Saturday, April 24, 2010

OYW: If quick releaseness is required [TUTORIAL]

Show of hands from those who imagined this month's sewing project to be a slam dunk.

Go on, put them up there, I'll wait.

FYI: My hand is up and I think so is Kelli's.

Yeah, I thought this month's project was a no-brainer. I mean, yes, I was planning to ditch the leash, bag and bandana from the start, because my dear dog has these things in piles (and baskets and bags andandand) but I was totally planning on making the collar.

Because Jada's collar is, how you say, totally ragged. Not that we don't love it that way, because what says, "I am an active and well-loved puppy dog" like a collar with the decorative ribbon worn right off?

It doesn't say that to you? Oh, well, it does to us. Whatever. We like worn out things I guess. Good thing for Bubba! Ha!

Sorry, bad joke.

Anyway, I thought it might be nice to have a new dressy collar for Jada for when we take her to dog daycare for a long stay or my folks' for the next get together so that I don't get the, "What? You can't afford a proper collar for your dog? Look at this shamefulness. Poor girl. Like she's homeless."

It goes on, I assure you.

Anyway, I thought I'd make her a dress collar for those times when people who share your ragged=unloved sensibilities will be interacting with our fair pooch.

Except when I went to make the collar from this set I realized OH BOO it's a Martingale style collar which, while lovely, is not allowed at dog daycare because they need all dogs to be on Quick Release alert at all times for whatever reason. I guess sometimes they get tangled in their dog wrestling and, if some collars aren't quickly released, the wrestling-induced neck-to-neck tangle can cause a total brawl.

I see their point.

But, what am I supposed to do with this month's project? Ditch it? Go to Petsmart and *GASP* buy her a new collar?

Huh, no.

Instead I thought I'd go with the theme of the collar and just make it quick release (and thus adjustable) style and then share with y'all my methods so that if you have an equally forward-thinking dog daycare to which you take your beloved pooch OR you want to make a collar that's adjustable, you'd have the option.

Don't ever tell me I'm not a giver because LOOK I'm giving right now. Specifically, a tutorial.

Adjustable Quick Release Dog Collar
Measurements for a medium-sized dog (40-65 lbs)
For a small dog - adjust all measurements to 5/8" and the fabric to 1.5'x2"
For a huge dog - adjust all measurements to 1.5" and the fabric to 2.5'x6"

Materials needed:
1 1" Parachute buckle
1 1" Strap adjuster
1 1" D ring
1 2'x4" piece of fabric
Coordinating thread

To make:

Make the strap
First cut your fabric to size and then fold in half lengthwise and press.

Open up the fabric and fold in the long sides to the center and press.

With long sides folded in, fold in half lengthwise again and press.

Pin in a few spots just to hold it together and topstitch around all sides, folding under and sewing the raw ends.

Add the accessories
With the strap adjuster and the fabric facing right side up, weave the strap through the front slot of the slider, back over the center bar and under the back bar.

Using a box stitch, permanently attach the strap to the adjustable slider.

With the male end of the parachute buckle, start with the other end of the strap and weave it, right side down, up through the front slot of the buckle, back over the center bar and under the back bar. The right side of the fabric will now be facing up.

With this same end of the strap, weave it back up under the adjustable slider's front bar, over the center bar (which has the other end of the strap permanently attached) and under the back bar of the adjustable slider. 

This is what makes the collar adjustable - just slide the fabric through the adjustable slider and move the male end of the buckle to take up or let out the slack.

With the free end of the strap, slide on the D ring and then the female end of the buckle so that the rounded side of the D ring is on the right side of the fabric.

Fold over enough of the end of the strap so that it covers the flat side of the D ring with about an inch or so to spare.

Sew as closely as possible to the buckle's back bar (I used my zipper foot so I could get close without having the foot resting on the plastic bar because I *justknew* it would break if I didn't).

Then snug the flat side of the D ring up against the seam you just made and (still using your zipper foot if you're anal like me and aren't you all?) sew as closely as possible to the D ring without hitting it with your needle because I don't have to tell you that it will break your needle TEE FUCKING DAH.

Not that this happened or anything.

Box stitch the end of the strap to the main part of the strap on the wrong side.

You're done. 

