Make Your Own Dog Collars!

Sunday, March 17, 2019

I sold dog collar hardware at Quiltcon, and promised to share my instructions - so here goes!

I have been making dog collars for my three pups for a couple of years.  I've made them for gifts, other dog-family members, and auction donations.

It's about time I shared the "how-to" for making your own!

I will add resources and advice at the bottom of the blog post.

You will need:

dog collar hardware kit
4 x 36 inches of fabric
1/4 yard SF 101 interfacing
1" webbing, if desired

Cut your fabric and the SF 101 into 4" strips.  For a large dog collar (retriever, lab, pit), cut 34" long, for a medium collar (labradoodle, springer spaniel), 31" long, and for a small dog (terrier, beagle), 28" long.  Adhere the SF-101 to the fabric according to the manufacturer's instructions.  If not using webbing, use two layers of SF-101.  I leave about an inch un-interfaced at the end to allow for easier insertion into the hardware.

Fold the collar in half, then bring the long edges to the middle.  Iron in place.  The resulting collar should be 1" wide.  If not using webbing, edge stitch along each edge 1/8". 

If desired, you can make your collar sturdier by using cotton or nylon webbing.  Cut the webbing about an inch less than the collar.  Using Wonder Clips, place the folded un-stitched collar on top ot the webbing.  Edge stitch 1/8" along each end, leaving one end with no webbing attached. 

I will Scotchguard my collar at this point to attempt to keep it looking clean - my two big dogs are crazy and play like manics, so our collars take a lot of abuse!  I just tried Odi-Coat on a couple that I am putting together, so I will let you know if that works out.

Even though I've made a bunch of collars, I always have to refer to a finished collar to remind myself where I start!

This is the order in which you will use the hardware.  Take the end of the collar (not the one without the interfacing/webbing at the end) and loop it through piece number 1.  Referring to the finished collar photo, have the short end of the collar about 3 inches away from the buckle.  Stitch in place per the photo below.  Stitch a one inch square, and stitch an "x" across the opposite sides.  Fray check the raw edges.

Slide the small rectangle (piece #2) onto the long end of the collar.   Then, slide piece #3 onto the collar.  The curved edge should face outward; you put the collar into the bottom of piece #3, then out the top of piece #3.  

 Pull the collar end through piece number two.

You will most likely have to adjust a bit at this point, pulling the collar through the hardware to have most of the collar free, per the below photo.

Fray check the raw edges.  Slide the silver D ring on about 4" down, then pull the collar through the slot on the top of piece #5, and out the bottom of piece number 5.  Pull a few inches down and use Wonder Clips to attach the collar in front of and in back of the D ring.

Attach your zipper foot to your machine, and stitch along side of the D ring on either side as closely as possible.

You are done!

I buy my dog hardware on Etsy or eBay.  You can get them in an assortment of colors and they are fairly cheap.

I use the 1" for all my dogs.  They do come in 3/4" size, but those don't have that little rectangle piece.  When I tried the collar without that little rectangle piece, the collar doesn't stay together as nicely when it is adjusted.

The length that I indicated above are my generalized lengths for my dogs.  You will most likely have to try once or twice to get the size exact for your dog.

I use the webbing on collars that I make for my dog's everyday wear.  If you are making a holiday collar, I'd suggest leaving off the webbing as it's only going to be worn for a short period.

You can wash your collars, but definitely pre-wash both the collar and the webbing prior to sewing.

Please let me know if you have any questions!!

The Flora Tunic

Thursday, November 30, 2017

My baby is 8 now.  I've been thinking a lot about what I make for her.  I read so many blogs and see many Instagram posts about how sewists' kids don't want to wear their handmade garments as they get older.  For some reason, I haven't had that problem. 

One thing that I do is only sew things that I believe my kid will wear.  I try to choose patterns that will work for her, and fabric that she will like.

When I saw the new pattern from Elegance and Elephants I knew it would work for my kid.  The Flora Dress and Tunic is a fairly simple silhouette, with a bunch of options - dress or tunic, and bodice options.  Plus, bonus, no closures!  Heidi has struck the right balance of a low-ish back neck and a perfect front neckline so the garment just pulls right over the kid's head.

