We love coordinating our outfits perfectly with our TSM. Whether that be a 'statement' TSM piece or the more subtle, every design is fun to coordinate 'just right'! Even more fun, is to get to coordinate with our furry friends! In this post I will walk you through how I create custom TSM collars for our family dog, Echo!
When I began looking into making my own dog collar, I thought surely I would be able to just sew a strip of cotton woven to a buckle and it would be done! I found, though, that it is important to use nylon webbing to strengthen and stabilize your collar. The webbing will also keep your collar the same length, where cotton alone, over time may stretch out and lose shape. I found webbing and hardware on Etsy. There are many shops that have supplies available, but I have used a shop called Doggone Hardware several times, and always have a great shopping experience.
For this particular collar I chose to recycle hardware from my pup's previous TSM collar (shown below). Recyling hardware is a nice benefit of making your own collars! For the new collar I used canvas in the Iolite design without interfacing, though when sewing cotton woven (such as TSM Luxury Cotton) or stretch woven, I would absolutely recommend adding woven interfacing, such as SF101.
For this project, the supplies needed were:
Nylon 1" Webbing (you may choose a more narrow webbing for a smaller pup)
1" D Ring
1" Metal Bar Buckle
Metal 1/4" Eyelets or Grommets (the finish on grommets will be cleaner)
Eyelet or Grommet setting tool
TSM Luxury Cotton, Stretch Woven, or Rayon Challis
Woven Interfacing (SF101 is recommended)
Lighter (for sealing the ends of your webbing)
Metal Ice-Pick (or tool of the like to help grow eyelet holes)
Hole Punch & Hammer
To begin, I measured my pup's neck where her collar will sit. In addition, I choose to add about 6" to that measured length. The extra 6" ensures the tail will slip through the D-ring and not fall out during wear, also that you have extra webbing for where the buckle and D-ring are added. Cut your determined length from your 1" nylon webbing, being sure to pass your lighter over the raw edges of the webbing on both ends, thus sealing the ends and protecting them from fraying further.
Next, take your chosen TSM fabric and cut a strip 2" x the length of your webbing plus 1" extra. For instance, if my webbing length is 27", I cut my TSM fabric to be a 2" x 28" strip. Cut the same size strip in your interfacing (if using). Fuse your interfacing to your TSM fabric.
Find the center of your fabric strip lengthwise. From this center, measure over 1/2" on each side, and draw a line down the length of your fabric. On these new marked lines, fold and press well. Before moving on, fold both short ends in 1/2" and press well. (I like to hold these short ends in place with clips after pressing to really set the fold. This helps for a clean edge on the ends of my webbing.)
We need to next add our TSM to our webbing. To do this, lay the webbing piece flat and steadily clip your TSM piece to the webbing. I use a lot of clips to be sure my edges lay as nicely, and evenly as possible. Start at one short end of your webbing and sew around. Be sure to backstitch well at the beginning and ending of your collar, so the stitching does not unravel. (Notice in the photo below my TSM ends just before the edge of the webbing. This is ok. As we sew, it will end up the correct length.)
Now that the webbing has it's TSM top attached, it is time to add the hardware! Choose which short end you prefer to be the tail of the collar, and which end you prefer to be fixed in place with your hardware. Measure about 2.5" over on the short end of the webbing you've designated for hardware. At the 2.5" mark fold over the metal bar of your buckle. Clip in place. Using a Zipper-foot on your sewing machine, sew as close to the bar as possible. Backstitch very well at both ends to secure in place!
With the buckle now sewn in place, take your D-ring and slip it into place after the buckle, and between the main collar and new underside webbing/TSM layer. Sew in place, again, backstitching well at the start and finish to secure. I sew my D-ring in place about where the blue line is shown below. I will often sew another line 1/8" to 1/4" behind it, near the webbing edge, to reinforce. This second line is not necessary, though. I have never had stitches come loose at the buckle or D-ring, but like the peace-of-mind that extra row of stitching provides.
We are now ready to add our eyelets or grommets! This is where things can get a little tedious and frustrating. To get the eyelets in just right takes a bit of practice, but once you find a method that works, you'll have them set in no-time!
To set my eyelets, I make sure to have my eyelets, a setting tool, a lighter, a hole punch, and an ice pick or ice pick-like tool handy to make the holes larger.
First, determine where you would like your eyelets to sit, and how many. I only added three to this collar, but you may prefer to have more. I used my previous collar to see where I would set the new eyelets and made marks for the three 3/4" apart from each other. You could also do a quick fit test and mark where you would like the main hole to be, then determine the others around that measurement. Mark and punch your holes, then locate your ice pick.
Use the ice pick to help expand the hole in the webbing. Add the eyelet or grommet to your new hole and set. (I have found that if I use the ice pick from the webbing side, and place the eyelet on the fabric side, then slide both down together, the eyelet sets in place very nicely. I push any frayed webbing out of the way and set my eyelet. ) Next, use the lighter to seal the frayed ends of your webbing. This will help prevent them from fraying any further. Doing this method, I have never had an eyelet pop out, or the webbing unravel or fray at the eyelet holes post-wear.
Loop your collar around through the buckle and you are done! Your TSM custom made collar is ready for your favorite furry friend!
From old to new! My TSM collars have had amazing longevity on our pup! I just love how I can use my leftover woven pieces to create a unique look for her! Recyling my hardware is a definite favorite part of these collars, as well!
I hope your pup (and you!) enjoy their custom TSM collars as much as we do! And be sure to make a matching Dogwood bags dispenser, too! Our pups can be almost as coordinated in their TSM as we are in ours!
Thank you for following along with me! Please share your TSM collars in our Facebook group! We would love to see them!