Rainbow Bright Pillow Covers

The Houston Modern Quilt Guild, which I am a proud member of, has regular swaps at our monthly meetings. In March of last year we exchanged small items with a closure and I made a yellow and black ID wallet. In April of last year, we exchanged pillow covers. The only rules were that it needed to be 16″ x 16″, 18″ x 18″, or 20″ x 20″ to fit a standard pillow form and be modern fabrics/designs.

I wanted to make something colorful so I made up a drew up a pattern after thinking about easy to assemble rectangles and giving them a modern, slightly wonky feel. I decided on a 20″ x 20″ pillow and drew out a design on graph paper.

Sketch of my design

Sketch of my design

Since I’m trying to practice free motion quilting (and quilting in general), I cut out pieces enough for 4 pillows. I use two different shades of gray for the background with the same set of 20 bright fabrics from my stash. This would be a great project to use up scraps since the cut pieces range from 1.5″ to 6.5″ x 2.5″.

After piecing all four pillows, I tried a few different techniques for the quilting – 1/4″ spaced parallel lines (pillow A), modified chevron with straight lines (pillow B), and pebbles filling in the background grays (pillows C and D). I assembled them all in the same way using a bright color zipper and scraps to cover the zipper. I followed a tutorial I found on Pinterst for a covered zipper on the backs.

Completed rainbow bright pillows with varying quilting techniques

Completed rainbow bright pillows with varying quilting techniques

I decided to keep pillows C and D for myself as a matching set, gave pillow A to the guild swap (hopefully Tammy likes it), and gifted the other to a friend. All in all, it was a fun project that was a good opportunity to be creative by designing a block, practice my quilting techniques, and practice my zipper insertion techniques.

-Stephanie, HoustonDIY


Gathered Teal and Coral Baby Quilt

Front of quilt

Front of gathered teal and coral baby quilt

A very good friend was expecting her second child – first daughter – and I wanted to make a special quilt for this little one.  The mother-to-be told be early on she was thinking of a white and gold themed nursery with some other color accents to be determined.

At the Houston Quilt show last November I was immediately drawn to a half-quarter bundle of Violet Craft’s (@violetcraft) newer color ways of Brambleberry Ridge.  My friend had made an awesome dress from the Shimmer Reflection in Teal print so I had my eye out for something like this.  The bundle I bought from Modern Quilter at the quilt show included the Coral Palette and some selections from the Lilac Palette.  I was drawn to the coral and teal fabrics with white and gold accents.

Awhile ago I saw a Crinkle Quilt pattern from the Moda Bake Shop by Palak of Make it Handmade that I’ve had in the back of my mind for awhile.  I thought this would be a fun way to showcase Violet’s beautiful fabric while give the quilt some texture for the new bundle of joy.  I adapted the pattern to make a larger quilt with more rows of gathered fabric.

Detail of quilt

Detail of gathering and quilting

Back of Quilt

Front of gathered teal and coral baby quilt

A tip if you’re interested in gathering strips like this: use a serger with differential feed capabilities.  This allowed me to simply feed the assembled strip of fabric to be gathered and the serger took care of the gathering for me.  My inexpensive serger had this feature, so it should be fairly easy to find.

Dimensions: 64″ (l) x  40″ (w), approximately
Fabrics on Front: Violet Craft’s Brambleberry Ridge Coral Palette (12 fabrics), Art Gallery Solid Elements in Snow.
Fabrics on Back: Violet Craft’s Brambleberry Ridge Coral Palette (12 fabrics), an older Riley Blake print.
Assembly: pieced, quilted, and bound on home sewing machine and serger

– Stephanie, Houston DIY

Tutorial: Easy Sewn Paper Party Bunting (Garland)

King of the Jungle Bunting for the baby shower

King of the Jungle bunting for a jungle themed baby shower

Who isn’t looking for an inexpensive but modern way to decorate for a baby shower, bridal shower, birthday party, or any celebration? I recently helped a friend decorate for our friend’s baby shower. Instead of store-bought decorations I suggested making bunting. The shower theme was jungle animals so we decided on one string of bunting that said “King of the Jungle” and a few other strings of colorful flags.

Now, there is some debate as to what this bunting is really called. I think bunting is the UK term but garland, flags, or any other moniker means the same thing to me: cute, customizable, and personal decorations for your get-together. I did these out of paper but you could easily make the same type of bunting out of fabric stay stitched around the triangles for the flags.

