Bella has a new accessory around her neck nowadays.
I saw some beautiful dog collars at the Renegade Craft Fair last month and when I looked at them carefully I realized that making them myself was very possible. Being able to sew has ruined craft fairs and shopping in general for me. When I pick up an object and examine it, I'm not looking to see if it's made well or if I want to buy it. I'm looking to see how it's made. I've become my grandma, folks.
Michelle Patterns has a lovely tutorial on how to make a recycled dog collar using hardware from an old dog collar. I used her instructions as a guideline on making my own for Bella. Instead of using Bella's old collar, I purchased one from the dollar store and took that apart.
Sidenote: Collars made completely out of fabric is not nearly as sturdy as a nylon collar, but they work for Bella since we use a separate harness for her. If you want a tutorial on how to make an adjustable nylon dog collar, check out Mimi's amazingly detailed tutorial. She even includes resources on where to find the materials for her project.
The collars from the dollar store were extremely unattractive, but I appreciated the curved side release buckles, which means a more comfortable fit for Bella. My tutorial is slightly different from Michelle's so I would take a look at hers if you have any questions about mine. She actually has measurements. I just kinda winged it.
Step 1: Take a look at the collar. Take it apart using a seam ripper or just cut away since you won't be needing the nylon.
Step 2: Michelle's tutorial instructs you to measure your dog's collar from buckle to buckle and then adding four inches to that length. Brilliant!
I didn't think of that so instead I took out the adjustment piece, rethreaded the nylon back into the buckles, and wrapped it around Bella's neck. I taped the ends in place to test the sizing. I then marked the ends and used my marks to see how long my fabric would have to be.
Step 3: Now that you have the length from Step 2, figure out the width. Measure the width of the nylon and multiply by four. Cut out your fabric.
Step 4: This is different from the other tutorial. I pressed half an inch on both ends of my fabric piece. By doing this, you have more finished ends and won't have to zigzag stitch to prevent fraying.
Step 5: Cut a piece of fusible interfacing to the same size, minus one inch from the length. We subtract that inch because the pressed ends reinforces it enough. Iron on the interfacing onto the wrong side of the fabric (sticky side down).
Step 6: Fold in half and press.
Step 7: Unfold. Fold ends to the center crease you just created from Step 6 and press again.
Step 8: Fold down the center lengthwise. Topstitch down both lengths, starting with the open end.
Step 9: Slide on the D-ring. Don't forget this!
Step 10: Thread your fabric piece through the buckles on both ends, making sure that the curve matches whichever side of the fabric piece you want on top.
Step 11: Now that you've pulled the fabric ends through, tape down the ends and check the fit on your pet. Tape is nice because it is removable and won't poke pup's neck like a pin will. Adjust until you are satisfied with the fit.
Step 12: Remove tape. Stitch across the red lines that I've marked in the picture below. Make sure to backstitch. You can also stitch in an "X" shape to make it sturdier.
Voila! Admire your work and show off your awesome sewing skills.