down for a 5 lb. dog? A lot of people have asked, but since I don’t have a smaller dog to try it on, I’m not sure. My guess would be actually printing it out at different sizes, like 80%, and testing out the paper around your dog?

  13. Hi I have a 6 lb dog also and scaled it down to 80% I plan on making it this weekend. Is 80% a good size for a small reg size Chihuahua? Please let me know. Thanks,

    • Angela – I’m sorry that I can’t really answer this question. My best suggestion would be to print out the paper pattern at 100%, measure it, measure your dog, and go from there. I think it’s more a question of your dog’s rib cage size than his/her weight.

  14. Hi, I’m a new sewer making dresses and vests since 6 months. I can’t for the life of me figure out how to print your patterns. I see them layin a table in your photo but I don’t see how to print them or copy them to print. Can you explain how that’s done? Thx, Maria

    • Sure! There are some photos of this process on this blog post, if you take a look back through it. You want to print the pattern, making sure that auto-scaling is DESELECTED. I’ve put a square on the first pattern page that should measure at an inch exactly. If it doesn’t, your computer scaled the pattern to fit, and made it too small.

      Next, you’re going to tape the pattern together, so that like letters match up. There’s also a photo in the blog post showing this. You’ll need to trim the white border off the pages, so that they fit together correctly. Also, the clearest way to explain would be to scroll back through the post and look at the step by step pattern printing/cutting photos. Good luck!

      • Hi, I managed to print them and sew it and it came out beautiful. Now I would like to make one for an 80 pound Labrador.and a 25 pound dog. How would I go about making the adjustmentss, knowing that I got the basic shape of the pieces? I understand the neck, chest and back length measurements of the 2 bigger dogs but not sure how they are cut in half, in order to draw my patterns. Would you explain that in detail? Or could I get these patterns from you somehow in paper form?

  15. This is the easiest / best tutorial I have found for these! I love that there are no sleeves to deal with when putting it on your pup. I just whipped up a super fast, single layer, raw edge one for my little guy. I wanted to see his reaction to it before putting too much time and effort into it. He LOVES it. I’ll be making more for sure! :)

  16. Irina Clay says:

    I want to make this for my dogs, a 15lb mini schnauzer and a 65lb Pit. I’m somewhat a beginner at sewing. Do you have advice of how to scale or adjust your pattern to fit my dogs? Thank you, Irina

    • I’d suggest tracing the pattern out onto a large sheet of paper and seeing if it is close to fitting your 15 lb dog. You could probably trace around the pattern onto an even larger paper to create a custom pattern, adding inches all around. For the larger dog, I don’t think this pattern would work directly, but might give you a good idea of how to make your own much larger pattern. Good luck!

  17. NeekerBreeker says:

    My dog is a puppy, so I didn’t want to spend $ on something she’d outgrow, so I traced the pattern on one of my kids’ old coats. Just had to finish the edge, it worked great! Thanks for offering the pattern!

  18. This was a fun project to make, I had to expand the length/width since Winston weights 23 lbs, so what I did was add approx 2 inches to the fold area,, and that was fine……..it was even better since I used an old fleece blanket that Winston had ripped when he was a puppy….. He loves it…..Would love to show you a pic……

  19. Just finished one for my mini doxie. She is always cold and the knitted sweater I made her has stretched out. I did have to lengthen the straps (she is a little chubby!!) but she loves it and I will for sure be making her some more! I might have to grade it and make a few for our big dog :) Thanks for the pattern!!

  20. Thanks so much for this awesome pattern and tutorial. Every year as the weather gets colder I renew my efforts to make a coat for my dog, and my results are always subpar – until now! I found your tutorial last wednesday and whipped one up the next day, it took barely any time at all. I’ve written a post about it on my blog: http://hillonthehouse.wordpress.com/2013/11/03/a-house-coat-for-pup/
    and included pictures of my process and my dog wearing the new coat.

    Thanks again!
    Kap

    • I just visited your blog and enjoyed reading your post. Thanks for sharing how you made the pattern work on a larger dog. I get questions about that a lot, but I only have two small dogs to try things on. Hopefully others reading your comment will check out how you did it. Thanks!