In this project I used one of my favorite techniques, sewing on paper.  This isn’t as scary as it sounds and I have a few helpful hints on this technique at the end of the post.

Supplies needed:
5 to 10 sheets of 12″ x 12″ or 8.5″ x 11″ scrapbook paper (this project is great to get rid of paper scraps!)
Double fold binding tape – 1/4 inch or 1/2 inch finished width
2″ tall alphabet or number stickers, if desired (a Silhouette or Cricut works even better)
Clover Wonderclips (Optional) – really helpful for keeping the flags in place without creating puncture marks
Sewing machine and accessories – needles, scissors, matching thread

1. Cut out Triangles. I used my Silhouette Cameo to cut out larger triangles for my “King of the Jungle” bunting and smaller triangles for the colorful buntings I had planned. I choose the size biased on wanting to get at least 4 flags out of a 12″ x 12″ sheet of scrapbook paper. My large triangles were about 5″ tall and 4″ wide at the top. For the smaller triangles, I made them about 3″ tall and 2″ wide at the top. You’ll have to play with the sizes for your particular party theme, phrase, and decorating requirements.

2. (Optional) Cut out letters or numbers. I used my Silhouette Cameo to cut out my phrase “King of the Jungle” in solid navy in letters about 2″ tall.  You could also use store-bought stickers to add your phrase of choice.

3. (Optional) Attach letters or numbers to flags. I attached my letters using double-sided tape, centering each letter 1″ down from top edge of triangle.

4. Sew flags into binding tape. Lay out your flags along the 3 or 4 yards of binding tape. You’ll want to leave at least 12″ on each end to allow for hanging. Trim binding if needed for a shorter string of bunting. Starting at one end of binding tape, stitch along tape about 75% toward the open end, keeping in mind that there will not be flags for the first 12″. When you reach 12″, place the first flag inside the binding tape, making sure the tape is on both sides of the paper triangle and continue stitching. Make sure the triangle is all the way inside the binding and that your stitching is grabbing the flag by at least 1/8 inch (more for wider bindings). Continue stitching across the top of all of the triangle using the spacing you like.

Assembly of the bunting

Sewing in my triangles. Clips work great for keeping things in place without the holes left my pins in paper.

5. Pay attention to spacing.  Make sure to leave spaces between words. On the “King” bunting, I made sure to reduce the spacing between the letters of a single word and increase the space between words so the phrase was readable rather than one long word.  Once you sew on all the triangles in a single seam, your ready to party!

Colorful flags to match the baby shower theme

Colorful flags to match the baby shower theme

Recommendations for customization:
– Try making a phrase like “Happy Birthday”, “Congratulations”, or “Happy Anniversary” that you can reuse for various gatherings
– Buy a few sheets of glitter or sparkle paper to add pizzazz to your bunting
– Try making oversized bunting with large triangles and more than one package of bias tape for a bold decoration

Sewing on paper:
If you have never sewed on paper, let me assure you it is very easy and the results looks amazingly professional. There are two important things to keep in mind when sewing paper:
1. It will dull your needle very quickly. You’ll want a thinner needle – a 10 or 12. I have a dedicated sewing machine needle just for paper. If you don’t already, you’ll have one after your first paper project since you will not want to use that needle for fabric again.
2. Use larger stitch sizes. I find a 3.0 or 3.5 works very well. Remember, we are tying to do the opposite of paper piecing where small stitches are used to make sure the paper is perforated and easy to remove. We want ours staying put, so use a larger stitch length ensures you don’t create easy to tear perforations.

– Stephanie, HoustonDIY

Zig zagging Trilobites – a Bryan House Quilts pattern

I was lucky enough to get my crafty hands on an early copy of Bryan House Quilts’ newest patterns, Trilobite, as a pattern tester!

Bryan House Quilts

This is an amazing pattern that is full of versatility. You can make a variety of quilts using the same two building block squares. There are 5 sizes, Youth, Throw, Twin, Queen, and King, and 5 different layouts, Trilobite, Bristled Geese, Sawtooth, Banner Geese, and Zig zag. I chose a throw version of the zig zag layout and I’m thrilled with the result.

Trilobite Quilt

Front of Trilobite Quilt based on the new Bryan House Quilts Pattern

The pattern consists of basic half-square triangles, HSTs to the experienced quilters out there, and larger right triangles. Even though the pieces are straightforward, the layouts and arrangements by Bryan house Quilts are what make the quilts so unique. The pattern was easy to follow and I had fun mixing patterned fabric with my background of navy blue. Bryan House Quilt’s two-color version is striking and modern – an instant classic.

