1. I started with two pieces of an Easter-y fabric. This fabric by Heather Bailey for Free Spirit reminds me of Easter Eggs. I cut the pieces three inches wide and a little longer than the collar. This collar is 3/4" wide.
If I had wanted the finished collar to look more gathered, I could have added an inch or two to the length of the collar pieces. (That will make more sense after you read step #6.)
2. Place the right sides together with the Ric Rac in the middle and stitch down the middle of the Ric Rac. For me, that was about 3/8 of an inch.
I sewed these collars by hand because I like hand sewing and because I was too lazy to set up the sewing machine for this little project. One of these days I will have a sewing room where my sewing machine will have a place of honor, ready for my smallest sewing whim.
3. After the first long side of the Ric Rac Collar Slipcover is sewn, turn and top-stitch to give the collar a crisp finished appearance. I chose to use embroidery thread, but a machine stitch is just as nice.
4. While the collar is still "open", turn under the ends and slip stitch the ends, and put in a buttonhole where your pet collar has a leash loop (either in the middle or near the connecting ends). I discussed the need for a leash loop here.
I added an extra piece of material to the underside to give the buttonhole extra stability. You can see how I turned under the edges of the extra piece of fabric and slip stitched. I don't like my edges to ravel, even on a simple dog collar slipcover. (Did I hear someone say, "a bit obsessive compulsive"? *laugh*)
Notice on the buttonhole that I ran two parallel straight lines of stitching down the middle of the future buttonhole before I cut the buttonhole apart. This gives that bit of raw edge some extra stability while I make the buttonhole stitches. Here I used three strands of embroidery floss.
5. After the ends of the collar are hemmed and after the buttonhole is constructed, place right sides of the remaining side together, insert Ric Rac and pin in place. Turn and topstitch as you did with the first long side.
6. Insert the collar into the Collar Slipcover and pull the leash loop through the buttonhole. Then I ran a long gathering stitch a 1/2" from each of the long edges, through both layers of fabric, using a strong quilting thread. Be sure to leave plenty of room for the collar to slip in and out of the Collar Slipcover.
You will notice that I did not start my gathering stitch at the very end of the Collar Slipcover because I wanted plenty of freedom in sliding the slipcover onto the collar. I started my gathering stitch about 1" from the end. The gathering stitch goes through both layers of the collar.
7. Then I attached a Heart YoYo and button from my free pattern. To ensure the Heart YoYo looked picture perfect, I tacked it down in three additional places, the tip and the two rounded humps of the heart.
I like this type of collar on Annie, one of our Westie Rescues because it emphasizes her Westie ruff. She is such a girly-girl, and I like pretty ruffles and gathers on her!
My favorite source for dog and cat collars is Carol's Charming Puppy Palace. Her hand-made collars are sturdy, washable and come in some great prints. Annie and Mackie have more of them than I want to admit. I talked about Carols great collars here.
These Collar Slipcovers just expand their wardrobe and give me a chance to make "baby clothes".
If you make any collar slipcovers from this guide, please send me a photo! Remember to share a photo with my Flickr group of Handmade Pet Clothes and Accessories.
My other posts about Free Pet Collar Slipcover Patterns are here and here.
The long-promised Scalloped Collar Slipcover next!