How to Make a Reversible Dog Bandana

How to sew simple reversible dog bandanas

If you’re going to party, you should do it in style! Oli and Humphrey have new birthday bandanas in their special occasion wardrobe. Get the details on how to sew a reversible dog bandana, like our cute matching set of DIY double-sided birthday bandanas. 

Ready to Pawty in Style!

This was one of the very first sewing projects we shared here on the blog. In the many years since, I’ve adapted my bandana making approach slightly (see the end of the post for details), but the basics for making a simple double-sided dog bandana are still the same.  Not into sewing? You can make dog bandanas with fusible tape, but they may be less durable. If you want a very quick and easy bandana this simple no-sew dog bandana is a very easy alternative, or you can explore all of our DIY dog bandana posts for other ideas.

Smiling Dalmatian dog wearing a birthday bandana

Many years may have passed, but these bandanas still look doggone great. They’ve been worn by the boys (and occasionally their friends) lots of times since these very first photos. They’re a go to for our dogs’ birthdays and dressing up for people parties, too! So many memories. You’ll see them all over the place in our dog birthday posts here on the blog and our social media. 

Dalmatian dog wearing a birthday bandana

How to Make a Reversible (Double Sided) DIY Dog Bandana

Supplies and Materials

To make a similar basic reversible (double sided) dog bandana, you will need:

  • Fabric (complimentary of contrasting for each side)
  • Complimentary coloured thread
  • Sewing machine 
  • General cutting / sewing supplies
  • Iron and ironing board (optional but recommended)

Bandanas like these can be fully hand sewn if you wish, but will be much quicker and easier if you have a sewing machine. 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.

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. Check out our handy tips on getting more versatile wear out of a reversible dog bandana for additional ideas on styling (and a DIY version that includes topstitching per the update note below).

Sewing a Simple Reversible Dog Bandana

Measuring and sizing:

  • Measure or estimate your pet’s required neck size. If you aren’t comfortable with estimating the size, you can use a collar as a gauge or loosely measure your pet’s neck.  
  • Calculate the required fabric size for your sewing project.

You will two identical fabric triangles, one for each side of the bandana. They will need to be sized to suit your pet, plus a little extra around the edges for your seam allowances. The long edge of the finished bandana (after the seams are sewn) will need to be big enough to fit loosely around your pet’s neck plus extra to tie a small knot. Having two similarly sized dogs makes this super easy, as you just cut the correct size square, then halve it on the diagonal. See our post on no-sew dog bandanas for diagrams, if needed. Remember to add extra for the seam allowances.

Sewing reversible DIY dog birthday bandanas

Preparing the fabric pieces:

  • Prepare fabric for sewing. Wherever possible (fabric permitting), I prewash my fabric and then iron flat prior to cutting or sewing.
  • Measure and cut two identical triangles of fabric (one for each side of the bandana) sized for fit as noted above. 

Sewing the bandana:

  • 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.

For a bandana like this, I prefer to leave my gap somewhere on the top edge. I usually roll the top edges a little (whether sewn or not) to gather an easy edge for tying as well as make the perfect fit. This means that the top edge isn’t readily visible in the finished bandana. If (like me) you hate hand stitching closures, this ensures that the visible areas of your finished bandana are nicely neat and will help hide any boo-boos you might make when hand-sewing. Ditto if there are any slight misalignments if you are folding and top stitching instead of sewing closed.

  • Trim excess fabric from the seam allowances on 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 either hand stitching or machine topstitching.
    • Hand sew the gap closed using a blind/ladder stitch to keep things “invisible”.
    • Alternatively, you can fold the gap, iron to match the neighbouring edges, and topstitch. You can topstitch across the upper hem instead or the whole bandana.

📅 In the years since writing this post, I’ve gotten a lot more confident with my sewing. Nowadays, I almost always topstitch. It gives 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.

How to sew a reversible dog bandana

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