Trilobite Quilt

Pieced back of my Trilobite Quilt based on the new Bryan House Quilts pattern

Warning, I tried my inexperienced hand at some FMQ. This was definitely the largest quilt I’ve tried to do FMQ on. I had a lot of fun and it was great practice with my free-motion and walking feet . I highlighted the parallelograms made by the zig zag pattern to practice a feather, scallop, and straight line fill pattern. I also used the color thread I was matching on the top as the bobbin thread, so the zig zag stripes stand out on the back of the quilt.

Trilobite Quilt

I was super happy with my finished Trilobite throw!

This was my first time piecing a large number of HSTs for a single project. I was a bit daunted by the 216 HSTs I would need for a throw sized Trilobite quilt, but then Becca pointed me to a tutorial on a her blog on how to make a lot of HSTs quickly. I followed this method and my HSTs went quickly and easily.

Trilobite Quilt

I followed this easy method of quickly making a large number of HSTs

In addition to this great new pattern, check our Rebecca’s new patterns in her store and her upcoming debut book, Modern Rainbows, from Stash books available for pre-order now on Amazon and in stores in February 2015. -Stephanie, HoustonDIY

Michael Miller Fabrics Miniquilt

The Modern Quilt Guild recently had a Michael Miller Challenge in which all members who wanted to participate were given fabric samples (fat eights) of Michael Miller’s new Petal Pinwheels fabric line.  I decided to make a mini quilt for a friend who I thought would like the colors in this cheerful fabric.

I also wanted to practice foundation paper piecing (FPP) so I chose PennyLane by 627Handworks that I linked from Wombat Quilts.  It was a cute design with enough pieces that I could represent most of the fabrics.

Front of Michael Miller Challenge Mini Quilt

Front of Michael Miller Challenge Mini Quilt

Back of Michael Miller Challenge Mini Quilt

Back of Michael Miller Challenge Mini Quilt

Overall,  I think it turned out pretty good, but I would change a few things next time:

– The fabric designs were too large a scale for these small pattern pieces.  This pattern is lovely and may look better with solids, low volume, and blenders with larger scale pattern fabrics.
– I don’t love the pebble quilting I did in two of the quadrants of the main medallion.  I like to practice my pebbling, but it turned out too busy on top of the main elements. The pebbling on the solid coral looks much better and is a better example of how pebbling can highlight low volume or solid fabrics.
– I tried my hand at 1/4″ binding for the first time.  I hand sewed the back, but ended up with dog ears on most of my corners.  I need a bit more practice.

I want to give a big thank you to Michael Miller Fabrics and the MQG for this challenge!

-Stephanie, HoustonDIY

Pattern Review: Easy Toddler Girl Dresses (Simplicity 2377)

I thought I’d post a pattern review for some toddler girl dresses I made recently using Simplicity 2377 (from the easy-to-sew collection).  This was a pretty great pattern and perfect for using some Tutti Frutti fabric I had recently procured.

This pattern is for six different variations of the same basic peasant dress with gathered sleeves or flutter sleeves.  I ended up making 4 dresses, 2 each for my adorable nieces.  Each girl got a gathered sleeve and a flutter sleeve.  They are 3 and 5 years old, but tall as beanpoles so I made a few adjustments and ended up making sizes 6, 7, 7-long, and 8.  I made different sizes since sewing long distance doesn’t allow for any fitting.  I had their measurements to go off of, but I thought variety was best.

First two dresses ready for the girls

First two dresses ready for the girls

Overall, the pattern was very easy to understand and follow and had minimal steps.  The gathered neck and sleeves were really easy to do and would allow for easy adjustments if needed.  All the dresses had ties at the empire waist to also help with the fit and the flutter sleeves has enclosed nice bias tape edges.

I followed the advice of a few bloggers I’ve seen (I can’t find any useful pins to share!) to press on the top thread of your machine to create additional tension to produce the gathering as you go.  This is a primo method to make easy gathers and you can adjust the gathering as you go based on how much you press down.  I’ve never been good at gathers with just a large basting stitch and this technique (in repetition) made me very comfortable with gathering using this technique in the future.

Second two dresses - pink, pink, pink!

Second two dresses – pink, pink, pink!

