DIY: Sew a Dog Vest Coat

The cozy vests keeps Mac warm in winter.

The cozy vests keeps Mac warm in winter.

You can provide a cozy covering for your canine friend by sewing a dog vest coat. New sewers should select a simple vest pattern, with straps at the neck and waist. Try to avoid patterns that feature sleeve holes for your dog's front legs, as setting sleeves is challenging.

Cut Out the Dog Vest

Fold the fabric in half and line up the pattern's fold line with the fabric's folded edge.

Pin the pattern to the fabric, placing the straight pins about 4 inches apart.

Cut the dog vest out, following the pattern's outer edge lines with the scissor blades.

Transfer printed marks, for positioning the hook and loop tape and the nylon strap, from the pattern to the fabric by gently pressing the tailor's chalk against the fabric.

Remove the pins that hold the pattern and fabric together.

Sew the Dog Vest

Fold the edge of the fabric up and over 1/2 inch all the way around the dog vest's outer edge, and use pins to hold the folded edge in place.

Pin the reflective tape to the outside of the dog vest so it sits directly on top of the folded fabric edge, completely covering the raw, folded edge.

Cut off excess tape that sticks out over the edge of the fabric.

Slowly sew around the outer edge of the reflective tape, top-stitching 1/8 inch from the tape's edge. This forms a simple hem, while the reflective tape hides the fabric's raw edge.

Top-stitch around the reflective tape's inner edge, being careful not to hit the pins, then remove the pins.

Cut the nylon strap in half and pin one piece to the tailor's chalk marks indicating the belt's position on the fabric.

Stitch the strap in place on both sides of the vest by sewing across the strap and sewing one 1-inch-square X shape across each strap, to secure the straps on each side.

Cut the hook-and-loop tape in half and put one section of hook-and-loop tape in place to secure the vest's neckline and pin it in place.

Put the vest on your dog and check to see if the neckline fits on your dog comfortably.

Adjust the hook-and-loop tape as needed, remove the vest, and top-stitch the hook-and-loop tape in place by sewing all the way around its outer edge.

Put the vest on your dog again and wrap the nylon strap around your dog so it overlaps below your dog's stomach.

Position the other section of hook-and-loop tape against the strap's overlap, make sure the hook and loop tape is positioned so it closes and sticks.

Cut off the excess strap that shows beyond the overlap, and then top-stitch the hook-and-loop tape to the strap's ends.

Remove the remaining pins.

Items you will need

  • 1/2 yard quilted waterproof fabric for medium-sized dog, more for a larger dog
  • Dog vest pattern in your dog's size
  • Straight sewing pins
  • Scissors
  • Tailor's chalk
  • Sewing machine
  • 1/2 yard 1-inch-wide nylon strap
  • 1 foot sew-on hook-and-loop tape
  • 3 yards reflective sew-on tape


  • Whenever you sew over pins, walk the needle over them so you do not break your needle or damage your sewing machine.
  • Patterns are labeled to accommodate a sewer's skill level, so if you're new to sewing, look for a pattern labeled "easy" or "beginner."
  • When choosing a dog vest pattern, measure from the base of your dog's neck to the base of its tail to determine your pet's size.

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About the Author

Laure Justice is a professional copywriter, since 2008. Justice has a broad-based business education, holding an AA in business administration and a Bachelor of Arts in management, plus certifications in accounting and international trade. She has written for GMC, Bounty Paper Towels, Purina's Petcentric, Colgate, Type F, Kudzu, eHow and many others.

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