I almost forgot about the second baby shower gift I made! This is a slip-on collar bandana for Sadie, the big sister-to-be. Yes, Sadie is a dog. And yes, I do understand that she is not actually the big sister (and no, I don't refer to myself as my dog's mommy) but I didn't want to leave sweet Sadie out. I mean, she was their first baby-like commitment. And the poor thing has no clue what's about to happen to her status in the Mino pack. She may as well look cute as she stares longingly inside through the back door...
Anyway, after finishing Sadie's big sister bandana (and remembering how quick and easy they are) I decided to stitch up a Valentine's day version for Cherry Sue. Then, after finishing Cherry Sue's bandana (and reaffirming my thought that these really are quick and easy) I thought this would make a great project for my first attempt at a tutorial. There aren't too many steps and it is about as uncomplicated as a sewing project can get (which is good for me since I have some issues with...words). Plus, the nice thing about these bandanas is that you can make one in pretty much any size and fabric combination for pretty much any and every occasion! I mean, if you are crazy. Like me...
So, I will give directions for a bandana for a 1" x 16" collar that looks cute on a 25 pound dog. But y'all can add or subtract as many inches all around as you need to fit your dog and collar. Just be sure that when you stitch up your casing that you have made it wide enough to slide the collar through (which means adding to the overall length of your rectangle for a thicker collar). This tutorial will rely pretty heavily on the photos. Feel free to leave a comment or email me if you have any questions. Seriously though, I think we can do this...
1. Ok, pick your fabrics (pre-washed) and cut out a 10" x 9" rectangle of each (do as I say here, not as I do. I know the photo clearly shows a 9" square, which is totally my bad.) Fold the rectangle in half lengthwise and make a mark along the raw edges at 4.5" from the bottom. Cut at an angle from your mark to the end of the fold to create the pointed shape. Do the same to the other half.
2. Now if you want to embellish your bandana here is your chance. I have added a simple embroidered heart (which my dog will promptly snag with her scratching, I'm sure) but you could add a heart (or decoration of your own choosing) with paint or fabric markers or iron-on...or your bedazzler. Whatever.
3. Once your embellishing is done, take both pieces, lay them right sides together and pin them around the sides and bottom (if y'all weren't watching I totally would not have pinned this). Stitch around the edges leaving a 1/4" seam allowance and remove your pins. Remember not to stitch the top!
4. Carefully clip your corners and turn your bandana right-side-out. Push the corners and the point out with a turning tool or a chopstick or whatever you like to use and press it nice and flat and sharp.
6. To make the casing, make a 1/2" fold at the top and press. Then make another 1 1/2" fold and press again. This is where, if you are using different measurements, you want to make sure you are making your casing wide enough for the collar you will be sliding in. Remember to add at least 1/2" to the collar width measurement to accommodate the hardware. (Again, this will hopefully mean that you already added to the length of your rectangle before cutting.)
7. Ok, ready? Pin the casing in place, stitch across 1/4" from the bottom edge and remove your pins. I wish I could say something like my grandmother would be very proud of my methodical pinning for this project...but I don't have that kind of grandmother. My grandmother is proud when I remember that lay (not lie) takes an object and when I don't misuse hopefully like I just did. Anyway, I like to stitch this seam twice so it is nice and sturdy.
8. Now go to your dog's collar closet (I assume if you've gone this far that your dog in fact has a collar closet. Or at least a collar shelf) and pick out the best collar for your nifty new bandana. Or if you want to go all out, make a matching/coordinating collar while you are at it! There are bunches of great tutorials already for those and Bend The Rules Sewing has an easy pattern as well. Now don't worry if your bandana is a little wonky or lopsided (like mine). I promise your dog won't notice. And once you slide it onto the collar and snap it around her adorable neck, all of the flaws will magically disappear! See? What do you mean you didn't pin?