I decided to bust out the sewing machine this afternoon and whip up a little t-shirt for Hoover, our four-month-old puppy. He’s a gnawing (and growing) machine, but the Mr. likes Hoover to be dressed up, so I figured I’d throw something together with stash fabric for funsies.
For a pattern, I looked to millamilla on Etsy. I’d used a free pattern from her website before, and found it easy to understand and assemble. This time, I splurged on the Dog Clothes 3-Way T-Shirt pattern. It came with two instant-download PDF files: the first being the pattern pieces, and the second being the instructions (or “recipe”). The pattern pieces printed on six pages, and I appreciated that thought was put into placing as many pieces as possible on each page so as not to waste my paper or ink. One minor issue I had was that I have an older inkjet printer that can’t handle printing to the very edge of the paper, so the pattern pieces occasionally went over the margins and I had to hand-draw some bits. Not a deal-breaker, but something you may want to consider if you have an older printer.
The instructions were clear and geared toward an advanced-beginner level sewist. It assumed that you had some basic techniques, such as easing in set-in sleeves. The pattern doesn’t require an overlock machine (serger), and for this iteration, I just used my handy-dandy regular machine (couldn’t be bothered to set up the serger, if I’m being honest), but for the next iteration, I’ll be using my serger. I feel like it would just give a better result and might even make some of the seams easier to sew.
I love the end result; in about two hours I had a cute, basic t-shirt that fit my dog perfectly. The pattern size lined up perfectly with his actual measurements, and the neck didn’t gape (an issue I’ve had with past dog t-shirts I’ve tried to make). I’ll definitely make this one again.