If you’re handy with a sewing machine, you can sew a bow tie and attach it to your dog’s collar. Learn how to make a diy pet bow tie
Hey y’all, today I’m sharing a post showing how to sew a dog bow tie. I’m going to be using a free pattern to make this, and I’ve got a video tutorial in case you need a little more than the written pattern instructions. A pet bow tie is a great way to dress up your pup for special occasions (like Christmas!). Pet bow ties also sew up fast, so they are great quick gifts to make for the the pet lovers in your life. They’re also more formal than bandanas. This bow tie slips over your dog collar, and an elastic band holds it securely in place. So it doesn’t get in the way of a leash while it elevates your pup’s everyday look.
Because the only thing more handsome than a fluffy standard poodle puppy is a fluffy spoo in a bow! That’s my dapper dog Mulligan above wearing a DIY dog bow tie accessory. He is just over a year old and he’s a huge doofus – don’t let his regal posing fool you. Once I finish my physical therapy and get cleared to run again he will be training to be my running partner. Meanwhile he will continue to attack his squeaky toys, sit on people’s feet, and resist eating things off the counter. That last one is very hard for him because he’s a much bigger than average standard poodle and his head is right at counter height when he’s standing. While most dogs of his breed are 22-25 inches at the shoulder, he’s up to 29 inches there!
Special note from me: Mulligan, the dog pictured in this post, died tragically at the emergency vet 6 months after this post from complications of bloat. I loved hime dearly and if you also have a large dog I urge you to research this condition. I didn’t know that for breeds prone to bloat there was the option of a preventative gastropexy to help. My current standard poodle, Bear, had that done when he was neutered now that I know.
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Materials to Make a Pet Bow Tie
To make a bow tie for your furry friend, you’ll need:
- The pattern, see below for the link and details
- Fabric – you can make this with scrap fabric. A fat quarter is plenty of fabric even for the largest size.
- Interfacing. You’ll want to add interfacing to the bow to make it perky. I used a heavier weight interfacing which looks very crisp, but it did make my bow just a little harder to work with. For more about interfacing weights see this post.
- Elastic scraps – you’ll need just a few inches of 1/4 inch or 3/8 inch wide elastic. The pattern specifies how much elastic based on the width of your pet’s collar. The type of elastic isn’t really important here; most will work. They only kind I might avoid is clear elastic, as that might be hard to slide on the collar.
- Pinking shears (affiliate link) you can use these to trim the bulk out of the seams and keep them from fraying
- Tube Turner (affiliate link) I used the stick from mine to help turn my bow right side out and then used the whole thing to turn the tube for the bow center
- Hand sewing needle
Getting the Pattern
To make this tie, instead of figuring out rectangle dimensions and how to attach the tie to Mulligan’s collar myself, I used my friend Melissa’s Atlas Bow Tie pattern, which you can get for free on her site. Click on the link and then you’ll go through the checkout process on her site to get the pattern.
Please note: if you have problems checking out or getting the pattern, you’ll need to contact her for help, as this is not my pattern and I can’t help. Also note that I can’t promise this pattern will always be free, Melissa could decide she wants to charge for it at any point.
One of the things I like about this pet bow tie pattern is that there are multiple sizes, and you can use it for multiple collar widths. That makes it easy to get a perfect fit. You can even layer a smaller size on a larger size to make a double bow tie – so cute! There are so many options here for you to sew a dog bow tie that suits your pet’s personality perfectly.
Choosing the Fabric
There are two main pattern parts to sew a dog bow tie – the bow and the center. Each is a rectangle, so you don’t even have to print out the pattern to make yours. The pattern lists how big to cut each rectangle for each size. I used my rotary cutter to cut mine. Since you’re going to interface the bow itself, pretty much any fabric will work, and you only need a small piece of fabric. I chose these cute polka dots on quilting fabric.
You can use apparel scraps, which is great because a lot of scrappy sewing projects don’t lend themselves to apparel fabrics. But silk, suiting and satin would all make adorable ties for the right pets! And of course, quilting cotton works great and comes in sooooo many prints. I used Riley Blake Swiss Dot Clover from their Basics line. BTW, Google is the best way to find sources if you want the exact same fabric I used. Just search for the fabric name exactly as I wrote it. And if you want to use up really small scraps, consider a contrasting center piece to pinch the bow with a pop of color!
The only caution I would give is not to use fabric that is very thick. You could use a light denim if you skip the interfacing, but anything thicker would be pretty difficult to work with when you fold and pinch the bow and wrap the center around it.
Sew the Bow
To sew a dog bow tie, follow the picture instructions in the Atlas pattern, or watch the video of me sewing the bow tie below. You can also watch on YouTube here if you prefer or if the video below won’t load for some reason.
Thoughts and Considerations About DIY Dog Bow Ties
You know your pet best, but I wouldn’t recommend letting your pet wear their bowtie unsupervised. I kept catching Mulligan trying to eat his bow while wearing it (though he was not successful). I can also imagine issues if your pet was to get their bow caught on something while wearing it. This seems like something a cat might be more likely to get in trouble doing.
One other thing that you’ll notice if you watch how I assembled my bow tie is that I hand sewed the last step on mine. That method isn’t covered in the pattern. So if you also want to hand stitch the center of the bow tie instead of machine sewing or using a hot glue gun, be sure to watch that. I used a whip stitch on the back of the bow tie. A whip stitch has the advantage of also finishing the raw edges there.
Here’s an idea if you are gifting this – wrap up a toy in a box, then run a ribbon through the loops on the bow. Make sure you tell the recipient that the bow is part of the present!