Friday, 26 February 2016

DIY Easy Sew Over-the-Collar Bow Tie for Dogs

With St. Patrick's Day and Easter so close together (and the the start of spring for those of you up north!), we wanted a party-worthy holiday "outfit" that could be worn for multiple occasions.  This remnant of bright plaid cotton was perfect for all of the above, and just begging to become preppy plaid bow-tie! You can do this DIY with any lightweight cotton fabric, and could be a great recycle for a scrappy old shirt if you are digging the plaid. If you're not keen to sew, we have plenty of no-sew flair ideas in our archives, including a no-sew dog bow tie (just omit the flag/ribbon steps).  Here's how to make your own simple dog bow tie and a finished fabric velcro over-the-collar fastener.

The materials and craft supplies used in making the bow ties shown are:

  • Cut fabric.  You will need to scale your tie to suit your dog - cut fabric size should be the height of your desired bowtie plus extra for hemming, and double the desired width. If you are working with a single sided pattern, pay attention to ensure your pattern is on the outside of finished elements.
  • Sew a generous hem long the top/bottom edges.  This inside hem will be hidden inside the folded tie, but you can finish it a nicely as you wish.
  • Fold the sides to meet at the center, overlap, and sew top-to-bottom to secure.  This seam and stitching will be hidden inside the loop of the bowtie.

  • Sew a small cylinder of fabric for your center loop and inverse so that the hem is inside.  
  • Roughly measure the size required to loop around your folded tie.
  • Sew off the loop and inverse so that the hem is inside. 
  • Fold your bowtie top-to-bottom in an accordion style.
  • Slide the loop over the folded tie into the center, and fluff the bow into shape.
  • Optional finished fabric and velcro collar fastener (See Tips Below). 
    • Cut a strip of matching fabric. Width should be (at minimum) a touch larger than double that of your velcro plus a little extra for hemming, length should be triple that of the dog's collar width plus a little extra for hemming
    • Sew into a lengthwise cylinder and inverse so that the hem is inside.
    • Tuck the ends inside and sew each end seam neatly closed.
    • You should now have a finished double-sided fabric strip that is wider than your velcro and will go all the way around your dog's collar plus fully overlap itself on the back - that overlap is where the velcro will meet.  Your bow tie will be in the center of the strip, facing outwards.
    • Attach your velcro pieces, using your collar as a guide if/as needed for positioning.  Secure the bow tie at the loop to the outside of the fastener strip so that it is firmly fixed and sits smartly forward when the fastener is attached.  Hand-sewing may be required for this step.

Tips for attaching embellishments to your dog's collar:  The best method of attachment really varies depending on the size and temperament of your dog, the type of collar, and the type of flair/embellishment.  A lightweight decoration may be fine with a simple attached loop of elastic to slip onto the collar or a little velcro.  Larger pieces may need several loops of firm elastic or wide velcro. To make sure that things stay in place for a very special event or with an extra active pup, you may even prefer to sew your embellishment onto a matching collar slide or directly onto the collar.  Good behavior to go with the good looks is not guaranteed. :)

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