  21. Irina Clay says:

    Hi, I managed to play with your pattern and make a coat for my Pit along with my Schnauther! I’m not sure how to post a pic on this blog, but here is the link to my FB picture!

    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10202225591179574&set=a.1629522456301.2090736.1183771609&type=1&theater&notif_t=photo_comment

  22. Sarah, This is such a nice “gift “to many dog owners, and their beautiful dogs. Thank you for caring about the pets, and enabling their owners. I donate a new handmade, custom,– coat to every dog that moves into my complex. I never charge for that first coat, and I feel good about seeing these little dogs warm and strutting around in their custom made coats. So many people in these times don’t understand these little guys get COLD! (Sometimes it is vanity that insures their comfort!) I make sure every coat is an “original”! Blessings to you for your big heart! I will make this lovely coat for my own dog Lincoln–and again, thank you! Sincerely , Judy Christofferson

    • In response to Judy Christofferson…how blessed your neighbors are to have you as a fellow furbaby friend! To make these adorable coats for them is just lovely…as for me I have yet to make one for my little Chihauhau Zoe…but I’ll get up the nerve to try one yet! :) God bless!

  23. Just finished making this fleece coat for my 15 lb. bichon, Cody. I made the first one according to your pattern but it was a bit small. Next time I enlarged it, made a few adjustments and it works fine. Also sewed a “buttonhole” on the top so the harness clip can come through. I used two doggie blankets I found at the Dollarama store as the fleece here was quite expensive.

  24. I decided to use this pattern to make a coat for my dog. He’s 20 lbs though and I had to adjust. First I added 1 inch all the way around the edge of the pattern. After cutting and trying it on him I decided that the “arms” just weren’t long enough for his girth. Using extra fleece I made tabs about 1″x3″ and attached the velcro to them before attaching them to the main body. I also skipped the collar. It’s cute but I didn’t think I needed it. One last thing, I bought a 1/2 yd remnant and found that with 60″ fleece, 1/2 yards can make at least two full coats. Your original yardage may be for 45″ fabric. Overall, this was an easy project. It’s a great one to do with your kids. The dog I’m sure appreciates a bit of extra warmth for the fall and winter.

  25. I have seen many of you indicate you would like to make the dog pattern for a large dog. Did anyone succeed and can you please send me it or indicate how to do it. I am struggling to learn how to do it. I need one for a 30 pounder and an 80 pound Labrador LOL.

    • I would just enlarge the pattern on a photocopier until it gets to the right size.

      • I thought of of that too but for an 80 pound lab, it would enlarge itself right off the paper and i havent legal size paper. (but i can get some but i dont think it would be big enuf) I already enlarged it 20% thru scaling in the print settings screen and that was for fittings up to 15 pound dogs. But 80?

  26. Thanks so much for this pattern. I used it very successfully on my Shih Tzu cross (result here: http://livingsimplybutwell.blogspot.com.au/2013/11/we-have-dog.html). Next time I make it I think I’ll make it a bit longer as my dog is quite long. I also used snaps rather than Velcro as I have a snap machine and didn’t want the Velcro getting caught in his hair. Thanks again.

  27. Thank you! We really needed this coat for our shivering 10 pound ChiWeenie and now she is so comfortable. I made the front straps a little shorter the second time since she’s so skinny and that one seems to fit a little better than the first (which is still a good fit). It was fun picking out her fabrics too! Here’s my blog post if you want to take a look. http://jonag.typepad.com/stop_staring_and_start_se/2013/11/my-dog-has-fleece.html

  28. Thank you SO much for this! I adapted the pattern for my (small) 45-pound Standard Poodle. She got a short haircut, and it’s been really cold recently. I finished the coat tonight and she seems cozy and happy with it.

    As for how to adjust the pattern, I copied your pattern, measured my dog’s back, chest/neck and belly, and then traced it onto brown paper. I then put the paper pattern on my dog and adjusted it before cutting out the fleece. It wasn’t hard. Having your pattern was incredibly helpful. Many thanks again!

