Dog Bow Tie Tutorial


I make bow ties (and collars) for dogs and cats.  I’ve been doing it for a couple of years now and I really enjoy it.  They look so cute when they’re finished!

Since I am new to blogging, I am also new to making tutorials, so this will be my first. I started this tutorial before I got sick awhile back but haven’t been able to post until now….hence the St Patty’s Day fabric!! I hope you enjoy it! Bear with me 🙂

Materials for a standard sized bow tie (for dogs):
9.5″ x 6.5″ piece of fabric
2.5″ x 5″ strip of matching fabric
medium weight interfacing, cut to size of fabric pieces (I use Pellon 808 or 809)
~2″ of 3/4 inch elastic (I prefer knit elastic to braided)
needle and thread for hand sewing the elastic

1)  Fuse interfacing to wrong side of the main fabric piece and the strip of matching fabric.

2) Fold the long edges of the main fabric piece right sides together. Sew using a 1/4 seam.

3) Turn the now formed tube right side out and press flat.

4) Fold short edges right sides together. Sew along short edge with 1/4 seam.  Set this piece aside.

5) Fold the small strip of fabric right sides together on the long edge.  Sew along the long edge with a 1/4 seam.

6) (my least favorite step) Turn this tiny tube inside out and press flat.

7) Go back to the main piece and fold into “an accordion” with 3 folds.  I do this best by folding the piece in half right sides together on the long edge, then turning back the top and bottom fold.

8) Wrap the strip around the middle of the accordion to get an idea of how long it needs to be to fit securely around the main tie.  Mark this length and add a seam allowance.  I usually eyeball this step.  The strip I have made is usually much longer than needed. Once I have wrapped it around the accordion, I cut off the excess to exactly how much I will need.

9) Sew the strip right sides together on the short end with a 1/4 seam. Turn this piece inside out.  You should have a small tube or circle.

10) Now, slide that tube over the accordion until it sits nicely in the center of the tie.

11) Straighten out the folds of the accordion and give the tie a good press.

12) The last thing to do is hand sew the elastic onto the back of the tie. The length needed will vary depending on your dog’s collar.  The idea is to sew on enough elastic to easily slide over the collar (remember, the hardware is a bit thicker and can be harder to slide over if the elastic is too tight).  I also eyeball this, but it ends up being about 1.5 inches or slightly more for a 1″ wide collar.  When I sew the elastic on, I turn under the raw edges to keep it looking nice and neat.

When sewing the elastic, I also try to include the main fabric piece and the center tube with each stitch.  I feel like this helps to secure the center in place and prevents it from shifting later when a puppy is wearing it.

I have seen many ties out there with Velcro on the back to attach to collars.  I personally prefer the elastic because I think it is a bit more secure.  Plus, I think Velcro gets ‘icky’ over time, especially when you factor in dog and cat hair!  **Keep in mind, I only use enough elastic to slide over the width of a collar.  I am not a fan of items that have elastic that is meant to be used around the dog (or cat’s) neck. **

Anyway, I hope this was a useful tutorial for you.  Feel free to ask me any questions as I am sure I have left out an important step somewhere.

Just a disclaimer:  I recommend that you always monitor your pet when they are wearing small items like these.  While they are supposed to be secured to the collar, dogs (and cats) can be awfully creative at getting things off and eating them.