How To: Make a Dog T-Shirt
These five steps are all you need to achieve dog T-shirt success.

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T-shirts for dogs are all the rage, but how can you make your dog look unique?

If your dog is willing to cooperate, you can follow these basic tips to make your dog their own T-shirt.


With your dog standing still and upright, measure the length of your dog’s neck where the collar sits, the length from the collar to the base of the tail and the chest size at its thickest point just behind the front legs.

If you want to make sleeves, you will also have to measure the length of your dog’s legs. The shirt shouldn’t be too tight, so add a few inches to these measurements for comfort.

How to Make a Dog T-shirt 1


You can download or buy a sewing pattern instead of making your own. There aren’t many places that offer free patterns for dog T-shirts, but there are a couple: Dogs Clothes Patterns and The Charlotte Letters.

A variety of patterns to make dog shirts are also available on Amazon, Ebay and Etsy.

Try the pattern by pinning it around the dog’s body and make modifications as needed. Cut the fabric following your pattern’s shape, and then carefully sew the pieces together.

Remember to add the hem for the bottom of the shirt and the sleeves.

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Open your photo or sketch in a graphics editor like Photoshop (best for photos) or Illustrator (best for logos and stylized artwork).

If you are working with a sketch, trace it with the help of the Pen tool, adjusting stroke thickness and color. If it’s a photo, adjust saturation, brightness and contrast to make it pop. For more fun, match the design to your dog’s personality and the occasion.

Save the file as a printer-friendly format, like JPEG or PDF.

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The quickest way to add a design to your dog T-shirt is to buy iron-on transfer paper. Transfer sheets are very easy to work with and are available in most office supply stores.

After printing, apply firm pressure while ironing the fabric. Let it cool before peeling. Remember to wash the shirt gently in cold water.

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If you aren’t the crafty type and all you want is to have your doggie’s tee ready now, you can take advantage of sites like Zazzle and UberPrint. These online printing services have customizable pet apparel for the dog lovers out there.

You just have to choose the item’s model, color and size and upload your artwork. They’ll take care of the rest.

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While not every dog likes to wear clothes, those that don’t mind will be looking stylish in original threads designed by you. Remember, make sure your dog will feel comfortable, take the time to choose the right materials and size it carefully.

Pattern preview courtesy of Dogs Clothes Patterns.

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About the Author
Kenny Austin is an expert of print quality and accuracy, product analysis, and print production processes.
Kenny and the team order print jobs from every major printer to test quality, value, customer service, and more. See their reviews here:

2 Comments

  1. ha, thanks for this, i never even thought of making a shirt for my dog, i always buy them at the store.

    • Kenny Austin
      Kevin Austin (Printaholic.com)

      You’re very welcome. I am sure your dog will love whatever you make for him, especially a nice shirt!

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