Lured into the dog bakery by deceivingly yummy smells, I stopped short to take in the entire wall of "designer" collars and leashes. My initial reaction was that I could easily make a knock-off of these colorful accessories. But then a light bulb went on, I realized anyone with a sewing machine can design and make their own leashes. So...here it is, easy as pie, which happens to be the name of the green and white polka dot fabric by Moda--Apple Pie.
Materials you need:
1/3 yard of eye popping fabric or ribbon
1 3/4 yard of nylon or cotton webbing at least 1" wide
swivel/snap for hooking leash to collar
big button or decorative pin (optional, but adds nice detail)
What you do:
1. Determine how wide you want your accent fabric to be, and double that width. If you want a 3/4" wide strip, add another 3/4" to equal a 1 1/2 inch stripof fabric.
2. Determine the length you want your leash plus 2 1/2 inches for turning under at top and bottom, totalling 5 extra inches. For a finished 48 inch long leash, the webbing and fabric strip will be cut at 53 inches by 1 1/2 inches wide.
3. You may have to sew 2 strips end to end to get the total length needed for the leash.
4. Have a fusible webbing strip cut to the desired finished width of fabric. 3/4 inch is the final width for which we are aiming. Lay fusible webbing right along the center of the 1 1/2" strip of fabric. Very carefully, fold fabric over either side of fusible webbing so webbing is completely covered and press with hot iron so that fabric is fused down on top of webbing.
5. Take the pressed length of fabric and lay it in the center of the 1" nylon or cotton webbing, rough sides facing downward. Pin down at intervals so fabric stays in center. With coordinating thread in machine, stitch down entire length of leash approximately 1/4 inch from either side.
6. Take one unfinished end of leash and thread it through the purse handle. Fold end over 1 inch and then over again 1 1/2 inches, stitch end in place. This is now three layers of webbing and fabric so the sewing machine may have to be cajoled to move forward by turning the wheel with your hands as you give it gas. Remember to stitch a few forward and reverse stitches to lock stitching in place when you start and stop.
The above picture shows a turn under of more than 1 1/2 inches. That stitching was removed and stitched closer to the handle.
7. Thread other end through the swivel/snap and turn under 1 inch and then another 1 1/2 inches for final stitching.
8.Find a jazzy button or pin and attach it at the top of the leash just under the handle.
Try using wild fabrics purchased at Goodwill or other vintage stores. Also, use old custom jewelry for the embellishment. These make great gifts for dog lovers who love to be seen walking their dogs with cute accessory items. It's all about accessorizing, you know.
Here is CHIP, The Neurotic Wonderdog. You can tell he has poor self esteem.