Old-school metal buckle dog collars

dog collars made from upcycled silk ties and clothing

It’s been a lot of fun creating these new dog collars! When I set out to make collars, I knew that a traditional metal buckle would be part of the plan. The typical plastic snap buckles have their place and purpose, but I was getting tired of how much they hurt my fingers to use and how they get caught in Pipsqueak’s flowing mane.

A pink paisley collar made from an upcycled silk tie

The metal buckles are classic and old-school, which I love. They’re also a more classic shape, as opposed to a more contemporary, sharp-cornered buckle.

This collar design features upcycled materials reclaimed from silk ties, heavy cotton trousers, and button-down shirts. It’s a kick to repurpose these materials and give them new life. And they’re sturdy and substantial while being soft and flexible around your dog’s neck.

There are two sizes available:

  • Small: 5/8 inch wide, circumference of 10-11-12 inches
  • Medium: 3/4 inch wide, circumference of 13-14-15 inches

I could also make a 1 inch wide version (for a dog that needs a 16, 17, or 18 inch length) but that is one heavy buckle! So it’s something I’ll do as a special order for now.

Visit my Etsy shop if you’d like to get one for the special little dog in your life.

Dog collars in progress

collars in progress
Long thread tails ready for their clean finishing on this small batch of dog collars made from upcycled ties and trousers

My first small batch of dog collars is just about ready, and I’m really enjoying how crisp and refined they’re looking (and feeling). I made some improvements to my original prototype, including making them thicker and more substantial, and doubling up on my topstitching thread for a more striking accent along the top.

One of the most time-consuming aspects of my design is cleaning up the threads from sewing on the buckle (shown above). Simply clipping off the thread ends looked fine at first, but when I tugged on the flaps the stitches started to come loose. We don’t want that! So instead, I carefully tied the threads off, and buried them into the fabric for a clean and durable finish.

This batch is primarily made from reclaimed silk ties and cotton trousers. If you’d like to get an email when they’re available in my shop, just fill out the form below and I’ll be in touch.

Dog collar design development

pink paisley reclaimed silk tie collar | oxforddogma.com

Often times when people see my handmade dog accessories they ask if I make collars. So my latest product in development is… a collar!

Since I’m a fan of classic design, I wanted my collar to have classic metal tongue-style buckles, with metal grommet size holes. And for the strap fabric, I’m testing out a sturdy canvas or twill accented with reclaimed silk ties.

After Pipsqueak has worn it for awhile I’ll get started making a variety of sizes and colors.

If you’d like to get an email when they’re available in my shop, just fill out the form below and I’ll be in touch.

Teaching a sewing class

Custom pet jacket sewing class

There are many things I’m enthusiastic about in the new year, and near the top of the list is teaching. I’ve always loved learning, and now I get to share with others that awesome feeling of learning something new.

My first class is a two-part workshop where students will learn how to design a one-of-a-kind jacket for their pet from scratch. In the first session, we’ll walk through drafting the jacket pattern step by step, and each student will leave with a complete pattern to test fit on their pet and measure for their fabric selections. This is where to get creative — some ideas include an upcycled tweed jacket (my favorite), pieced fabric scraps, or an old flannel shirt. In the second session, we’ll sew the jackets together and finish with snaps.

If you know someone in the Phoenix area with a sewing machine who’d enjoy making a jacket for the special pet in their life, you can share this link with them for more details and sign-up: http://bit.ly/pet-jacket-class

Class begins in Chandler, AZ, on Saturday, January 23, 2016.

Hello, snaps

working with snaps on new jacket design

I like the clean look of metal snaps, and their utilitarian aesthetic. But they’re not something I’ve yet used in my projects. Well, maybe one or two times on personal projects, with poor tools and unsatisfactory results.

For a new jacket design I’m working on, I’d like to use a few snaps in place of buttons. A lot of people are interested in the Tailored Dog Jacket, but the price doesn’t fit their budget. So my goal is to create a design that takes less time to make (for more on this, see what goes into making the Tailored Jacket), allowing me to offer it at a lower price. I think it’ll be a more casual take on the Tailored Jacket — still using reclaimed wool, but less formal in approach.