Before I got a dog, I thought I’d love to sew little doggy clothes. Once I got a dog, it seemed to be such fussy sewing that I just bought the things Linus needed. Except, a coat. Well, I bought him a little cape for winter, but it’s terrible. It’s not very warm — he’s still freezing when we go out now that it’s cold. It’s a little too big for him. Third, it’s got a satin lining with velcro closures. So the lining is all stringy and chewed up now from the velcro.
After reading Peter’s post and his notation the he doesn’t skimp on dog coats, I decided I needed to take matters in to my own hands and make Linus a cape / coat. This morning I dug up my 12-2011 Burda and traced out the dog cape from the British Style section. The whole project took less than two hours.
Now, before you roll your eyes and think I’m silly and doesn’t need a coat, he really does get cold. He’s a chihuahua which are Mexican dogs. He is bald as a billard and has short thin hair and zero hair on his belly and little body fat. Last week he started wearing a wool sweater I bought for him during the day. Otherwise, he shivers in the house. And not shivers in a little nervous dog way. Shivers in a ‘Can you please turn up the heat and get some insulation in the attic? I am freezing what’s left of my testicles off’.
The pattern calls for two layers of fabric. I decided to use a 3/4 remnant of Pendleton Wool from the Carol Collection.
The lining / inside is a Burberry pre-quilted lining. It’s from my failed lined trench coat project.
I didn’t change much. I just shortened the length by 2 inches at center back. For the ‘belt’ and neck tab, I added reflective tape to the fabric. I’d had this in the stash from my rain gear project for my bike trip to the Netherlands.
The reflective tape seems to work great (below)!
We were walking late two nights ago and were almost hit by a car. Seriously. It came within a foot of us in the middle of the cross walk. If I had not pulled him in to the air by his leash, he would have been crushed. I was so freaked out I had tears my eyes. Since then, I’ve been walking him with my IKEA safety vest on myself. I don’t know if they didnt’ see us or they were being jackasses.
I have reflective piping. Next time I’ll add it to the collar. I don’t have the buckles on hand so I’ve got it tied here. But, will order a few this week for the belt.
I think this would work great in just about any material. I need to make him a waterproof version for cold and rain / snow. I’ll make a third when it warms up to wear just as a rain coat.
If I were to change anything else, I might make the collar a little smaller. It kind of overwhelms his frame. And, I’ll add an inch back to the length of the cape. I’d also like to add a second belt to help the back of the cape stay secure / close to the body instead of peeking up and letting in the cold. Or, place dart in the back to snug up the fit in the rear. Finally, I’m going to take an inch out of the width or make a dark at the neck to keep it closer to his frame.
Oh, and I knew the coat was a success before I started. He’d already made a bed of it while I was prepping the pattern for cutting.