Tiny Trash Can DIY cat sweater from a thrifted sweater

DIY cat (or dog) sweater

Meet Mocha, the newest addition to our family 😍 We adopted this sweet, talkative girl in October from SPCA Roussillon. She was considered a compassionate adoption due to her skin condition, but we’re working on getting her better 🤗

To prevent her from scratching herself and to keep her warm, I decided to make a little sweater for her. I bought an XL sweater at a Renaissance thrift store for $7.50. I thought this color would look beautiful on her, plus I love polka dots! 🤩 I chose a sweater that was a cotton-modal blend since I worried wool might irritate her skin even more 😬

DIY cat sweater made from a thrifted sweater

The body and turtleneck are made from one sleeve, her sleeves are made from the neckband, and the hem is made from the original hem. If I need another sweater for her, I’m pretty sure I could make a second one out of this same, secondhand sweater. Or I could fix up what’s left of it for myself so we’d have matching sweaters! 😂


DIY cat sweater (or small dog sweater)

Materials
Sweater (sleeve needs to be large enough for your animal)
Sharp scissors
Sewing machine
Matching thread
Needle

Instructions
1. Cut off one sleeve for the body of the sweater. Determine the desired length of the finished sweater, accounting for the height of the hem you’ll be adding and trim as necessary.

Instructions for how to make a DIY cat sweater from a sweater

2. Determine the required distance between the leg holes as well as the distance of the leg holes from the neckline. Mark the location of the holes, ensuring the seam is centered between the leg holes so it’s not visible from the top of the sweater. Cut two small holes with sharp scissors.

Instructions for how to make a DIY cat sweater from a sweater

(In order to do this, I carefully folded the sleeve so the part that would go between the legs was tucked in then cut a semicircle to cut both holes at the same time.)

Instructions for how to make a DIY cat sweater from a sweater

Tip: Make sure to cut these holes smaller than you think you’ll need since they’ll stretch. Plus, you can always make the holes bigger, but you can’t make them smaller 😉

3. Cut out the neckband below the seam. You’ll use this to make the sleeves.

Instructions for how to make a DIY cat sweater from a sweater

4. Determine what you want the circumference of the leg holes to be then add an inch for seam allowances (i.e., if you want the circumference to be 4 inches, then you’ll need 5 inches). Cut two strips from the neckband.

5. Fold each strip in half with right sides facing in and pin in place. Sew edges together with a zigzag stitch (this will help the knit maintain some stretch) a half inch from the edge. Then run a zigzag stitch along the actual edge to keep the edges from fraying.

Instructions for how to make a DIY cat sweater from a  sweater

6. Now comes the hard part! Turn the body of the sweater inside out. Put the newly sewn sleeves into the leg holes with right sides touching and raw edges together. Determine where you want the sleeve seams to be (I made sure mine were toward the bottom of the sweater). Pin together, stretching as needed. Baste seams together and remove pins. Sew together on the sewing machine using a zigzag stitch then finish edges with another zigzag stitch.

7. To finish the bottom of the sweater, measure the circumference of the bottom of the sleeve and add one inch. Cut a strip of ribbing from the hemline. Make sure to cut above the ribbing.

Instructions for how to make a DIY cat sweater from a sweater

8. Fold strip in half with right sides facing in. Sew edges together with a zigzag stitch a half inch from the edge. Then run a zigzag stitch along the actual edge to keep the edges from fraying. You should now have a ring.

9. Pin together the newly sewn hemline to the sweater with right sides touching and raw edges together. Determine where you want the hem seam to be (I put mine along the belly, lined up with the sleeve seam). Sew together on the sewing machine with a zigzag stitch a half inch from the edge then finish edges with a zigzag stitch.

Instructions for how to make a DIY cat sweater from a sweater

10. Turn sweater right side out and put it on your pet! I find it’s easiest to put the sweater over my cat’s head from behind, then coax her legs into the sleeves.

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