Thursday, April 14, 2011

bentley loves new collars

Many weeks ago, I found a short dog collar tutorial online, and thought how great it would be to make Bentley a new collar! I subsequently found and purchased the very inexpensive supplies - a clasp, a D-ring, a slider piece, and the appropriate amount of webbing. I actually purchased materials for 4 collars - brown, red, navy, and purple. I then made a trip to the fabric store and purchased quarter-yards of three fabrics, and one fat quarter. Enough to make 4 collars!
[Note: When purchasing your slider, be sure it's wide enough for the webbing to go through each side twice. My original sliders weren't big enough, so I had to re-order...]I wanted a little webbing to show, so I chose to have my fabric be 1/4" skinnier than my webbing, which technically gives me 1/8" on either side of the fabric. For wider collars, you might adjust this. In general, with this method, you want to cut your fabric 2 times wider than your desired final width. I had 3/4" webbing and wanted a final width of 1/2" (leaving 1/8" webbing on either side), so I cut my fabric one inch wide.

The length of the collar is a little harder to determine - it's based on the size of your dog. Here are some general ranges, you can specialize for your own dog.

Beagle Size: 20" webbing originally, to make a 12-16" collar (Bentley's neck size is 14")

Medium Size: 26" webbing originally, to make a 16-20" collar

Large Size: 32" webbing originally, to make a 20-24" collar I cut my fabric length to fully cover my webbing plus a little more. It probably was about 21" long. So heat up the iron and fold half of your fabric down, "hot-dog-style." If you want to be super exact, iron your entire fabic strip in half lengthwise, unfold, and then fold in each side to meet the halfway line. In the photo above, I've done half the work. Do the same with the other side, and your two ends should meet in the middle. This will be the back.
Then lay it on your collar, and slowly begin stitching. Go all the way down one side, making sure your ironed folds stay crisp, giving you a straight and even border. Do the same on the other side, getting as close as you can to the edge of the fabric as you can. Sewing it on with a zig zag stitch in a contrasting (but complementary) color would probably look nice too, now that I think about it! Then you go about stringing your clips on. I don't have great photos of these steps, but if you've got a dog collar already laying around, its easiest to use that as your guide. I strung one end of the fabric through the slider, leaving an inch of overlap, and sewed that on. Then I fed the loose end through the slot on my clip and back through the slider, as you now see below.

Take your empty end and feed it through the D-ring and the other half of the clip, bringing the end about an inch or two back under the webbing (which is underneath the collar in this photo). Sew as close as possible to the clip. Then slideyour D-ring as close to your seam as possible, and sew on the right of your D-ring. This locks the ring on the webbing between two seams.

And add your tags, of course!
Here's the whole collar in its finished state... all strings clipped and seams sewn tight!
And in its upright, connected form, waiting to be slipped onto a doggie neck!
And Bentley trying on his new collar. Not really sure what his leg is doing in this photo.
Here he is in his morning sleepiness, after spending the night with his new collar on! I didn't get a great new-collar-on-dog photo yet, but I'm sure I'll get one eventually.
Just keep up with my posts, since Bentley shows up all over them, and you can see more shots of his fancy new neckware. The most exciting part about his new collars? Even though I only bought quarter-yards of fabric for each collar, I still have plenty extra. That means that I can make him matching bowties! Stay tuned!

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