Put it on your dog, adjust to fit (two fingers between puppy's neck and the collar) and, like, take them to your parents' house where they won't ridicule you for being a neglectful dog mom.

OR go to dog daycare where they will allow Puppy in without delay due to their quick releaseness. Yay.

And then contemplate not calling all dogs, young and old, "Puppy" because you think it's starting to annoy Bubba.

I mean, look, I'm a dog person. I love dogs. And, to me, all dogs are "puppies". Perhaps this is the canine version of people who call all people "kid" even if they're, like, in their 60s. I DON'T KNOW.

Anyway, go make your dog less ragged and maybe make this month's other project if you don't care for the sewing one even with the fabulous tutorial I just GAVE YOU because I'm so supernice like that.



  1. FYI, you can also call all equids "pony." Or, if so inclined, "large hooved puppy." I hesitate to call the felines "puppy" of any variety, though. That's just wrong.

  2. Your dog is absolutely precious. I think she loves her new collar already!!

  3. Aw, Jada looks so proud of her new, non-scuzzy collar made with love by her dog mom. And I see nothing wrong with referring to all dogs as puppies.

    I've noticed recently that I approach all unknown dogs as male, and all unknown cats as female. So I'll see someone walking their dog and say something like "oh, he's so handsome." "Umm...she's a female." Oh. And I'll look out the window at a new feral cat and think "oh, she's got nice markings." I must be wrong at least half of the time, but I still do it.

  4. You are a genius! I was all set to do the sew along this month for some friends' dogs since I don't have one of my own, but short of breaking into their house and measuring their dogs' necks I didn't see how to do it.

  5. I ditched this month's project in favor of the OYW kid's messenger bag:

    Will also finish the OYW petite diaper tote for a friend by the end of the month. Will blog that soon ... made some modifications to that one too.

    I love this book but it does require a bit of customization and, um, not always following the instructions. Glad I didn't even attempt the dog walking set.

  6. Galadriel - Don't you know my neighbors had a big cat they named, Puppy. It really fit. Weird.

    Tracey - Thank you! She is very glamorous now while she eats dead squirrels.

    Decca - You know, almost everyone that meets Jada for the first time thinks she's a dude. Perhaps because we don't dress her up in frilly pinkness like her previous owner did.

    She came with this atrocious florescent pink collar and leash as if to say, "NO, dude, I'm a girl." I guess I understand why they did it, but I still would rather people think my dog is a dude then that I am a douchebag for buying the florescent pink collar.


    Also, all cats are kitties and all kitties are girls.

    Done and done.

    Evil Lina - Right? Ridiculous for a gift. You can't be surreptitiously measuring dog necks. That's weird. So, let me know if you try out this pattern update!

    Sue - I saw your bag - HOTNESS. And nice reuse, too. I tend to follow instructions to the T the first time around, but yeah, some of these have been toughies. Try out my trash bag pattern and see what you think. I'd love to get some real honest feedback. No, really.

    And come back next month when we'll have a choice of patterns :)

  7. 4 years ago a litter of feral kittens invaded our barn. We trapped them and had them all fixed; there were 2 boys and 2 girls.

    As they grew up, one of them got HUGE--big for a cat, particularly big compared to the rest of the litter, which are very small cats. The huge one (creatively named "Big Kitten") also had a more coarse face; we assumed for years that was one of the males. But earlier this year I had to trap it again and take it to the vet to have an injury checked out, and turns out the enormous, coarse-looking one is actually female.

    But I really don't think this one qualifies as a "kitty." She is definitely a CAT. Unless she's an elephant.

  8. we have that exact same collar on both our dogs & i must admit that ours looks even worse. thanks for the project!!!


[2013 update: You can't comment as an anonymous person anymore. Too many douchebags were leaving bullshit SPAM comments and my inbox was getting flooded, but if you're here to comment in a real way like a real person, go to it.]

Look at you commenting, that's fun.

So, here's the thing with commenting, unless you have an email address associated with your own profile, your comment will still post, but I won't have an email address with which to reply to you personally.

Sucks, right?

Anyway, to remedy this, I usually come back to my posts and post replies in the comment field with you.

But, if you ever want to email me directly to talk about pumpkins or shoes or what it's like to spend a good part of your day Swiffering - shoot me an email to finnyknitsATgmailDOTcom.