  29. I just got new chihuahua mix and it’s December this is perfect pattern! Thank you!

  30. Thanks for this tutorial. I added a couple of inches to the length of this for my Shih Tzu. I tried three different techniques for making this and your technique worked best! I made a wool one for my daughter’s dog that I used lining and batting. This looked nice and was probably my second favorite. I also made one of double quilted fabric. I also like this, but I forgot to use bias binding. Next time I will use the bias binding. This made a nice coat to keep the water off. My favorite is one that I used fleece for the lining and a fuzzy type material for the top. I am not sure if you will be able to see the picture from FB or not. Here is the link.

    http://tinyurl.com/kn7kfuy or

    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10201657625535493&set=a.1446220628575.2061310.1024942702&type=1&theater

  31. Thanks for the pattern, it worked great for my Jackabee. I added just over an inch to the pattern. I also included the collar into the pattern, so I could eliminate some of the sewing. I’m going to try to share my facebook pic with you, I hope the link works. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10152124067103044&set=a.65653163043.71872.666983043&type=1&theater

  32. Joan Oegema says:

    Thank you for a fantastic pattern! I have made a couple coats for my puppy Lassie. She is a mutt, mama was a LlapsoApso and dad was a MultiPoo. No alterations were needed, the pattern fit perfectly! This morning I embroidered her name on the collar and she strutted her stuff through her puppy play time at Pet Smart. Many people inquired about her beautiful jacket and were surprised to find out I made it! Seriously, it fits better than anything available off the rack at the store. I see a wardrobe of jackets in Lassie’s future!i

  33. Martha B. says:

    Thank you for the great pattern! We are in MN and just adopted a chubby 6lb Chi. We are experiencing record-setting cold this weekend (-50 below!) and I needed a coat that would protect our little guy. I didn’t have time to go to the fabric store, so I bought a pair of kids fleece pants at Target. I made three minimal adjustments to the pattern: (1) I cut out the belly flaps separately from the pattern and moved them forward about an inch, then sewed them in at the same time as the collar. (2) I used one of the leg seams as the “fold”. (3) I cut out three of the body patterns. I sewed the collar and belly flaps to one piece. Then, I sewed the other two together to make one “double-thick” piece, and sewed that to the piece with the collar and belly flaps. It turned out perfectly in just a little over an hour – a super-warm, triple-thick fleece coat that cost less than $6!

  34. I wanted to take a minute to thank you for sharing this oh so simple pattern. EXACTLY what I was hoping to find!

  35. I’m the oddball here, as I’m a kitty-mama! One of our four is very petite, and shivers once “winter” sets in here in central TX. I had purchased a dog coat very much like the one you’ve made, but, like you mentioned, they’re not cheap, and over the years her siblings have helpfully groomed it to raggedy-ness! In planning on tackling this with some alterations for her body differences – thanks so much!!!

  36. Hello,
    I’m Fern from Thailand. I’m not speak English very well but I wanna say thank you very much. Your pattern is simple and easy yet cute! I made them from my old shirt and pyjamas. check them out here. :D (This is my very first time sewing)
    https://www.facebook.com/hedandhom/media_set?set=a.581720488583170.1073741825.100002356725822&type=3

  37. We have been having very severe cold weather this winter here in Iowa and my puppy Jake needed a coat. I was very lucky to find your website this noon and I knew I had some fleece on hand. I printed out the pattern, cut it out, placed it on the fleece and sewed it together in less than an hour! I just need to get the Velcro now! I love your pattern and it is going to be so warm for Jake! Thank you so much for giving very good details for making this puppy coat! Jake says, “Thank You”!!

    • It’s so cold here too! I need to make another jacket for Oliver that has snaps. Our puppy manages to yank off his Velcro jackets. Not her own jacket – his!

      Glad Jake is staying warm!

  38. Thank you so much go sharing your pattern! I’m planning to use it to make goat coats to help keep my goat kids warm this spring! :)

  39. Thank you for posting the pattern! I am scaling it much larger to fit my Doberman puppy! This will be perfect since she is ALWAYS cold and will save me a ton of money!

  40. Thank you so much for sharing your pattern! I scaled it up a little for my dachshund/poodle mix and whipped one up in less than 2 hours, including reworking the pattern. I just need to add the velcro (don’t have any on hand). I will make a few adjustments on the next one but I posted a couple of pictures on flickr if you’d like to see the first one: https://flic.kr/p/my9KxD (no, she doesn’t like having her picture taken!!)

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