Kimono Dog Harness Pattern + Tutorial

on March 7 | in Sewing Tutorials + Patterns | by | with 39 Comments

Jill Myslinski uses her time away from her busy restaurant (Acorn Market in Salisbury, Maryland) to sew and create outside of the kitchen. She designed this cute and functional Kimono Dog Harness Tutorial for her dog, and wanted to share it with you and your dog too. You can download your free PDF Kimono Dog Harness Pattern today! Visit Jill’s Acorn Market blog for more, and if you think you can use the pattern give Jill a big THANKS! in the comments…

My Pomeranian/poodle mix Coco loves to go for a walk. Even though she is only 10lbs, she pulls when on a leash. I purchased a small nylon webbing style harness and it helped. But it wasn’t cute. So I took a look at the way it was engineered and duplicated the idea with soft, cuddly fabric. You simply slip your dog’s front paws through the loops and wrap it across his/her back. Velcro will keep it snug. Set aside an hour and make your best friend one soon.

You will need:

  • Free PDF Pattern Download
  • Tape measure
  • 1/3 – 1/2yd. cotton fabric (corduroy and cotton duck are fine as well)
  • 1/3 – 1/2yd. polar fleece
  • 1 package of bias binding ( or make your own)
  • 2 small D-rings (brass or stainless steel)
  • 1 package of Velcro (hook and loop tape)
  • 1/2yd. 5/8” grosgrain ribbon
  • Thread

1. Measure your dog carefully. Place the tape measure just behind the front paws. Now divide that measurement by 2. Then add 2 ½.” Your final measurement is what you will need to reduce or enlarge the pattern. Take it to the copy center and reduce or enlarge the pattern until the dashed line at the bottom is the same number.
Example: Coco measures 18”. Divide by two = 9. Add 2 1/2” = 11 ½”. I used this number.

2. Layout your fabric. Fold fabric (both print and fleece) with selvages at the top. This will ensure that the grain is perpendicular to the tummy band and will keep it from stretching out as you sew. Cut through the folded fabric once for each fabric giving you two mirror image pieces.

3. With right sides together, sew each piece to its partner. Use a 3/8” seam allowance. Press seams open. Repeat with fleece.

4. With WRONG sides together, pin the cotton fabric to the fleece. There is a small amount of extra fabric at your seam line (for puppy tummies) so you will need to line everything up pretty well. Stay stitch around the entire piece. Stay close to the edge and trim away any sloppy edges.

5. Binding. I use my own, but packaged works well too. There are plenty of good tutorials out there so read up if you are a beginner. Remember, your dog won’t mind if it’s a little sloppy. I like to open the binding and sew it on the top first, using about a 3/8” allowance. Then wrap the folded edge around the back and press, press, press. Carefully stitch in the ditch from the front and you should catch the folded edge around the back.

6. With the fleece side facing you, pull the straps toward you and pin to the closure flaps. There is a mark on the pattern for reference. The strap on the left will go under the flap, the strap on the right will lay on top. Pin and sew across at the binding, hiding the stitches in the ditch. Do not trim excess. Repeat for the right side.

7. Now cut your ribbon into 4 equal pieces. Using two pieces, catch the D-ring and pull the ends together. Place the ribbon at the bottom of the flap on the same side as the strap. Safety Pin it in place. Do the other side the same way. Pin.

* This is a good time to fit the harness on your dog. Make sure the rings line up. Make sure it is snug, but not tight. Wrap the left side flap over the right and line up the rings. The shoulder straps should just meet in the middle. Adjust if necessary and stitch them down just as before in the binding ditch. Refer to the pattern for a reference mark.

8. Cut four pieces of ¾” hook and loop tape about 3” long. Two hook and two loop. Clip the corners off of each one if desired as in photo. Pin the loopy side to the inside of the left band encasing the raw ends of the strap and the ribbon. Stitch the two close together, making sure to go all the way around. Repeat on the right side.

9. Now your Kimono Harness is complete!

Slip your dogs paws through the straps, wrap the bands over his/her back and secure. Clip in your leash and you are off. I promise your dog will love it.

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39 Responses to Kimono Dog Harness Pattern + Tutorial

  1. Great post, I’m a huge dog lover myself.

  2. Bobbi M says:

    @ Beth T – I have a 50 pound English Pointer. I make an adjustable harness for her that I designed. I have made harness’ for friends dogs ranging from 12 lbs to a Great Pyr weighing in at 120 lbs. I make harness’ alone and even started making ensembles with leash, harness, poop bad and a human pocketbook in matching material and have a picture of that if you want to see it. Contact me if you would like me to make one using your dogs measurements out of less than wonderful fabric and mail it to you to confirm fit. Based on your input I can make any changes then mail you the pattern I create so you can make them for your baby yourself. [email protected]

  3. SusanM:) says:

    Could you use minky fabric instead of polar fleece?

  4. Kacy says:

    I love this! I was ready to buy one of those mesh ones to use as a guide. Thank you thank you.
    Making my Chi a bunch for holidays and camping

  5. Nikell says:

    This is so cute!! My little Minnie will look stunning in this! It’s much better than the plain harnesses. Thanks for sharing! (^_^)

  6. Jill Myslinski says:

    Kelly – As much as I hate to – I have to say no. I own a very busy restaurant and I simply don’t have the extra time to help you out. Go to your local fabric store and ask one of the clerks. They usually have sewing experience and may like to assist you with this project.
    Thanks again, everyone for your kind words. Email me pictures of your pet in his/her Kimono Harness at [email protected]
    Jill

  7. TB says:

    I love love love that…
    I am sure my little teddy go love something like that…
    thank you so much for share!!
    I just LOVE IT!!
    TB
    http://madebyheartbytb.blogspot.com

  8. Sonja says:

    Thank you for this great idea, I’m making one for my cat.
    The first try didn’t fit so I have to start over. Maybe I should have printed the pattern but my printer does not work and so I copied it “by eye”.

