Tuesday, 19 April 2016
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How to Make a Reversible Dog Bandana

DIY reversible dog birthday bandanas for pet parties

If you're going to party, you should do it in style!  Oli and Humphrey have new reversible birthday bandanas in their special occasion wardrobe. These are very quick crafts and require only basic machine/hand sewing skills.

Not into sewing?  You can make dog bandanas with fusible tape instead, but they may be less durable/washable. If you want a very quick and easy bandana this simple no-sew dog bandana is a very easy alternative, or explore the related posts for other ideas.

Step-by-step how to make a DIY reversible dog bandana

The materials and craft supplies used in making the bandana shown are:
  • Fabric
  • Scissors
  • Sewing Supplies Can be fully hand sewn if you wish, but will be much quicker/easier if you have a sewing machine. 
Our bandanas are made with remnants of awesome matching colour-on-white and colour-on-black birthday fabric that I found in the bargain bin of the local craft shop (I troll it regularly for bits to stow away in my craft stash!); however and complimentary or complimentary-contrast fabric will work nicely. Check out this post for handy tips on getting more versatile wear out of a reversible dog bandana for ideas on styling (and a DIY version that includes topstitching per the update note below).

To sew your own reversible dog bandana:

  • Prepare fabric for sewing. Wherever possible (and fabric permitting), I prewash/preshrink fabric and then iron flat prior to cutting or sewing.
  • Cut a triangle (half a square on a diagonal / right isosceles triangle), such that the long edge is big enough to fit loosely around you pet's neck plus extra to tie a small knot. If you aren't comfortable with guesstimating the size, you can use a collar as a gauge or loosely measure your pet's neck.  Don't forget to add a little extra for seam allowances. Having two similarly sized dogs makes this super easy, as you just cut the correct size square, then halve it on the diagonal. 
  • Repeat for your reversible material, ensuring that both cut triangles are the same size.
  • Align your triangles, ensuring that the fabric is pattern-side in if single sided.
  • Sew together, leaving a gap large enough for you to reverse the bandana. Tip: I prefer to leave my gap somewhere on the top edge, near where the bandana will be knotted.  If (like me!) you hate hand stitching closures, this ensures that the readily visible areas of your finished bandana are nicely neat and will help hide any boo-boos you might make when hand-sewing.
  • Trim excess fabric in the inside corners of your bandana to help things reverse neatly without bunching.
  • Reverse the bandana to pattern-side out. 
  • Sew the gap closed using a blind/ladder stitch to keep things "invisible". Tip: If you hate hand sewing, you can top stitch across the edge near the upper hem instead, or the whole of the bandana if you prefer.
📅 In the years since writing this post, I've gotten a lot more confident with my sewing. Nowadays I always topstitch for a slightly more finished look if making a similar style of bandana, but it's still totally optional and the bandanas look great without it. We're still using these birthday bandanas and they look perfect after several years of celebrations, drool, and washing.

DIY reversible dog birthday bandanas

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