Burda 12-2011 #148: Pendelton Wool Dog Cape


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.


  1. The coat turned out so well!

    So glad no one was hurt. They were probably jerks to get so close to you in a crosswalk, but if it was late, not well lit, and you had dark clothes on, it’s entirely possible that they didn’t see you. I used to drive to work in the dark, and there were 2 women with dogs who regularly walked in the street without any reflective anything — I almost hit them twice, the second time even after I knew to look for them, and I still didn’t see them until I was almost on top of them.

    • I think you may well be right. I’ve seen people walking and running while driving and thought to myself, ‘They need reflective gear’. But, hadn’t been doing it myself. Especially since it gets dark here around 5:00 p.m. now. I had an idea to make a coat with reflective trim and it just escaped me. But, now, I do feel safer with my vest on. And, hopefully he’ll be a little visible too.

  2. I think the tweaks you’ve got in mind for future versions are spot-on, but version 1 is a mighty handsome creation. Glad you’re both ok–stay safe out there!

  3. So very cute! My favorite picture is of him asleep in his sweater on the makings of his new coat! peaceful. Glad he has you to care for him! I live where winter usually brings weeks of subzero weather & much snow. Several yrs ago we bought a dog coat with a solid chest & belly & step in front leg holes. It wraps to the top back & is velcroed together there….covering from the neck to tail! It is nylon so snow doesn’t cling with a quilted lining. In bad weather Maizy seems to enjoy that coat the most, evidenced by her eagerness to be outdoors. That style might just not work quite as well on a make dog though! I’ve altered it for growth & mended for wear…..thanks for the inspiration to make a new one! Love your blog!

  4. So so cute! I like the collar, but a teensy bit smaller might be better.

    June is right, sometimes it is really hard to see people (or bikes!). Someone walked right out of my blind spot (car frame/drivers-side rearview mirror) as I was turning – about scared both of us to death. Now that it’s dark am and pm commute, I have to watch more carefully – still, as a driver I wish peds would wear only white, lol, and as a pedestrian I wish drivers would just chill the heck out and watch more.

  5. Having gone from an only big hairy dog home to a big hairy dog and a small cock-a-poo home, I can relate to this post and coat. Our dog has what looks like thick fur, but in fact it’s sparse and he gets cold very easily. I knew I was going to have to break down and purchase a coat for him this winter (ugh), but after seeing your project, not only do I not feel like a “Hilton wannabee” but I am going to make his coat. Hoping to find this pattern or one that is similar. It’s adorable and so “manly yet oozing with class”. Thank you for sharing and don’t feel badly at all – Small dogs, at least I am finding, require one to eat crow constantly if someone was like me and rolled their eyes at what seemed like the absolute spoiled nature of these pets … mine is the at the top of the spoiled list.

  6. So cute – the cape and the pup! And so fashionable!!! Thanks for sharing this.

  7. He looks very cosy in his cape 🙂 The reflective tape (and your vest) are great ideas for walking of a night too.

  8. That is the most stylish dog coat I have ever seen. The big collar suits him! Dogs do not need coats here in Sydney but when my mother had a chihuahua I made her a combination coat/harness with velcro tabs under the chest to keep it on and a ring sewn onto the bag for clipping on the lead. She hated collars and wouldn’t keep one on but loved the little red coat because she associated it with going walkies.

  9. I. Love. This! This is the most stylish dog clothing I have seen, and practical too! I work at a vet clinic and have seen a lot of pet clothing, so no exaggeration here!

  10. I love the coat! It’s adorable, as is your dog. I have a dog raincoat that has adjustable (with slides) loops of elastic around the back corners that you slip their back legs into. It really helps keep the raincoat from sliding around, and it doesn’t seem to bother our dog.

  11. did the jackasses not say sorry?! i’m livid right now.

    that’s the most beautiful doggy coat i’ve ever seen. makes me wish long haired cats liked garments…

  12. Why have dogs if you aren’t going to care for them?! I think it is natural that a sewist of your talents would make a custom garment for your dog. My little dogs are giving me the evil eye right now. We want custom garments! This coat is so handsome and practical. Linus is lucky to have you as his minion.

  13. Incredibly chic and sweet. What a lucky dog. As I read your post I hid the screen so my canine pal, Kelly, would not be jealous. Just thinking the word “cute” about another dog gets her all worked up.

  14. That is one stylish doggie. I don’t make garments for my dog, however, if I ever did, I’d want them to be well made and classy, like what you’ve done.