Modifications I made:
—  I made a 7-long for my 5-year old niece that is 33 inches tall.  I used all the size 7 pieces, but cut the skirt to the size 8 length – basically adding about 2 inches.  This is straightforward to do and could be done to shorten the dress into a tunic.

—  I added more flutter to my flutter sleeves. The project was inspired by a pin my sister sent me of an adorable flutter sleeve dress (that I hope to still replicate someday) that had full flutters (It’s Always Autumn’s Simple Girl’s Sundress).  I added about 2 inches at the widest point to the patterns flutter sleeves to get a fuller look.

—  I added buttons as an embellishment on the chest of one of the dresses (not shown in pictures)

– Stephanie, HoustonDIY

Tips on Sewing a Custom Roman Shade

Close-up of Ribbon Detail on Shade

Close-up of Ribbon Detail on Shade

I was recently commissioned (i.e. asked very nicely) to make a custom roman shade for my friends’ new nursery. The job was first planned in the months leading up to the birth and the shade was installed when cute little Ellis was a few weeks old.

The couple wanted a shade in solid navy to complement the room. They looked into ordering one and got quotes of upwards of $800. I knew I could make it with a little Pinterest-ing and sewing time. After some research and fabric shopping, they decided on a navy thick weave upholstery fabric with a 3″ green grosgrain ribbon edge detail. We purchase the navy upholstery fabric and blackout fabric at High Fashion Fabrics, an excellent local Houston decorating fabric emporium and the 3″ grosgrain ribbon from TeaPartyRibbons on Etsy. The remaining supplies were from Home Depot and Joann’s (supply list in reference tutorial post).

Tha main challenge with this project is the size of the window – about 70″ wide x 58″ tall. They wanted it to be all one shade rather than two, which meant that wide width would add some complexity since there would have to be a seam to cover the whole window. After searching for tutorials, I found one that was very helpful. I won’t rephrase those instructions, but comment on modifications I made.

How to Make Custom Roman Shades by Brown Paper Packages
This was the main tutorial I followed. It is a great tutorial and carefully explains what materials you need (tube tape is one of the best crafting inventions ever! Never roman shade without it! I’m not kidding, ring tape is sooooo 1990s). She has very clear instructions on how to space your tube tape and drapery cord lines to make sure everything is well supported and a great materials list with formulas for calculating what you need to purchase – drapery cord, tube tape, lining, wood for mounting, etc.

I followed Brown Paper Packages’ instructions for the most part. I had to make some changes due to my width and I changed the side edges. Since we were adding the edge detail with the green ribbon, I created the front navy piece from three panels and hid the seams under the ribbon. For the blackout fabric, I made a vertical seam in the center. Offsetting the seams in the front and blackout panels also helped reduce fabric bulk when it was hung.

I followed the advice from another blog post (I’m bummed I can’t find the reference!) for the edges. I wanted the navy to wrap around the edge for a more finished look. I measured my panels so the navy wrapped 2″ onto the back.  The technique is to create the front panel 4 inches wider and the lining 4 inches thinner than the finished width. Then, stitch them together along each side at the appropriate point in the process.  This creates a 2 inch wrap around of the front fabric.

The ribbon embellishment created additional complexity. I wanted to sew over the grosgrain ribbon as little as possible while achieving a finished look – that is, as little visible sewing as possible. It required additional hand sewing, but I think it was worth it. Here is a summary of the steps I took for assembly that differed slightly from the referenced tutorial to eliminate the need to sew over the ribbon.

Assembly Steps:
1. Assemble blackout fabric lining panel (vertical seam in middle of panel) and hem bottom edge. I used a 1″ seam.

2. Assemble front panel from three pieces of fabric with two vertical seams where you want the ribbon to be. The outer edge of my ribbons are about 8″ from the finished edge. For a thinner window, you would likely have them closer to the edge.

