Sunday, October 30, 2011

Sunday Sewing (And Stuff)

Okay, it was actually Saturday sewing, but I didn't get around to posting yesterday. 

I had a few projects in mind, and had picked up some fabric on sale (remnant at 50% off of the current 50% off price end up being a steal of a deal). I wasn't planning on making the dogs Halloween collars until I saw this great purple with black cats fabric in the remnant bin. I was, however, looking for fleece, which I found there as well.

This picture includes the two Halloween collars I made for the dogs, the tug toy I made out of the selvages of the fleece (directions below), and a thermal-reflective cat bed. I also made a thermal-reflective dog crate mat, but didn't include it in the picture. And, since you are probably wondering, a thermal-reflective bed/mat is basically a thin, fleece covered mat with a thermal-reflective core that, when used, will reflect the body heat of the dog or cat back at them, increasing the warmth. Basically, a non-electric heated bed. I plan to make a few more of the cat beds for Martha and my mom's cats as well, and have another non-thermal dog bed planned.

I also realized that its been a while since I shared some pictures of the dogs playing at the park. A lot of pictures lately have been posed, as I am working on the dogs' sit-stays and down-stays.

So, here you go, my dogs looking goofy at the park!

And now, a DIY tutorial: How to make a fleece dog tug.

Start with four equal pieces of fleece. Mine are 4" wide by 45" (which happens to be the width of this fabric). When beginning, it will be easiest if you have two strips each of two separate colors.

Line up all the strips evenly and tie a knot as close to the end as possible.

Hold the knot in you hand with the long pieces of fabric up. Separate the strips so that one color is up and down, while the other is on either side.

Loop the top strip down and the bottom strip up, putting a finger in the loop that is made and keeping it nice and loose.

With the other colored strips, one at a time, put the strip over the loose end of one loop and through the loop on the far side. Repeat with the other strip of the second color. If you do it right, it should look like this.

Tug on each loose end to tighten the knot. You can leave it quite loose for a soft tug toy, or pull it as tight as possible for a nice firm toy. Make sure to pull each strip evenly, though, to maintain the same length of fabric.

Repeat each knot in this four-square pattern until you get to the end of your fabric strips. Tie a knot like you did at the beginning and trim the tails leftover to equal lengths (if you want).

You can also use other materials, such as old jeans or a t-shirt, to make a tug. I find my dogs like fleece the best, and it is soft on their mouths even when they are tugging like crazy. Plus, by buying remnants, it is easy to make a cheap fleece tug.


  1. Good idea. Those collars are adorable too.

    Wyatt and Stanzie

    P.S. we are still loving our collar you made us. It's the dress up collar for special occasions. Wyatt let Stanzie wear it in our last post :D

  2. You know, I've always wanted to try and make my own tug toy. Thanks! Also, Pallo has a distinctive basset hound look in that picture- it made me laugh!

  3. Ooh, thanks for the tug-tying tutorial! It took me a bit to make it work, and my first attempt is definitely not perfect, but I've been wanting to learn how to tie the square tugs. I can make the round four-strand braids, but they stretch out so much and so quickly with the way Steve tugs.

  4. Our pups & kitties have talked it over, & they would like to move in with you! Love the pic of them playing!

  5. Hei Koira and Pallo! Your photos with pumpkins are wonderful! Thank you for showing how you made this great toy with fleece! Looks beautiful and perfect for fun!
    xxx Teje & Nero

  6. I wasn't planning on making the dogs Halloween collars until I saw this great purple with black cats fabric in the remnant bin. ...