It's the time of year for everyone -- canines included -- to don finery. In this regal, easy-to-sew collar, worn by Martha's French bulldog Francesca, two rows of silk-taffeta ribbon are pressed into box pleats and stitched in place. Narrower satin ribbon serves as a tie, and its ends are embellished with tiny bells, putting a jingle into the wearer's step.
Wide silk ribbon in taffeta or a flat weave works well for this project; soft, flowing ribbon will not hold the crisp pleats.
Tools and Materials
Flexible tape measure
Antique 3-inch wide silk-taffeta ribbon, $16 per yd., from Hyman Hendler, 212-840-8393
1-inch-wide satin ribbon
Sewing machine and sewing supplies
6 medium-size jingle bells from Hourai bells (#4BU), in Nickle, $12 for 12, from Toho Shoji
Dog Collar How-To
Before you begin, print our diagram to help you construct the collar.
1. To determine ribbon lengths, measure the circumference of your dog's neck. For the 3-inch-wide ribbon, multiply the neck measurement by 2 1/2, and cut a piece of ribbon that length. For the 1-inch-wide ribbon, add 1 foot to the neck measurement, and cut a piece of ribbon that length; set aside.
2. Cut the 3-inch-wide ribbon into 2 equal lengths. With disappearing-ink pen, mark alternating intervals of 1 inch and 1/2 inch along 1 side of each ribbon piece (see the top illustration in the diagram). Set iron to steam. Using the marked intervals as guides, fold and press a series of box pleats (1 inch wide, 1/2 inch deep) along the length of each ribbon piece (see diagram: inset); pin each box pleat to secure.
3. Lay both pleated pieces flat, overlapping by about 1/4 inch and aligning pleats. Pin the overlapping area to secure. Machine-stitch pleated pieces together (diagram, second from top). Remove pins from overlapping area; leave pleats pinned.
4. Lay the 1-inch-wide ribbon on top of the stitch on the pleated piece, aligning the stitches, centering it so there is about a 5-inch tail of narrow ribbon at each end. Pin ribbon to secure. Machine-stitch along the bottom edge of narrow ribbon (diagram, third from top); remove pins from ribbon.
5. Flip the pleated piece (the back side should be face up, and the stitching should now run along the top edge of narrow ribbon). Fold down the top row of pleats where it meets the narrow ribbon (diagram, second from bottom), leaving ribbon flat along back of collar. Press with iron. Unpin pleats.
6. Hand-stitch 3 bells onto each ribbon tail, sewing them in a straight line or staggering slightly (diagram, bottom).