Here's how my version started:  I had pulled some velour out of one of my many plastic boxes, leftover from sewing for my 3 older kids.  My daughter spied this gorgeous velour, and wanted her next garment made from that.  Ok, so fine.  I decided on tunic length, and would line it with pink cotton lawn.  I decided to size up based on the heavy fabric and hoped it would work.  After printing, taping and cutting, I laid out the pattern on the fabric and - you guessed it - not enough velour.  Even with my best Ninja cutting, it wasn't going to work.

Onto plan B.

Since I have fabric yardage lying all over my house, my next thought was some very nice double gauze.  Being lazy, I didn't re-print the pattern - I just used it in the size 7 with 9 length that I had previously cut.  It's probably a bit big, but definitely worked.

I added a bit of piping to accent the front seams, otherwise this is straight up sewn as is.  This will last her a while - and she loves it!  We took pictures after school yesterday and she asked if she could wear it to school today.  She came downstairs to breakfast, and notified me that she had even worn it to bed!  So, it passed the test!

The Mira Dress from Elegance and Elephants

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Hi!  Have you seen the new pattern from Heidi at Elegance and Elephants?  She started posting her photos on Instagram a while ago, and I was immediately intrigued - a square neckline gets me every time!  If you don't already follow Heidi and her blog you should; she's got a great line of patterns, and she always posts very helpful sewing tips and info.

Without further ado, here's my version of the Mira - and then I'll tell you how it came to be:

This was not what I had planned.  The plan was an embroidered bodice, contrast hem in a lovely grey and white check that I've been saving for the right project.  Well, little did I realize that since we moved to Michigan in August, I have not used the embroidery function on my sewing machine.  Sadly, I cannot for the life of me find the stupid cord that I need to download embroidery designs!  So, that version will have to wait...

While I was coming up with a plan B, Julia was lurking around my sewing area....and found this Woodland Clearing cotton lawn from Robert Kaufman...and this crocheted lace.  I asked if she would like a dress, and she said no; she wanted a long top to wear with her skinny jeans. Well, ok then!

Please excuse the horrible indoor photos - it's still super-cold here.  I actually did try to take outside photos...but the poor child was miserable, so we ran back inside.  Oh, yes, also please forgive the end-of-the-day-after-school hair!  Actually, the hair is apres-school, apres-dance class!

Anyways, she squealed when she saw the top.  Success!  Also, she pointed out that she can wear it to school when it's warm as it will pass the non-spaghetti strap rule.  This is VERY important in Julia's life!

As to the pattern, as always with Heidi's patterns, the instructions are great.  The photos are clear.  She has a video tutorial that you can refer to regarding the "burrito" method of making the bodice.  It may be a bit confusing the first time you try this method, but once you see where it leads, it's not confusing at all and you end up with a beautifully finished bodice....and who doesn't love that!

Heidi is offering a coupon code in her shop -  it's "MIRATOUR" and it will be for 10% off your entire order from the shop. This code will expire on Monday, March 27 at 11:59PM PST.

Thanks Heidi for asking me to participate in your blog tour, and thanks for a great pattern!

Oliver and S Building Block Dress Book

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Have you seen the Building Block Dress book written by Liesl Gibson yet?  It's a game changer....really!

A couple of months ago, I saw a cute jacket pattern that I really liked.  I had never heard of the designer so I was a bit unsure about her sizing, etc.  So, what I decided to do was replicate the design using the skills I had learned from the Building Block Dress book.  (And, I actually bought the pattern so as not to be a copying scumbag....)

I have always loved the look of the Oliver + S Sunday Brunch jacket, but when I made it for Julia, she hated - yes, hated - the collar.  I wanted a light jacket, similar to that and this fit the bill.

I used some gorgeous Nani Iro brushed cotton from my shop.  I pre-washed the fabric as usual and it washed up great.  It's kind of a heavy weight flannel weight-wise.  I lined it with quilting cotton. 

I asked the lovely folks in the Building Block Dress Facebook group for advise on closures and they came up with large, sew-in snaps inside so as not to take away from the print.  A great idea!

Here's the result:

Next, I actually measured my child.  As it turns out, her measurement ended up being a size 4 for width, and size 8 for height.  No wonder we can't buy dresses off the rack!

I started with a fairly basic version - a pieced bodice, sleeveless.  I used the option to fully line the dress and an invisible zipper in the back.  The fabric is Japanese cotton sheeting - yes, it's Hello Kitty!  Ok, so maybe it's not everyone's cup of tea to use Hello Kitty fabric for a dress, but it works for the 7 year old!

