Wednesday, July 19, 2023

12 Days of Christmas In July Blog Hop - Decorating the Dog


Wow, its my day on the 12 Days of Christmas in July Blog Hop! Sarah, from Confessions of a Fabric Addict is celebrating all things Christmas for 12 days in July. After all, who has time to make handmade gifts or decorations in December.

I'll start with an introduction, in case you haven't been here before. I am Kate, a Canadian blogger, knitter, bag maker, sewist, and occasional quilter. I started knitting and sewing when I wasn't very old. I am also an engineer, with a specialization in process engineering. 

I live in a zoo. Well, not really but there have always been dogs in our home. For about 20 years, we fostered cats, preparing nearly 200 cats and kittens to become permanent members of someone else's family. We currently have a dog (Doug) and two cats (Mudd and Emme) who let us live with them. 

I'm a December baby, so I love decorating, and sometimes the decorating extends to the pets. 

Not every attempt is successful. You just know Doug is saying "You have got to be kidding."

Emme decided that she was so pretty that she would just be a decoration.

Dog bandanas turned out to be the most acceptable solution.

Last Christmas, it was cardinals.

Bandanas are quick and easy to make on the serger. If you don't have a serger, you can use a narrow hem or a machine overcast stitch. I make them from my stash fabric, large scraps and fat quarters. I made some Christmas ones this week, and I'll show you how I did it.

First thing to do, if you haven't done it for awhile, is to clean your serger.

I may have made a lot of bandanas lately. without cleaning it.

Next decide the size the the bandanas you are going to make. If you want ta perfect fit there is math involved. You will need to measure the dog's neck, add a bit extra so you can tie it, Then figure the length of the sides of the square using the Pythagorean Theorem. I have done the math to give you some general sizes (that engineering degree is handy sometimes.)

I usually cut a square in one of 4 sizes : 10" (XS), 14" (S), 18" (M) and 20" (L) . The square will give you two bandanas.

For these bandanas, I used 18" squares. This is a great way to use up a fat quarter somehow ended up in your stash. If you are worried about a one way print, I have found that the dogs don't seem to mind if it is askew (and the owner won't have a problem either).

I had a fat quarter of some vintage Debbie Mumm that volunteered for the job.

I squared it to 18". 

I cut the square into a triangle across the bias.

Then I chain feed all the edges through the serger, trimming off the width of the blade the make a nice clean edge. I use a balanced 4 thread stitch, usually using white thread. If the narrow points at the neck edge of the bandanas aren't feeding into the serger smoothly, I cut some 1" squares of stabilizer to help get the seam started. I cut a sheet of stabilizer into squares periodically and leave them in a box next to my serger.

In no time, you have a bandana made. I made 4 bandanas in about 45 minutes, from start to finish. This fabric is called Canadian Capers by Wilmington and it has lots of "iconic" images of Canadian winter. I had a scrap that was the right size for 2 bandanas.

The bandanas are quick and easy gift as well as fun accessory for your dog, or those dog owners on your gift list. Did you know that 95% of pet owners give gifts to their pets at Christmas.

Here is a picture of my granddog, Cassie, wearing her summer bandana, that I sent her this week. Cassie is a bit of a fashionista and asks for her bandana every morning.

I hope you enjoy making some dog bandanas. They look really cute on any dog, and cats like them, too.


  1. Of course they look cute.....the best dressed doggos ever!

  2. These are so cute! What a fun project too!

  3. So cute in bandanas! Thanks for the how-to and sharing! Your animals are adorable, and I love that you've been so involved in animal rescues for so long. I don't have a dog, but my neighbors all around me do. I don't think my son's cat would take well to a bandana - she is a bit of a fussy Russian Blue Manx, and I can't quite visualize that ... but I might try it anyway ... it's kind of fun to annoy her as she's fond of jumping out of the window ledge and landing on the person below. Thank you so much for sharing!

  4. Of course... simply beautiful :-)))
    And above all, it also fits as an Easter gift with an Easter bunny on it... or as a summer holiday gift with seagulls and a sailboat... not to mention Thanksgiving with pumpkins and apples on it...
    yes, simply beautiful.
    Thank you, I am very pleased.
    Many warm regards.

  5. Doug looks so dapper in his bandana! (And I'm pretty sure he knows it!)

  6. No critters at my house to make bandas for. I'm sure my parrot would not want one. Your's do look cute
    Merry Christmas 🎄

  7. And wouldn't this be a nice thing to make and give to your local shelter to help them get their pets adopted at Christmas time? Not to mention you could also use up those pieces of Christmas fabric that are still cluttering up your stash, keeping you from buying NEW Christmas fabric! Thanks for the lovely stop on the hop, Kate!

  8. This is a great idea and I have several friends who will enjoy receiving one or two for their own dogs! Merry Christmas in July!

  9. The bandanas are so cute on those cute doggies! We had a cat once who also wanted to be a decoration! LOL