As we all know, there are very few dogs that store-bought sweaters fit well, if at all. And most patterns out there are to specific measurements and those are sometimes just crazy! This is why I began the patterns to custom-fit sweaters. Because every pattern is crazy different but none of them seem to be anywhere near the same!
I have a 12lb Rat Terrier with an 18.5inch chest. She is 13inches long and weighs 12lbs. This is not an uncommon unbalance with the breed- the females especially have a big rib cage for a little dog, but all dogs are just enough different to make them not want to share sweaters!
Here are a few examples measurements of popular free pattern sites:
Bernat: Pagan wears something between a Medium and a Large
Redheart: Pagan wears between a Small and a Medium
Lion Brand: Pagan wears a Medium.
Every single one of these sweater are 5 or more inches too long for her and would have the armholes somewhere around the bottom of her rib cage.
And these are just 1 sweater from these sites. Every sweater is different!
Here are some examples of sizes from crochet sweaters for sell on Etsy:
Seller A: Pagan wears between a Medium and a Large. All the sweaters are the same length no matter the chest size.
Seller B: Pagan is an XLarge. There is no sweater length given. This sweater is actually offered in custom-sizes- and they have a link to this blog (my video) to measure your dog. haha
Seller C: Goes entirely by weight. Pagan is a Medium with no sweater measurements given at all.
And patterns for sell on Ravelry:
Seller A: There are 2 sizes given in ranges, Pagan being at the top range of a Medium.
Seller B: Size Small only, but in a 14lb range for that one size which Pagan falls into the top end of.
And that was the only sweaters I found that gave any variety at all in sizes or stated the sizes. Most stated they were sweaters for a specific breed of dog. This would be great if all dogs of a breed were exactly the same size. They are not.
So let's move on to sweater size charts on the internet.
Example 1: Says the best way to find the right size sweater is by weight and has them divided up by every 5-8 lbs. And then it gives the sweater sizes by length with 4 inch gap. According to this chart, Pagan wears both an XS and a Medium.
Example 2: A very limited chart, but amazingly it has an example almost spot on to Pagan's measurements. According to this seller, Pagan is an XLarge.
Example 3: Chart is almost identical to the above, only this time Pagan is an XXLarge.
Example 4: Goes entirely by body length. Pagan is an XXSmall.
Websites that give sweater sizes by breed:
Example 1: No Rat Terrier listed. All terriers are listed as Medium-size dogs. Their medium measurements would fit Pagan pretty well, but Pilot is also a terrier and their medium is too small and their large would be huge on him.
Example 2: Has Rat Terrier in standard and toy. Wow. Only what they call standard is more like mini size. There is no mention of mini. Close but no banana.
Example 3: No Rat Terrier listed. They have 2 charts by back length with no distinction about which is for which. Pagan is a small on one and falls in between the cracks on the second since they skipped her measurement entirely.
I guess that explains why I learned to crochet in the first place- and probably why you found my patterns- because it seems to be a universal problem that people want to sell their goods not really caring how appropriate the sizing is. And not to criticize other designers, but there is a big difference between dogs even of the same breed and even as fair as you try to be about informing up front before purchase, not everyone pays attention to that until it's too late- and then they are going to be very unhappy about it later. That's just how it goes.
My advice for anyone buying a pattern: If you have had trouble getting a store-bought pattern to fit your dog, chances are patterns are going to fit poorly, too. Look for patterns like mine that say custom fit or ones that boast 'easily adjustable'. And then read and follow the instructions given. You can't take shortcuts when making garments whether it is for a hat or slippers or dogwear. If you want all your work to actually fit, follow the instructions.
So... all this to say- I am beginning a database of breed measurements. Anyone who finds this page, please comment with your dog's stats (see below) and I will add them to the database as I can! And thanks so so much because this is going to help for in the future when people want to create sweaters for a rescue or fund-raiser, they will have a good variety of sizes for that specific breed to go by!
Measuring your dog for a sweater
Please include in comments below:
Height at Withers (if known)
Breed or mix or closest guess
If you represent or work closely with a breed rescue and would like to learn about discounted versions of patterns available for donation, please email me with the subject line: fund-raiser sweaters.
by Jenna Wingate at 12:44 PM
A classic look made to fit. Exclusive crochet formula from A Dog In A Sweater. The best method for crochet pet wear! Custom-fit to your dog and your stitching!
This particular sweater is worked flat then trimmed as a cardigan, but it is sewn closed so it fits more securely and will go on and off over the head like a pullover. There is no risk of popped buttons and naked dogs.
Note: This pattern requires you to make ONE gauge swatch and get accurate measurements of your dog. These numbers are worked into an exclusive formula resulting in the best possible dog sweater fit. The pattern itself is very simple, but there is a little work to be done before you can begin crocheting.
This is a 7page pdf download with 4 pages of instructions and tips and 3 pages of low-graphic printable pattern. It is written in American English. Pattern support is available via EMAIL ONLY. With the purchase of this pattern, you have permission to sell your finished product or commission custom-fit sweaters from friends and family. This formula will allow you to do this without having the dog handy for fittings. I only ask for a link back to the blog, store, or fb page if you post online.
• Yarn: worsted weight (#4weight) in 2 colors
• 2 Hooks: Size I/9 5.50mm & H/6 5.0mm
• Small buttons* (optional)
• Stitch Markers
• Measuring Tape
• Paper & Pencil
• Tapestry Needle
Stitches Used: Chain, single crochet, back loop only, slip stitch, increase, decrease, single crochet drop stitch
explanations given for these stitches.
explanations given for these stitches.
The amount of yarn needed will vary. For a 24lb dog, I used 5.5oz of black and 4oz of white.
Purchase the crochet patterns to make these fabulous breed ornaments! Easy, quick, uses scrap yarn. All embroidered features so you don't have to purchase more supplies!
Pattern support via EMAIL ONLY.
Comment for breed requests!
See the details on Ravelry
download now FREE!
coming next season!
Comment for Requests!