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How to Make a Tuxedo for a Dog

| Updated September 26, 2017

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape

  • Pencil

  • Scissors

  • Pins

  • Needle and black thread

  • Sewing machine

  • Velcro pieces

  • One yard of black fabric, 44 inches wide

  • One recycled dress shirt

  • Black satin fabric for tie

  • One snap

  • Six buttons for front of coat

  • Two fancy buttons, silver or gold

  • Silver or gold chain, 6 inches in length

  • Large sheet of paper or a paper bag for pattern

Your dog isn't likely to attend any black-tie events, but you never know when your dog may need to look his best. Dressing up can be fun if your dog is game. If you're attending a dog-friendly event, a suit may be in order. You can order a tuxedo for your dog from a commercial site, but a custom DIY project can ensure that your dog looks his best in a tux that fits perfectly.

Measure your dog to make your custom pattern and note each measurement. Measure his length from the top of his spine at the back of his neck to just above his tail. Measure his girth, which is the widest part of his chest, and measure from the top of his spine to where you measured his girth. Measure his width from shoulder to shoulder across the front of the dog, under his chin. Your final measurement will be around your dog's neck.

Lay out your sheet of paper in preparation of drawing your pattern. The length will be simple. Use the exact measurement of the length of your dog. Draw the length out across the top of the paper, using your pencil. Imagine your dog standing sideways in front of you with his head at your left and his tail at your right. This is how you'll draw out your pattern. Your girth measurement on your pattern will start at the measurement you took from the top of his spine to where you measured his girth. If it's 4 inches, for example, start your girth measurement 4 inches in from the left. Draw a line down your pattern the distance of your girth measurement minus 5 inches, divided by 2.

Draw a slight arc downward from the left end of your length measurement, equal to half of your dog's neck size. Connect this point to the end point of your girth measurement with your pencil, using a slight arc. Continue drawing your pattern toward your dog's tail area, arcing upward slight as you go, and then level out parallel to the length measurement. Connect this final measurement with a straight line from the end of your length measurement. This will square off the pattern above your dog's tail.

Cut out your tux pattern using your scissors.

Lay your pattern over your dog. Make any adjustments now so that your fabric will be cut correctly.

Draw a small pattern for the tails of the tux. Draw a straight line downward equal in distance to the straight line at the right end of your pattern. Draw another straight line from the top point of your initial line, toward the right, equal in distance to your first line. Connect these two lines with an arc as if you were making a quarter of a circle.

Fit the recycled dress shirt around your dog's neck. Measure your dog's neck before you buy your shirt. A child's shirt will work for smaller dogs.

Button the shirt completely. Cut the front of the shirt so that the width that remains will be able to fit between your dog's front legs. Cut upward toward the collar, stopping 3 inches from the collar, and then cut around the neck, leaving the same 3 inches all the way around. This will be underneath the tux.

Cut the shirt front that remains so it will long enough to extend through the dog's legs, ending at the point where you circled his chest for the girth measurement.

Pin all the cut edges of the shirt. Run a 1/4-inch hem along each to prevent fraying, using the sewing machine.

Cut a thin strip of the leftover shirt material long enough to run around the dog's girth, connecting both sides of the shirtfront. Hem edges with 1/4-inch hem. Sew one end of the strip to one side of the shirt. On the other end, attach a Velcro piece. Attach the connecting piece of Velcro to the other side of the shirt, so that you can wrap the strap up over your dog's girth. This will keep the shirt snug against your dog's chest.

Lay out your main pattern and tail pattern on your black material, and pin.

Cut out the patterns.

Attach your tail piece to the tail end of your main pattern, using your sewing machine.

Hem all edges with a 1/4-inch hem.

Place the shirt part of your tux on your dog. Carefully pin your finished tux around the neck of your tux shirt, as you'll attach the coat to the shirt with your sewing machine. If you're unable to do this because your dog is fidgety or frightened, or you don't have a second set of hands to help, consider using the arm of your sofa to lay your shirt across. You don't want to injure your dog by poking him with a pin.

Attach your buttons, three on each side, down the front of your tux coat.

Attach your small piece of chain across your tail piece, by using a couple of stitches on each end. Attach your silver or gold buttons to the back of the tux on each side of your tail piece, over each end of the chain, just as they'd be on the back of a tux.

Cut a small rectangle, 4 inches square, from the black satin fabric. Fold in half with the inside of the fabric out and pin. Stitch three sides with your sewing machine, turn inside out, and close the fourth side using your sewing machine or a hand stitch. Using your needle, thread it through the center of your tie and pull until the center of the tie begins to close like an accordion. Run the needle back through the center again, repeat two more times, and knot your thread. Cut a small piece of your satin fabric to cover the center of your tie. You'll want to stitch the edges so they don't fray. Wrap this piece around the center of the tie, and hand stitch it closed.

Sew one piece of the snap to the back of the tie and the other piece of the snap to the top button of the shirt. This way your tie will snap right on your shirt.


  • Keep scissors away from children.

    Do not pin your costume on your dog if you're at all uncertain about the steadiness of your hands or your dog's behavior during fitting.