3. Sew on the two vertical pieces of ribbon over the seams. I sewed an 1/8″ seam on each edge of the ribbon.

4. Hem the bottom edge of the front panel, switching thread colors when sewing over the ribbon. I sewed with navy thread in the three sections of fabric and then switched to green thread to sew over the ribbons. I sewed a 2″ hem to correspond with the 2″ overlap the navy will have in the sides. (Note: this is the only visible time I sew over the ribbon in this project.  I sew over it in step 7 with the horizontal ribbon)

5. Sew front and lining/blackout panels together on both sides with right sides together. I positioned the blackout panel about 2″ about above the front section to match the 2″ overlap in the sides. Flip right sides out. (Because of the size of this shade, I double checked all my measurements at this point)

6. Flatten the shade so the navy overlap on each side is equal at 2″ wide. I sewed down the length of each side about 1″ from the edge to keep everything together. I only did this step because the thick weave upholstery fabric completely hid my stitches. I wouldn’t recommend this on other fabrics that will show stitching unless you want that seam visible. You could also hand or machine baste the sides at this point. I felt it was helpful to steady the piece for the next steps.

7. Based on where I knew my lowest tube tape would be positioned, about 6 inches above the bottom hem, I was able to attach the horizontal ribbon to the shade, sewing through both layers. Depending in your spacing and shade dimensions, you may need to sew on the tube tape first or slightly adjust the position of the tube tape near where you want to sew on any ribbon embellishment.

8. Next, I followed Brown Paper Packages’ instructions in sewing on the tube tape. I sewed from the back (top thread white, bobbin in navy), but the big difference for me was that I did not sew over the ribbon embellishment. While pinning each length of tube tape, I also pinned to indicate the edges of the ribbon and did not sew over them.

9. Another difference was the edges since I wanted the navy overlap. I left about 1 inch of tube tape at each end. My shade had 6 rows of tube tape to cover the 58″ height.

9. Because of my desire to not to sew over the ribbon, I now had some hand sewing to do. I hand tacked the end of each tube tape row by tuning under about 0.5 inches and sewing it down with a hidden stitch. The tape ended about 0.25 to 0.5 inches from the edge of the shade. I also hand tacked the two edges of the horizontal ribbon. I folded a bit under to match the edge where eye navy stopped, 2″ in from the edge.

10. At this point I went back to following Brown Paper Packages’ tutorial for adding the drapery cord (I had 8 cords for my width!), covering the top wood piece with navy fabric, adding eyelet screws, and mounting it in the window. Instead of the Velcro that Brown Paper Packages’ used, installed the shade to the top wood piece and mounted it directly to the window frame. After hanging we inserted 3/8″ diameter wooden dowels in the tube tape to get crisp pleats. This is a must unless you have a very thin shade and so easy with the tube tape.

Overall, the project turned out pretty well. The navy fabric stretched a bit at the top because of the thick open weave, but it was able to be installed pretty well.

Roman shade installed in the nursery

Roman shade installed in the nursery

One word of warning when working with blackout fabric – it is not self healing. Because of the plastic layers used to create an opaque fabric, the fabric does not heal after being punctured with a needle. Therefore, take your time when sewing it since ripping out stitches will leave small holes through which light can pass. This was an issue in this project because the navy fabric had such an open weave. When the shade was hung and the bright sun was outside the window, I could see each seam of the tube tape across the shade. It’s probably something only a DIYer would notice, but worth mentioning.

-Stephanie, HoustonDIY

Hexagons That Were Made Easy

My guild, the Houston Modern Quilt Guild, recently had a workshop with Jen Eskridge, author of Hexagons Made Easy.  It was a great class where Jen shared her stories of publishing three books and her years of quilting experience.  She taught us the technique from her Hexagons Made Easy book and it was an enjoyable class with my guild colleagues.

The course provided a fabric kit with Art Gallery Fabrics (Bespoken by Pat Bravo) with hexagons in dark purple prints, a turquoise and a purple fabric for the main parts of the quilt, and a striped fabric for the binding.  I decided to use all the dark purple hexagons and make the front and back out of the turquoise or purple.  I arranged the hexagons in an organized pattern starting in the corner with a few that disperse out.  I did the same pattern mirrored on the other side.  I sewed on all the hexagons with a 1/4″ seam before assembling the quilt.

Turquoise side of the hexagon quilt

Turquoise side of the hexagon quilt

Purple side of hexagon quilt

Purple side of hexagon quilt

For the quilting, I sewed around each hexagon with small (1/16 – 1/8″) seam through all layers.  I matched the bobbin thread to the background color of the bottom layer when I quilted each side.  Then, I finished up the quilting with a few randomly placed hexagons to cover the quilt.  All in all, it was a great technique to learn and my class sampler will hopefully make a great baby quilt.

