Years ago my mother-in-law bought me a sewing machine for Christmas. It wasn’t really on my wish list, but she’s a practical person and gets a lot of use out of her sewing machine (especially with 11 grandkids and one great grandkid). She even sewed the dresses for my bridesmaids and flower girl at our wedding almost a decade ago.
So, yeah, sewing machines are useful. But I didn’t pay that much attention during Home Ec in high school and didn’t know the first thing about sewing. Plus, a sewing machine was just a huge symbol of domestic responsibility in a patriarchal society, so I put it aside and didn’t look at it again until recently.
Being almost as frugal as his mother, Ivan decided one day a few weeks ago that he wanted to hem his own pants and take in the leg width a little bit. They fit him slightly baggy and he’s small, so it’s almost impossible to find his size at the store (try finding anything smaller than a 30″ waist in men’s dress pants). It seemed like an easier move to just watch a couple YouTube videos and have a go.
And it worked. He did a really good job.
Now he’s talking about making his own ties and fitted dress shirts for work.
I was really impressed and sort of wanted to give it a try. So we bought a little desk at Ikea and set the sewing machine up in our computer room.
Now what? I didn’t really want to make myself any clothes. I’d probably mess that up. I didn’t want to make a stuffed animal or pillow. What did people make with sewing machines?
Then I realized what I wanted to do — I’d make stuff for the dogs! Of course!
First I made a couple dog collars. I wanted them wrapped in fabric, since there are so many cool prints out there! But I also prefer martingale collars for my dogs. So I combined the instructions on THIS SITE with the instructions on THIS SITE.
And I made a doughnut collar and a Campbell’s Soup collar.
Then I wanted to make something else for the dogs, something that didn’t require as long a strip of fabric so I could make it out of a fat quarter. That’s when I came across the idea of a doggy bow tie.
I used the instructions on THIS SITE, but made a few changes. These instructions allow the center strip of fabric to be large enough that it loops around your dog’s collar. I didn’t like how those bow ties looked, so I shortened that strip of fabric considerably and added 2 little pieces of elastic on the back of the bow to fit your dog’s collar through. Tada!
Then I figured if I was making bow ties for dogs, I may as well try making neck ties as well. And I found a great tutorial on THIS SITE. The ties are super cute, but I think they could be even longer. Still, my dogs sure look spiffy all dressed up!
And, finally, because I still had huge squares of cute fabric, I knew I had to make some bandannas. I found a simple pattern for a reversible bandanna HERE and made a handful of fall-themed ones.
And, since bandannas are just so simple to make, I also made a couple single-sided bandannas (hemmed for tidiness) with a 1″ channel at the top to slide a dog collar through. Fancy!