Over the collar bandanas are easy to make and a fun way to dress up your pet for holidays and seasons. I have been testing various over the collar bandana patterns with my models, Gretta and godZilla, and I’m unconvinced that adding stiffeners such as zip ties keep them from bunching. I like this method because it is simple, fast, and reversible. It’s so easy, that if one gets eaten by said pet, it’s not the end of the world because you can make another one very quickly. This tutorial will cover creating the right size pattern for your pet, sewing instructions, and personalization instructions.
Speaking of models, aren’t they cute? This was a summer prototype with glow in the dark heat transfer vinyl. GodZilla was only 5 months old and now at 7 months, she’s over 73 lbs and ready for a bigger bandana. Also, it’s fall now, so you know what that means! Fall fabrics, plaids, and flannels!
Let’s start with sizing the pattern. This is honestly the hardest part of the process. Once you have your pattern, you should hang on to it for future seasonal bandanas. I have two large dogs so I started with 11×17″ paper to make my pattern. If you are making a large breed pattern, you can also tape two 8.5″x11″ standard letter size sheets together before you start or use freezer paper. Take this step by step and you will have your pattern complete in no time!
How To Size the Pattern
Step 1: Measure the Collar
Your pattern will be dependent on your pet’s collar size. Start by measuring the distance between the clasps (and where the tag is). Also measure the widest part of the collar. Gretta’s collar is approximately 15″ long, minus the clasp, and about 1.5″ wide at the clasp. Below is a photo of my pattern with Gretta’s collar (yes, she’s running around naked somewhere but it’s okay, she has a huge fur coat!)
Step 2: Overall Length
Take the collar length and add 2″. I like to fold my paper in half after I do that so I have a center line. For Gretta’s pattern, I have 17″ wide paper that I crease in the center.
Step 3: Collar Width
Next, take the collar width at its widest point and add a seam allowance of 1/4″ or 1/2″. Gretta’s collar is 1.5″ at the widest part of the clasp. I added .5″ to that for the seam, making the top band 2″ wide. Draw a line across the width of the pattern. Gretta’s pattern has a line 2″ from the top.
Step 4: Bandana Depth
Last step! Decide how long you would like the bandana. Gretta’s is 9.75″ long for the pattern. The finished length is about 8.5″ due to the seam allowances. Connect the lines from the bottom of the band line to the mark for your length at the center (your crease line). There’s your pattern! Cut it out and you’re ready to sew!
How to Sew Over the Collar Bandanas
Step 1: Cut Fabric
After you prewash and iron your fabric, cut out 1x front and 1x coordinating fabrics with your pattern.
Step 2: Top Seam
With right sides together, sew along the top, long edge. Use the seam allowance you budgeted for in your pattern. Mine is .5″. Then open and press the seam open.
Step 3: Over the Collar Opening
With the wrong sides facing up, fold each short end in .5″ and then fold it one more time .5″. Press, pin, and sew along the rolled edge.
Step 4: Sew Angular Seams
With right sides together, sew along the angular raw edges of the bandana. I used a .5″ seam allowance. Be sure to back stitch at either end. Before turning it right sides out, cut some of the excess fabric near the point so the finished point is a well defined corner. Turn right sides out. Press.
Now that you have sewn the over the collar bananas, you can personalize them. I use a Silhouette Cameo 4 to cut my heat transfer vinyl. Heat transfer vinyl (HTV) is very easy to cut, weed, and iron onto projects. This is a quick step if you have a Silhouette or Cricut machine and I highly recommend it. You can add your pet’s name or use the personalization to do an announcement with something like, “Big Sister” or “Big Brother.”
Choose your desired font and size the text to fit on the finished over the collar bandanas. Be sure to mirror your design before you cut it! Load the HTV with the thick, shiny side down and cut your text. I really like using the Siser Easyweed HTV. It presses very well and I’ve never had any issues with peeling the transfer sheet (shiny plastic) off. Check out this blog post for cut settings for the Cameo 4 machine.
After you weed your design, place it on the bandana and press according to the HTV manufacturer’s instructions. If you use a household iron, make sure to turn the steam OFF. Apply steady pressure to all areas of the design. I’m using a StarCraft Heat Press. It’s amazing for things like this, especially if you are making many to sell or gift.
Heat Press Settings:
Time: 15 seconds
Here’s the finished product! What do you think?
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial for over the collar bandanas and have fun getting your pets dressed up for the seasons and holidays as well!
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