Winter Coats for Beatrix Kiddo

Pattern: Martha Stewart's Doggy Coat
Fabric: Italian wool (wool coat), waterproof fabric (raincoat) + fleece (lining)
Cost: wool coat was from remnants, raincoat materials were $4

I don't think I realized that I would be doing so much sewing for dog, but Mr. Made said he knew I wouldn't be able to resist. Dog clothes are fun because they are relatively quick to make and the results are usually incredibly cute. Even when I mess up, I have the excuse that it's just for the dog, so it really is no-pressure sewing. Feel free to judge me for being a crazy dog lady, though, as I'm totally obsessed right now.

This round of outfits was inspired by the change in the weather. Mid-way through December it's finally cold enough for some coats in California, and over Thanksgiving we visited family in the high desert where temperatures dipped below freezing at night. Today I even caught her hanging out by the heater, so it was definitely time to get her some outerwear.

The Wool Coat:

This pattern is free and comes courtesy of Martha Stewart, who has two french bulldogs, Francesca and Sharkey. Because frenchies are oddly shaped (read: stocky and sausage-like), I have found it is easiest to sew patterns especially made for them. This one fit nearly perfect straight from the pattern, and only need to be shortened as Beatrix is not quite as long as other frenchies. I'm not sure how it would fit a more regularly-shaped dog, but the straps are fairly adjustable and the pattern is quite simple.

For this jacket I used a remnant of a beautiful Italian wool that I got on sale at Stone Mountain years ago, and had used for this dress (which I still wear all the time). I lined it with a plaid fleece I had laying around, which had never been used for anything but is very soft. Martha of course uses $33/yd waterproof-coated linen for her coats, but Beatrix does just fine with remnants, thank you very much.

The instructions have you quilt the two pieces together, and then bind the edges. I substituted buttons for velcro, and cut two more button holes for her harness buckle to fit through near the neck. The only other change I made is that I cut both the lining from and the shell from the same pattern piece, as it didn't make sense for there to be two separate pattern pieces if they were just going to be quilted together.

What's great about this coat design instead of something with sleeves is it really is a lot more functional. It allows for a greater range of movement compared to the hoodie sweatshirt I made her (not yet blogged) or some of the funny outfits I'm planning to make her. Here she is chomping on a stick and generally wriggling around:

The Raincoat:

The wool coat was quickly followed by another project - a waterproof raincoat. #Hellastorm hit the Bay Area last week with 8 inches of rain in two days, and the Kiddo needed something to keep her dry. (It's actually raining again now as I type this.) Of course she needed a classic raincoat, and for less than $100, please.

For $4 I bought half a yard of waterproof material and fleece lining, and to Martha's pattern I added a hood from a dog sweatshirt pattern. One of the interesting things I've found about dog patterns is that they don't often follow the same conventions as regular sewing patterns. I think many of them are made for people who don't normally sew or perhaps by people who don't make human clothes, and so it takes some time figuring out. The Millamilla patterns, for example, sell their instructions separately from the PDF pattern pieces, and so of course I didn't pay for that piece and was left to my own devices. Martha offers her instructions on her website, but without pictures and the usual sewing lingo. To make this raincoat, I skipped the quilting and binding and simply sewed the lining to the shell right sides together and then flipped it right side out. I then sewed the hood on top of that and hid the raw edges under the sewn-on "collar" provided in the Martha Stewart pattern. This seemed to work pretty well, and gave a nice clean finish.

Like the wool coat, I'm pretty happy with result. While we didn't take her out in the pouring rain, we did test it in some light rain and I'm pleased with the results. It's enough to keep her from smelling like a wet dog when she comes back in the house, and hopefully makes her a bit more comfortable. I'm not sure if the hood is totally functional, but it does stay on for the most part and could help keep her dry. Mostly though it's just adorable, so I'm kinda looking forward to the rainy day tomorrow. 

Hope everyone else is staying warm and dry! Probably time to make myself a winter coat, too...


  1. TOO CUTE! And so stylish, that wool coat is gorgeous and I would love to wear a coat in that fabric combination. Adorable doggie and looks so comfortable and non-pulsed by wearing clothes. I have friends whose dogs immediately strike a tortured look when dressed.

  2. I'm sitting here giggling at that yellow rain slicker! My dog would love protective rainwear. She hates going out in even the tiniest drizzle. Very cute.

  3. Awwww! That's cute and awesome!

  4. Oh. my. goodness. That raincoat! Awesome. That is one well dressed puppy!

  5. those are so cute and they fit her so well. do you have a matching yellow raincoat? you should !

  6. OMG! So adorable! I need to try this pattern... I bet it would work well for the pugs!

  7. sooo cute! i really need to sew a rain coat for my boston terrier (he hates rain!).... I will have to download that pattern

  8. Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your weblog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed browsing your blog posts. After all I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you write again soon!dog hoodie


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