    We live between two streets and our old cat was hit by a car. So Nemo only goes outside with a leash but she hates her harness because I have to pull it over her head. Every time I put it on, she bites and scratches as I would try to kill her.

    I tried the fit of the new one several times and each time she fighted less against it. The last time worked without scratching, she tried only one small jump. So I think she likes it much more.

    I will add a snap near her neck so she really can’t get out the harness.

  9. Beth T. says:

    These are darling. I wish our dogs weren’t so darned big! They are between 40 and 90 lbs and their harnesses are functional but ugly. I can attest to harnesses being the way to go, though; they are so much easier on a dog’s throat an neck.

  10. bunbytes says:

    That’s one chic dog! Thanks for the cute tute!

  11. Thank you, Jill! This looks like something my skills can handle. I’m going to make the harness for my indoor cat, who is about 7-8 pounds. We’ve been talking about buying a harness so that we can take her on walks, but nothing out there looks as comfortable as yours. :-)

  12. Kelly Butler says:

    Jill Myslinski….Do you think you would be willing to sell me one of these harnesses for my 8 lb. Yorkie? I love the way it looks on your pooch. I have a muscular disease and I do not have enough strength in my hands to sew and I don’t have a sewing machine?
    Would you be willing Ms. Myslinski? I hope to hear from you.
    Kelly

  13. Lisa says:

    This is a perfect harness for my Chihuahuas they HATE regular collars and store harnesses don’t fit right. Thank You

  14. Linda says:

    What a great idea, thanks for the pattern! My mom has a dog this would be perfect for.

    You have been awarded The Versatile Blog Award! Display the badge on your blog by using the HTML code below. I have removed the first left vee

  15. Katy Madsen says:

    Thank you so much. I have 2 granddaughters I can make this for.

  16. Jill Myslinski says:

    Glad you are all enjoying the Kimono Harness Tutorial! Measure just behind the front paws – all the way around the chest. This will be the length of the wrap band. SInce the pattern is only half of the harness – divide this number by 2, giving you two pieces of fabric that you will stitch to make one. Add the extra 2 1/2″ to allow for the velcro overlap on each side.! Easy, peasy.

  17. Connie says:

    How cute! This would be perfect for my daughter’s dog!

  18. Linda K. says:

    This is genius! Thank you so much for sharing it. I have a 10-pound Yorkie with throat issues and I have a hard time finding harnesses that ride low enough on her chest that they don’t make her cough. This is the perfect solution because if I make it myself, I can adjust it to ride even lower on the chest. Not to mention that I can make it in a fabric with a really girly design.

    I’m a little confused about the measuring, though. You say to place the tape measure behind the paws and divide the measurement by 2. I’m not sure exactly what I’m measuring. Do you mean to measure around the chest with the tape measure behind the legs?

  19. Jacque says:

    Wonderful idea, and thanks for the pattern!

  20. Caitlin says:

    My chug Bailey has been needing a new harness and I have just the right fabric. Thank you so much for putting together a pattern I’ve always wanted to make for her one myself :)

  21. Pam in IL says:

    My little 4 lb mix has a herniated disc in her neck and shoulder area and the vet said we could only use a harness, but none on the market fit! This is perfect and perfect timing!!

    Thanks so much for sharing.

  22. Annie A says:

    This is perfect for my little Ziva! And, I will definitely stop and say hello (and show off the harness) on the way to OC this summer. Always take the bypass but now have a reason to go through town. Thanks so much.

  23. Pam says:

    Thanks for the pattern, I have one of the mesh type, but I don’t think it is “manly” enough for my little guy. Will be making a couple of these, I think he may need a few.

  24. Carole says:

    Elvis, our 10-pound red poodle, gets a ‘new wardrobe’ this weekend! He “Thanks You” – and so does his ‘Mommy’.

  25. Cute, cute, cute!

  26. Art4Kelly says:

    thank you Jill! Scooter is going to LOVE this harness. He had one that was similar but more like a vest. it did not do well with his fluffy fur. I am excited to get this project going.

  27. Suzanne says:

    that is doggone cute!

  28. Sarah says:

    I am definitely making this for my little Frenchie. He has some odd proportions for a dog as small as he is so making a custom harness seems like the perfect idea!

  29. THANK-YOU SO MUCH. My little yorkie weighs 4 pounds and this is perfect for her! Thanx for your generosity in publishing this for all of us to use!

  30. Heather says:

    That could work as a child’s harness too! My daughter was always dashing off when she was a toddler…to bad they didn’t have such comfortable harnesses then!

  31. Joan says:

    Love this harness. Could you please clarify where the measurements are taken?

  32. What a great idea! I’m going to try to make one for my cat, believe it or not! Love the pup!

  33. Suzanne says:

    That looks much more comfortable than most doggie harnesses! What a fabulous tutorial!

  34. Faye Nettles says:

    My little Boston, Roxy, will love this harness for comfort. I love it because it’s adorable.

  35. Melinda says:

    Now I want to know how Jill got that cute little dog to sit so pretty for the pictures!

  36. IRENE HOLMES says:

    Love this pattern! Will be making one this weekend!!Thanks!

  37. Lisa L. says:

    Cute! Wish I had a pup to make this for! :)

  38. OMG, this is EXACTLY what I need. I’ve been looking for a soft harness for my cocker/poodle Dusty, but none out there fit his deep chest without being too big overall.

    Thanks so much! BTW, love Salisbury – I live north of Baltimore, but my sister worked at SU for many years.

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