Quick and Easy Dog Cape

This is Zeus. My full-blood blue-eyed rescued deer head chihuahua. I thought he was a “plain” chihuahua until someone told me he was a reindeer chihuahua. We thought it might be because of his long legs, but it has to do with the shape of the head. The little round-headed versions are called apple heads.

Dog Cape on JanMadeIt

He was about to be dumped on the side of the road when I agreed to take him in.

I think he was born in July 2011. The first owners got him in August and in January 2012 they said he was too mean to be around the kids and was biting and barking all the time so they were going to sell him. I wasn’t going to buy him but we were at the flea market and I had something she wanted, so she traded me to take the dog. He shivered constantly when I first got him. People said “all” chihuahua’s do that. I think he was mistreated and terrified.

He doesn’t shiver now. He doesn’t bite, or snap at anyone, and he only barks when Gray Cat growls at him.

But sometimes he needs a coat and most of those store-bought knitted doodahs get really ratty looking really fast. I just needed something practical and functional.

Quick and Easy Dog Cape on JanMadeIt

How’s this? He wasn’t much for posing the day I made this. This glare is one of the few times he looked at the camera.

Can you tell I made this out of the sleeve of a sweatshirt?

This recycled, repurposed project is free if you have a spare sweatshirt, and this little coat won’t look ragged and old anytime soon.  The only tool you need is a pair of scissors and it only takes about ten minutes.

This works for small dogs. Some sweatshirt cuffs get all stretched out so you might find something that will work for a bigger dog. I have a beagle who’s always digging under the covers, so I’m working on a design for larger dogs. I’ll post that when I get it figured out.

Quick and Easy Dog Cape on JanMadeIt

The first thing to do is cut the sleeve from the sweatshirt. To size it, with one hand hold the cuff of the sleeve at your dog’s neck, and with the other hand hold it at about the dog’s tail. Cut the sleeve off at this line. Try to cut it parallel to the cuff.

Quick and Easy Dog Cape on JanMadeIt

Next cut up the seam line all the way to the cuff.

Quick and Easy Dog Cape on JanMadeIt

At this point, you can slip the cuff over the dog’s neck to get an idea of where the armholes will go. The armholes will be very close to the cuff.

Quick and Easy Dog Cape on JanMadeIt

By folding the sleeve in half at the seam, you can clip both armholes at the same time so they’re in the same  place for both legs. I cut a slit about two inches long and then widened it to a narrow oval shape.

Quick and Easy Dog Cape on JanMadeIt

Now you’re ready to try it on. Zeus hadn’t worn a coat in months, so we wasn’t real crazy about it.

At this stage you can make adjustments if needed. Some things to check are:

  • Make the armholes bigger if they seem tight.
  • Cut off the length if the coat is too long down the dog’s back.
  • Curve the back edge if the points on the side hang too far down.
  • If the collar seems to go up too high, roll it down.
  • If the collar is too tight, clip it at the throat just across the seam. Just a tiny bit, because it will stretch out as the dog wears it more.
  • If your dog wears a harness all the time cut a slot for the ring at the appropriate spot between the shoulder blades. If your dog occasionally wears a harness—Zeus only wears one when I take him out on a leash—the harness I have will fit over the coat. His dog collar sits under the cuff and his tag hangs out at the throat.

Quick and Easy Dog Cape on JanMadeIt

You’re done.

Now that we’ve had a few coldish mornings I’ve slipped it on him before putting him outside and he knows it’s a good thing. After chasing him around the yard trying to take a picture of him from the front, I finally caught him looking right at me and I snapped the shutter.

And during the delay before the shot was captured, there was a noise in the street out front and this is what I got.

Quick and Easy Dog Cape on JanMadeIt

Any suggestions for a caption?



2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. dj
    Oct 16, 2012 @ 20:49:38

    How funny!! I never seen Zeus look like that…..maybe Zeus saw a goose!



    • Jan
      Oct 16, 2012 @ 20:53:43

      I don’t remember what the commotion was, but his ears instantly slid around to the back of his head and the next minute is he was off to the the gate to check it out.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: