Tutorials: February 2011 Archives
Designer Dog gear is all the rage now. Everyone wants to look good; the same goes for your dog. Even should your dog care less, you care- a lot. If you are like me, my dogs were my kids before I had a kid and they still hold a special place in the household, often with more benefits than the child. Some dog owners get a thrill from dressing their dogs but my dogs are too rough and tumble to go for that. I get my kicks from chic dog collars. The selection at my local pet store is sorely lacking (we are talking webbing in a wide selection of colors including red, blue and black). So once again, the chore has fallen into my hands to create something more appropriate for my hounds. Making dogs collars is easy, though figuring out how to install the adjuster is no fun. It is a frustrating mess unless you have a good tutorial: Behold!
I started by measuring my dogs necks and adding 6 inches (for adjusting and extra for hems and securing). My Border Collie's (Murphy) neck is 16 in + 6 in. = 22 in. My American Bulldog's (Maggie) neck is 22 in + 6 in. = 28 in. We will work from Murphy's measurements.
¼ yd of designer quilting cotton
1 Center Release Buckle 1 in.
1 Adjuster 1 in.
1 set of D rings 1 in.
Next, cut a 1 in. by 22 in. from heavy interfacing or canvas and a 3 in. by 23 in. from Modern Meadow Picnic Plaid. Maggie's collar is Modern Meadow Dogwood Bloom. To make the straps, cut a 1 in. by 23 in. piece of heavy interfacing or canvas and set aside. Fold and press the 3 in. wide piece of your designer fabric (as instructed above) in thirds (you will have 2 folds but 3 three sections each 1 in. wide). Lay your interfacing piece in the center of your designer fabric and fold one side of the designer fabric over the top of the interfacing. Stitch this in place using a 1/4 in. seam. Fold over the designer fabric on the other side while turning under 1/2 in. to make a finished edge. Stitch again with a 1/4 in. seam.
To assemble the strap into a collar, I took a series of pictures to best describe how to assemble all the collar parts. I used a double turn ½ in. hem to finish and secure each end of the collar.
The bonus of making your own collars out of interfacing and quilting cotton as opposed to webbing is there is no need to melt the end, you can use any fabric you desire and these collars are washable. They are simple to make and fast to assemble that you can make them for any season, holiday or as great gifts.
On the heels of my Kimono Dress from Monday, I wanted to follow up on bias tape. It reminds me of the purple car phenomenon: you never notice how many purples cars there are until someone points it out and then you see them everywhere. The same can be said of bias tape. You never notice how useful it is until you start using it, making it or finding a new way to use it. Bias tape has so many applications that a blog posting was definitely in order. Not only can it be used for the standard of finishing off seams such as necklines and sleeves but also as ties, straps, belts, and cording. Bias tape is an excellent way to use up and store your fabric scraps. As well as a great way to add a bit of color or contrast to a project. Bias tape is forgiving given its stretchy nature so you can use it on parts of clothing where you might lack confidence in the recommend technique, such as 1/8 in. double turn on the neckline. Bias tape can be purchased readymade but with several different sizes of bias tape makers, the options are endless and perfectly coordinated to your needs. I have surfed blog land and some of my favorite sites to come up with some great tips and tutorials for bias tape creations.
One of our favorite pattern companies (especially close to Shannon's heart), Colette Patterns shows us how to make a continuous bias tape. This cuts down on the amount of sewing to join your bias tape together. I particularly love it because I never know how exactly to line up my bias tape to make it match up. This tute eliminates that and all my bias tape strips are perfect every time. Thank you!
Craftzine features a great tute for hemming jeans with denim bias tape. This is a great finish for too long jeans or a great way to add your favorite color to your favorite jeans. A pal found that by adding some dino fabric to her son's jeans that he broke off the habit of wearing the same camo pants every day.
One of our featured blogs of the month- Adventures in Dressmaking- has another great tute for changing a boring sweater in to a vintage-inspired letter sweater using bias tape. It is super cute and can be changed into a Laverne and Shirley style monogram sweater without too much thought.
Prudent Baby offers a free pattern for a bias tape bag that is uber cool and reversible. By adjusting the scale of the pattern, this bag can be modified to be large enough for a diaper bag, knitting bag or smaller for an evening out/date purse. Very versatile.
My own Mom (who taught me to sew) made a delightful flannel kimono-seen above-, from Amy Butler's Little Stitches for Little Ones, for my baby complete with flannel bias tape edging. It is so soft and cozy that often there is a battle to remove it in the morning and get into play clothes. More kimonos made from quilting cotton, linen and sleeveless are planned to ease the morning transition.