Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Make Something: Dog Bow-Tie Collars (Patriotic Edition)

The Fourth of July is just around the corner and if you're anything like me your 4th is spent wearing as much patriotic garb as possible.  This year I decided that my dogs needed to join the 4th of July festivities and made them each bow-tie collars to show their American pride this week.

*Dolce probably will not be wearing his much, because you can't really see it with his fur.  Instead I made him a matching bandana that you can actually see.  Both collars took about an hour and a half to make, with the bulk of the time spent figuring out how to re-thread the collar and forcing the collar through the plastic pieces.  I gained some speed when I reassembled Dolce's because I used pliers to do most of the pulling, which made the process much much easier.

  • Dog collars, disassembled and pieces reserved (alternatively you could individually buy all of the pieces)
  • Double side interfacing (which means it is sticky on both sides)
  • Felt lined single sided interfacing
  • Basic sewing supplies

  • One quick note about disassembling the collar: I left one end as it was, because it was seriously glued down and I didn't feel like trying to pry it apart.  This also had the added benefit of me not having to stitch that side down again.  Take pictures of your collar before you disassemble it.  I ended up using an extra one of Dolce's to help me put it back together.
  • Cut your fabric to the length and slightly  more than twice the width of the finished collar.  Yogi's collar in an inch wide so I cut the fabric to 2.5 inches. 

  • Cut the double sided interfacing to the same width as your fabric.   Carefully peel off the paper side not the wax side!  If you peel of the wax side and iron it down the paper side will not peel off.
  • Lay the interfacing with the wax side facing up on the wrong side of the fabric and iron on high for 10-15 seconds.  Let cool for a minute and remove the wax paper.  If you've done it correctly the paper will remove easily, the interfacing will have adhered to the fabric, and what is left will be very sticky to the touch.

  • Fold the ends of the fabric in to finish the edges.  I also recommend added an extra piece of double sided interfacing to make sure the ends adhere to the collar.

  • Carefully fold the fabric over the collar.  Do this slowly so it stays even and smooth.  Once you are satisfied with the placement iron the heck out of the fabric and collar.

  • The fabric will permanently bond to the collar.  It's kind of crazy because aside from the ends you can't tell it wasn't constructed like that in the first place. 

Bow Tie Creation

  • To create the bow ties I used the very precise method of cutting various shapes and sizes of rectangles and holding them up to my dogs' necks until I was happy with the size.  
  • Once you've determined how big you want the bow tie cut two equal size rectangles.
  • Cut a piece of felt sided interfacing that is about 1/4" smaller than the fabric.  Iron this to the wrong side of one of the rectangles.  Do not skip this step.  You need the interfacing to give the bow tie some body and help it retain its shape.
  • Sew both pieces of the bow tie together, right sides facing.  Leave a small section unstitched to turn right side to.  Use a pointed object (I use chopsticks) to push out the corners.  Iron flat and either stitch the opening closed or seal with some double sided interfacing (I'm lazy so I went the later route).

  • Sew a small tube the width of the collar.

  • Fold the finished bow tie in an accordion shape and slip the middle loop over the folds.

  • Finally collar reassembling. If you start with the finished end like I did (see above) you will add the bow tie after you have finished the part of the collar that allows you to adjust the width and right before you re-attach the D-ring and the female end of the clasp.  This will keep the bow tie between the two "mechanical" pieces of the collar and pretty much dead center.
  • Once the collar is reassembled sew the tail down using a heavy duty thread and needled.  Back stitch in several places to ensure it is properly tacked down.
  • Sorry I don't have any pictures of the reassembling.  It's the most frustrating part of the entire process and honestly you can't tell what's going on from photos.  Keep a collar handy and you'll figure it out!
And off your patriotic dogs!