Lots of store-bought nylon collars look bulky on Rigby, since they double up when adjusted for her small neck. Since she isn’t growing anymore, I make her custom ones instead!
I wouldn’t recommend attaching a leash to this collar, as it isn’t quite heavy-duty enough. But if you use a harness for walks like Rigby, it’s a perfect way to display dog tags.
What you’ll need:
- A fat quarter of non-stretch fabric, like quilting cotton
- Iron-on interfacing
- A buckle and D-ring (make sure both are the same size — the ones in this example are ¾”)
Measure & cut
- To determine fabric length: measure your dog’s neck or their current collar and add 4-5 inches.
- To determine fabric width: measure your hardware and multiply by 4 (so, if you’re using a 3/4″ buckle, you’d measure 3″).
- Cut a strip of interfacing just slightly smaller than your fabric.
- Place your interfacing rough-side down on the wrong side of your fabric, and iron to fuse them.
- Fold your fabric in half longways, wrong sides facing, and iron again to make a crease.
- Open the fold, and use the crease as a guide to fold the edges up to the middle. Iron the edges, making sure not to iron out your original crease.
- Fold along the original crease and iron for the last time.
- Double-check that the resulting strip fits with your hardware.
- Using a straight stitch, sew all along each edge of the strip.
- Do another fitting on your dog’s neck, with the buckle held in place by a clip or your fingers, and trim any excess fabric.
- Using a zig-zag stitch, sew each end of the collar to prevent fraying (or if your machine is a jerk like mine, you can also use a short straight stitch back and forth, and maybe some anti-fray glue).
- Loop your fabric through the “male” end of the buckle, and (switching back to straight stitch), sew two lines: one as close to the buckle as possible, and the other pretty close to the end of the fabric.
- Slide your D ring onto the collar, and push it out of the way for now. (If you forget this step like I do every time, you’ll need to rip out stitches!)
- Loop the other end through the “female” part of the buckle. After a final fitting on your dog, sew as close to the buckle as you can. I do a couple of passes back and forth for extra durability.
- Slide the D ring up against those stitches, and stitch once more.
Attach a tag to the D ring, and your dog’s new collar is ready to wear!
Portland Fabric Resources
These are some of my favorite places to buy collar fabric (I don’t believe any of these stores are dog-friendly, but they’re my favorite places to look for collar materials:
Almost exclusively quilting cotton, with hand-curated prints that are really modern and fun.
Bolt Fabric Boutique
Smaller cotton selection (more apparel fabrics), but the ones they have are usually really nice. They also have some cute bias tape and webbing you could experiment with.
A decent collection of recycled fabrics. Prints are hit-or-miss, but the prices are insanely low (I’ve gotten fat quarters for a dime here). They occasionally have buckles and d-rings, as well.
Can be a bit pricey, but has all the prints you could imagine. The Christmas tree car print in this post is from Caja Design, and the watercolor reindeer are courtesy of Shelby Allison!