How to Make Clothing for Potbelly Pigs

By Natalie Lyda

Potbellied pigs are considered exotic pets, and despite their typical pig appearance they can be very loyal and loving companions. The average potbellied pig weighs in at 120 to 150 pounds once fully grown, in comparison to its farm-dwelling cousins who may top the 1,000-pound mark at adulthood. Potbellied pigs have an average lifespan of 12 to 15 years, making them long-term additions to a family. Crafting clothing for your potbellied pig is an inexpensive way to help keep your animal warm, or you can simply dress it up for fun.

Measure the potbellied pig using a soft measuring tape. Record the circumference of the animal around its rib cage at the largest point. Also, record the length from the back of the neck to where the tail starts; the circumference of the neck; the length and circumference of the legs; and the width across the shoulders and across the hips. Take note of the length of the pig's underbelly so the garments do not cover the animal's genitals and become soiled when the animal relieves itself. You can use a dog clothing pattern of relative size for reference, if desired.

Decide what article of clothing you will be making for your pig. Popular clothing items for pigs include sweaters, tank top-style shirts or even dresses. Select a fabric that is appropriate for the article of clothing you have chosen to make by referencing the fabric recommendations on the pattern, if you're using one. Ideally, fabrics should have some sort of give, such as T-shirt material or other fabrics with a percentage of spandex, that allow for movement while helping alleviate any potential binding or discomfort of the animal.

Trace the pattern you have chosen onto the backside of the fabric using a fabric pen, following the pig's measurements. Using a basic pattern intended for dog clothing, as a guide, may help beginners create a usable pattern. Cut along the outlines of the pattern with scissors to create the required pieces to complete the outfit. For instance, a shirt pattern may require you to cut a front and backside that will be sewn together. Drape the pieces loosely over the potbellied pig to check approximate sizing.

Following the instructions included with the dog clothing pattern, prepare the article of clothing for sewing. On a flat surface, pin the various pieces of the fabric together according to the pattern diagram by using straight pins placed 6 to 8 inches apart. Measure the fabric once more to ensure it coincides with the measurements of your pig taken in Step 1. Reference the pattern instructions to connect the pieces of the pattern by sewing sturdy seams using a sewing machine.

Remove the straight pins as the seams are completed. Try the finished garment on the potbellied pig in a calm environment and monitor the animal to make sure it is comfortable.