This binding trimmed DIY dog bandana is fully reversible and deceptively easy to sew. Pawfect! This particular bandana is a starry combo of red, whites, and blues in honour of our fab furfriends celebrating the Fourth of July next week. But, it’s also not so over-the-top that it wouldn’t work for other fancy dress occasions or general wear, much like our Canada Day dog and cat bandanas. Woofs and meow!
Doggone Dapper DIY Bandanas
This pawesome DIY dog bandana is a simplified version of our fully bound edge bandana. It that skips the side trim on the triangle, eliminating corner turns. The result is still a fancy looking bandana, but it’s very easy sewing and requires only basic machine sewing skills. I think it’s almost as easy as a basic reversible bandana, (maybe even easier) but that’s a matter of personal preference and doggone great style.
Trim Ties for Style, Function, and (Surprise!) Efficiency
The trimmed neck tie on this bandana is both stylish and practical. Using a binding trim on the neckline covers the raw edge. This eliminates the need for any blind/ladder hand stitching (hand closing) or top stitching (machine closing) to finish the bandana. You can also combine the neck trim with topstitching on the bandana body, if you prefer, for an even more finished look.
Most importantly for my big dog DIYs, using the trim ties also allows you to use a smaller piece of fabric for your bandana body. This can be a game changer for folks with larger dogs, like mine. They’re necks are too big to span and tie with a typical pre-cut fat quarter of fabric. Pre-cuts are often an inexpensive way to buy fancy print fabrics in small quantities – like the cute red, white, and blue star fabric used in this bandana. It’s a star spangled but still multi-purpose design, just like our free printable red, white, and blue dog treat tags and labels. The trim ties are what allow me to use that size of material to make a bandana for my big boys.
🧩 It’s worth paying attention to the details when fabric shopping. Consider the size you need relative to the pattern orientation options for cutting the bandanas, whether using cut-to-length fabric off the roll or smaller pre-cuts. If using pre-cuts, be aware of the difference between Fat Flats (metric, half of 1/2 meter) and the conventional Fat Quarters (imperial, half of 1/2 yard).
They’re both “fat” because the half selvage to selvage is typically larger than the half meter or yard, making them slightly rectangular instead of squares. But, one yard is 91.44 cm so Fat Quarters are narrower (45.72 cm vs. 50cm). Fat, but also a bit short. For my big boys, I can make a single fold-over bandana or cut two triangles from a Fat Flat, but not a Fat Quarter. They’re too narrow for the diagonal to fit. Trim ties to the rescue!
Making DIY Dog Bandanas with Binding Neck Trim Ties
Materials and Supplies
To make a similar reversible bandana with a bound neck edge, you will need:
- Fabric for the body of the bandana
- Binding or fabric to make binding for the trim and ties
- Complimentary coloured thread(s)
- Sewing machine
- General cutting / sewing supplies
- Iron and ironing board
For the best results in ongoing wear and washing, the fabrics should have similar properties and care requirements. Washable fabrics are recommended for dog clothing. Before sewing, where possible, all of your fabrics should be washed. This is both for pre-shrinking and to reduce the risk of colours bleeding. Dry and, fabric permitting, iron flat for easier accurate measuring and cutting.
Binding Options for the Bandana Neck Trim and Ties
You can use ready-made binding for this DIY or make your own. I made my own binding. It’s very simple, especially for short lengths like this that don’t require joining. Check out our post on making and using binding tapes for information, techniques, and tips. This bandana was one of my earlier binding projects, but pet projects are awesome opportunities for learning or practising skills. They don’t judge on looks, just love. And maybe treats. Haha!
Sewing Dog (or Cat) Bandana with Neck Trim Ties
Preparing the body of the bandana:
- Cut two identical triangles of fabric (one for each side of the reversible double-sided bandana).
- The triangles should be sizes such that such that the long edge is big enough to fit one side (finished bandana can be worn sideways, front, or back) and to the edges of your pet’s neck.
Preparing the binding:
- Buy a ready made binding or create your own double-fold binding (if not using premade) by using a long narrow strip of fabric. See our detailed post on making and using binding tape if you need a hand creating your own binding.
- You will need one piece of binding for the bandana that is long enough to fully encircle your pet’s neck plus extra for tying into a knot (or, if you prefer, longer for a bow).
Sewing the body of the bandana:
- Align your triangles, ensuring that the fabric is pattern-side in if single sided.
- Sew the sides together, leaving the top (neck) edge open.
- Trim excess fabric from the seam allowances on the bottom corner of your bandana to help things reverse neatly without bunching.
- Reverse the bandana to pattern-side out.
If you look closely at the collaged photos below, you’ll notice that I left the top edge of the triangle slightly flat (totally optional) where it goes under the binding. You can also see that I left the selvage edges on my fabric. I’m using these in my allowances, hidden under the neck binding trim. Selvage edges are often extra durable, and why waste good fabric by trimming them away when they won’t be seen in the finished bandana? I’m always trying to find ways to be a little more efficient when sewing. Visit our partner blog Green in Real Life for sustainable sewing ideas and inspiration.
Attaching the binding:
- Prepare binding, as noted above.
- Hem or (optional) iron to point the unfinished ends of your binding to finish the tips of your tie.
- Position the binding centered on the top edge of the bandana with the raw edge sandwiched in the middle and pin to secure. Sew into place. I double stitched the lower edge on mine, just for a little extra style. My coordinating blue fabric was a bit thicker than I’d normally use for a binding, so this helps it sit a bit flatter, too.