Mini Dress Shirt DIY Dog Bandana

DIY mini dress shirt dog bandana

Work? Play? Both! This miniature dress shirt DIY dog bandana is made from recycled shirt materials, restyled into a mini dog-sized bandana shirt. Because, why not? This DIY dress shirt dog bandana looks like my husband’s favourite work shirts (it’s made from one of them, after all), right down to the miniaturised chest pocket. Now the boys can look just like their Dad. Hehehe. 

Designing Our Mini Dress Shirt DIY Dog Bandana

Instead of using a section from the actual shirt front, I created a fake shirt front using material from another section of the shirt with a piece of the button placket (button side). In my case, this was a more efficient way to cut and use material. It also allowed me to switch the direction of the materials. I like the look of the diagonal lines on the main body, matching the shape of the bandana (totally optional, of course). The different orientation helps the pocket and placket to stand out a little more in the design despite being matched fabric.

I backed the bandana with plain blue from another shirt. It isn’t intended to be used as a reversible bandana, but making it this way covers the reverse of the stitched accents on the front. It also helps to give a little more structure to the lightweight shirting material.

Straight vs. Curved Dog Bandana Necklines

When I make dog bandanas, I usually work with a straight-edged triangle bandana shape, whether standard sewing or serged edges. I typically roll the top edge, and then tie the bandana in place. Simple and stylish. And versatile, too, if the bandana has two different sides for style variations. The body of the bandana will naturally fold around the neck and chest when worn. For this bandana I made an exception so that the shirt front would sit straighter when worn, and cut the neck edge as a gently rounded curve.

Dalmatian dog wearing a dress shirt bandana

Making a DIY Dress Shirt Dog Bandana

Materials and Supplies

To make a similar DIY dress shirt dog bandana, you will need:

  • Salvaged shirt materials (or other pre-washed/shrunk fabric of your preference)
    Salvaged shirt button placket (button side)
  • Complimentary coloured thread(s)
  • Sewing machine
  • General cutting / sewing supplies
  • Hemming tape (optional)
  • Iron and ironing board 

Since we’re reusing dress shirt materials, we already know that the material is washable. Since they’re used, prewashing and shrinking isn’t an issue here, but the shirts should be clean and dry. If you’re not using shirt materials, where possible, all of your fabrics should be washed and dried before sewing. 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.

If you aren’t using recycled shirt materials or don’t have a placket that you want to use, you can make matching faux placket using a strip of material with the raw edges ironed under and securely attach your own buttons.

Diagram for making a DIY dress shirt dog bandana

Making Mini Dress Shirt DIY Dog Bandanas from Recycled Shirt Materials

Cutting fabrics for the body of the bandana:

  • Cut a triangle (half a square on a diagonal / right isosceles triangle), such that the long edge is big enough to fit loosely around your pet’s neck plus extra to tie a small knot. If you aren’t comfortable with estimating 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.
  • Repeat for your backing material, ensuring that both cut triangles are the same size.
  • Optional: Trim the top edge of both triangles in matching gentle curve. Test fit around you pet’s neck to adjust the curve for a flatter fall if/as you wish.
Making a miniature dress shirt dog bandada from recycled materials

Adding a button placket to the front of the bandana shirt:

  • Cut a section of button placket (button side) to fit vertically in the middle of the bandana.
  • Iron the raw edge under.
  • Position the prepared placket on the bandana fabric, and sew securely into place.
  • Trim any loose threads.

Adding a miniature pocket to the bandana shirt:

  • Cut a small pocket shaped piece of material.
  • Double fold the top edge outwards, iron, and sew the hem.
  • Iron the side/bottom raw edges under.
  • Position on the bandana shirt fabric (I used hemming tape to help hold mine in the perfect position for sewing), and sew securely into place. You can sew just the sides for a functional mini pocket, or sew down all the edges for a faux pocket.
  • Trim any loose threads.

Joining the body of the bandana:

  • Align your triangles right-side-in and sew together, leaving a gap large enough for you to reverse the bandana.
  • Trim any loose threads. Trim excess fabric in the inside corners of your bandana to help things reverse neatly without bunching.
  • Reverse the bandana to pattern-side out, taking care to point out the corners.
  • Iron to flatten, taking care to try and have the turned seam fall right at the edge of the bandana so that the backing isn’t peeking forward or vice versa. Ensure that the seam allowances at the gap are folded inwards correctly for closure when you topstitch.
  • Topstitch at an even allowance all the way around the edge, securing the gap in the process.
  • Trim any loose threads and enjoy!

Dressed for Success!

Humphrey is all dressed up in his dapper DIY dress shirt dog bandana and ready for the office. Boss dog! That wraps up our special series of dress shirt recycling DIYs, but no doubt you’ll be seeing some of these materials pop up again from time to time in our crazy crafting. Lower waste and free supplies is a win win in my books. With reused materials, I feel no guilt about playing doggy dress-up, plus I get a giggle out of seeing our boys dressed as their Dad. Daddy’s boys indeed!

DIY mini dress shirt dog bandana

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