I'm REALLY happy with the way this came out.  Julia told me this morning that what she loves about the dress is the way it fits at the waist, then flares out.  In fact, we took these photos, then she decided to keep the dress me, that's a success!

While I love the look of the scalloped bodice, I didn't have the energy to do the hemline with the contrast....I think it's fine the way it is and may have been too busy with the scalloped hemline.  So, my laziness paid off! 

Thanks for reading!

Happy New Year!

Monday, January 2, 2017

in's 2017.  Here we are.

Since the last time I did a meanful blog post, my family has moved across the country, changed jobs, changed schools....quite an eventful 2016!

We are now living in Michigan and I must admit I'm having a bit of a tough time getting used to it.  I left a job I loved, all my friends, and my two adult sons in California.  It is nice with a ridiculously low cost of living here, and seasons!  I haven't lived in seasons since I moved away from Toronto in 1995.   We really enjoyed the fall, and are enjoying winter - for the most part!

We are continuing our fabric business, and will be traveling to Quiltcon in Savannah, GA in February, so that will be quite an adventure!  I'll be making up some sample garments, bags, and maybe even a quilt of some sort to take with us, and hopefully I will share them here.

I started 2017 out by actually completing a project!

This is the Franklin Dress from Brooklyn Pattern Company.  I had made the Bedford Dress previously, and the child loves and and gets compliments every time she wears it.  So I was confident in putting the Franklin Dress into rotation.

I made this from corduroy that has long been in my stash - it really could be about 15 years old!  I was indecisive as to the silhouette of this dress for a 7 year old - I was worried she may think it was too juvenile, so I added a belt that I slammed together....

I'm not convinced with the belt.  It needed to be smaller, and I need to actually add belt loops.  The kid's waist still measures 20", so I was worried making it too small and gathering all that corduroy!  I may re-visit the belt....

Either way, I quite like the dress, and Julia does too.  The construction is kind of odd in some spots, but generally, when I first make a pattern, I make it exactly as the designer indicates to ensure I don't screw up.  This dress is a size 6 with 8 length.

The bodice is Nani Iro double gauze from my shop - I went back and forth making the dress from the double gauze with the corduroy for the bodice - in the end, I decided to keep the extra double gauze and make a Bedford top for the summer - a win, win!

So, here it is - the first make of 2017....hopefully way more to come! 

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day!!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Hi, and welcome to my neglected blog!!

I'm Janice, and I sew a lot, and run an online fabric shop.  We used to live in California, but now make Michigan our home.

Here's a few of the things I've sewn recently using fabric from our shop and some of our fabric:

So, we're giving away a $75 gift card to Urban Sew - use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter....the blog comment is the only mandatory entry.  Good luck, and thanks for visiting!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Kids Clothes Week - Spring 2016

Monday, May 30, 2016

I made an attempt this past week to join in with Kids Clothes Week.  Success?  Failure?  Well, a little bit of both.

I set my sights high and pulled fabric for about 8 items.  What I ended up with was this:

I guess in the normal world of sewing, I'd be happy.  I completed both outfits this week, worked 40 hours, did about a million kid activities and took about 10 trips to the dog park.

The details:

Outfit number 1 - two free patterns from Oliver + S - the Popover dress made into a tunic, and my much-used Sunny Days Shorts.  The top and shorts are both size 5.  On the tunic, I added width on the front panel and gathered it a bit.  The fabric is a nice light seersucker from Robert Kaufman.  The shorts are a medium weight cotton denim fabric that has been living in my stash forever.  Nice to use that stash fabric!  I shortened the shorts 2 inches from the pattern length - works better with the heavier fabric. I added pockets to both the front and back of the shorts....gotta have pockets!

Outfit number 2 - the Butterfly Blouse and Skirt from Oliver + S sewn in a size 5 with 7 length.  The top is Woodland Clearing lawn and the skirt is a heavy cotton linen.  I've made the skirt a bunch of times for school uniforms, but this was the first time I've made the top.  It's a very sweet pattern - I definitely recommend it!

 Here's some modeled shots of both outfits (no pictures of the shorts yet!):

Thanks for reading.....can you tell my sew-jo is back?  Makes me happy!