  15. Kind of dark here and no sidewalks; a few years ago I almost hit someone I could not see because, one it’s a hilly road and he was hidden until I got close and two, the idiot was dressed all in black and walking on the wrong side of the road! So, reflective tape, please!!!. This is the cutest dog cape. He looks just adorable. I’ve been considering sewing something for Lily because she has very short hair and almost none on her belly. But she runs in the woods and it would be torn to shreds.

  16. What a great idea with the reflective tie! I’m so glad you’re both okay after that scare- I would have been beside myself. This is super cute AND super practical- love it!

  17. Ahh! What a handsome boy! This is too cute! An old lady almost hit one of my dogs when we were out walking, and it was daytime! I was so scared and angry that I wanted to tear her to bits!

  18. There’s just nothing as good as wool for warmth: it reflects your own body heat back onto you. Glad your baby won’t have to shiver in the cold anymore.

  19. Omg I’m so glad y’all weren’t hurt! I would have been shaking the whole way home; close-calls are so scary! I’ve got a 24/7 vendetta against drivers (saying this as someone who owns & operates a car on a regular basis); they really don’t pay nearly enough attention to what’s going on around them. Yes, everyone should have lights & reflective gear at night, but it’s also pretty hard to pay attention to what’s going on if you’re clicking around on your phone! Argh, drivers!

    Anyway, your boy looks super cozy (and ADORABLE! I want to squeeze him as hard as is safely possible). And I love that he’s wearing Pendleton, lucky dog! May I ask where you sourced your reflective tape from? I’ve been looking for some for a cycling jacket I have in the works 🙂

    • I agree 🙂 REFLECTION is great but drivers should PAY ATTENTION 😦 I drive 🙂 I DRIVE (PAY ATTENTION)when I am driving 🙂 I don’t apply make-up or eat or chat on the phone OR..TEXT!! 😦 Unfortunately, some people DO hit animals or people and KEEP DRIVING 😦

  20. Thanks for sharing this! I’ve just blogged about my first try of sewing doggie coat and must say that after the first one I’m already planning many more 🙂 I had this Burda’s issue somewhere so I’ll definitely try that pattern – it seems great 🙂

    And that’s a cool idea – of using reflective tape. I might copy that 🙂

  21. I am SO GLAD you and the little dude are okay 🙂 His coat is LOVELY 🙂 He is simply ADORABLE 🙂 Yes, please make yourselves an outer garment that SHINES like DAYLIGHT in the DARK 🙂 Even then, don’t TRUST the drivers. ASSUME they are NOT LOOKING, and you will be okay 🙂 I didn’t realize how DARK it is until I noticed my house number sign did NOT glow in the dark. I live in the country and I have customers who come here AFTER dark. I made a reflective house number sign for the NIGHT 🙂 It just had NEVER occurred to me in the past SIX years !!! PALM-HITTING-FOREHEAD 🙂

  22. “I’m freezing what’s left of my testicles off.” Tee-hee! Linus looks very handsome in his new coat. No one warned you about the lengths we will go to for our dogs, did they? 🙂 I have to get off my butt and make one for Angus; being part Pittie, he’s got a pathetically thin coat. And I’ve promised one to my friend (and part-time babysitter) for her poor, allergic-to-everything-so-I-have-no-fur Pittie, too. Theirs will not be Pendelton wool, however. 🙂 God, so glad you guys are OK after the other night. People around here drive like complete idiots; we get the ones who take our one way street the wrong way at about 40 mph. You guys should come down to the field one of these nights for doggy hang-out time; Linus might be small, but I bet he’d rule the joint. 🙂

  23. Linus just needs a deer stalker hat and he’s all set to solve crimes! I don’t know what it is about the coat but it makes me think of Sherlock Holmes.

    Very good idea for the reflective tape, particularly with him being a small dog, anything to highlight his presence is a good thing.

    • It didn’t occur to me until you guys said so that maybe the goal was for him to look like Sherlock Holmes. I’m a little dense sometimes!

  24. so cute! My dog freezes in our mild California winters and acts like he’s in Baltimore! Unfortunately, he refuses to wear a sweater. We tried a couple of different years, and it was the same hilarious reaction both times! I guess he’ll just have to freeze, or man-up and kick the cats out of his little outside bed. LOL

  25. I had a Dalmatian (butch hair cut) in northern Ohio. He had quite the wardrobe. I still have the raincoat. I used a long belt with buckle, but it Velcros on the middle of the back. current dog came with a winter coat.

  26. This is absolutely adorable! I followed the link to to Burda fashion website but didn’t see a link to download the sewing pattern? Maybe I missed something b/c the site is in Italian but I was rather confused….

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