Close up of the hexagons and quilting on the turquoise side

Close up of the hexagons and quilting on the turquoise side

– Stephanie, HoustonDIY

Little Monsters Baby Boy Quilts

When the fabric store gives you adorable flannel, you must make a baby quilt or two.  My local Jo-ann’s store closed recently and due to a few weekends of an epic liquidation sale, I was able to pick up quite a few adorable flannel prints that were perfect for baby quilts.  Since everyone and their sister seem to be having babies these days, it’s always good to have a completed baby quilt on hand for the next impromptu baby shower.

One of my recent finds was an adorable flannel with a colorful monsters pattern on a black background.  I used solid blue and red to piece a simple back to complement the monster flannel.  I had enough flannel for two small baby quilts so the each have the same back but I practiced a two different binding techniques with packaged satin binding and regular packaged binding.

Front and back of the first completed monster baby boy quilt

Front and back of the first completed monster baby boy quilt

These quilts were quick and easy to make since the print flannel was used entirely for one side.  I recommend some of the great patterned flannels at your local fabric store for the next baby shower you are invited to.

Front and back of second completed monster baby boy quilt - looks pretty similar!

Front and back of second completed monster baby boy quilt – looks pretty similar!

– Stephanie, HoustonDIY

Tutorial: Easy DIY Dog Leash

I was visiting some friends with a new dog and wanted to make something for the new little guy. I thought that using some of my bag making materials I could make a custom dog leash. I saw some flannel with bicycles on it that was perfect since my friend is an avid cyclist. From project conception to completion was about 60 minutes.

Completed Leash

Completed leash, ready for a furry best friend

Supplies Needed:
Fabric, 10-12″ WOF (sturdier fabric works best, but I made it work with flannel)
Strapping, nylon, 1″ wide, 6-7 foot length
Clasp with 1″ connection (I get mine from BeingBags on Etsy)
Tube turner (I think this is a must for this project)
Sewing machine
Basic sewing supplies

1. Cut fabric. To cover a 1″ strap, you’ll need to prepare a tube of fabric. I’ve done this a few times to cover bag straps and I always use this formula: width of fabric needed = width of strap x 2 + seam allowance x 2 + a fudge factor. I use a fudge factor of 1/4″ minimum and up to 3/8″ or 1/2″ if the fabric I’m working with is thick. This fudge factor allows you to manipulate the tube around the strapping. For this project, I used 1″ wide strapping, 1/4″ seam allowance, and 1/4″ fudge factor = 2.75″ wide fabric strip needed. I cut three strips WOF (width of fabric, selvage to selvage) at 2.75″ wide. The number of strips needed depended on the finished length of your leash.

2. Sew fabric tube. Sew the fabric strips into one long strip, attaching the ends at a 45 degree angle like you were making binding. This creates a smoother finish on the leash compared to just sewing the pieces end on end where there would be a lot of bulk at each seam. Fold the long strip of fabric in half hotdog style (i.e. long ways) with right sides together and sew a 1/4″ seam along the entire length of the raw edge. At this point you should have about a 100″ long tube with the wrong side of the fabric on the outside. If using a tube turner, sew on the end of the tube closed with a basting stich.

3. Turn the tube right side out. Turn the tube right side out using your preferred method. I use a basic tube turner but there are many methods. No need to iron since this will cover the strapping.

4. Insert strapping. Place a large safety-pin on one end of your piece of strapping. Feed the strapping into the fabric tube by leading the safety-pin through the tube and manipulating it from the outside of the tube. You’ll need to frequently pull the fabric along the strapping. Again, use your favorite method to lead the strapping into the tube.

5. Straighten the fabric. This was the most time-consuming part for me. Manipulate the fabric tube so the seam is on the edge of the strapping and the seam allowance lays flat on one side of the seam allowance the entire length of the strapping. Pin or clip as you go. This step shows the importance of having some fudge factor in your tube width. It takes a bit of time, but eventually everything is smooth and ready to sew.

6. Assemble the leash. Sew 1/8″ from both of the long edges of the strapping. This keeps the fabric in place and gives a finished look. On one end, place the fabric through the clasp and fold over 1.5″ of the strapping. Tuck the fabric to give a finished look and pin or clip in place. Sew a square 1/8″ from the edge of the folded over piece, right up to the clasp. Sew the square a few times and sew a large X inside this square to secure the clasp.

Detail of finished ends

Detail of the lead loop and clasp secured with square and X stitching

7. Create lead loop and finish. Decide at this time the finished length of leash you want. I folded over about 10″ of strapping to create a generous lead loop and allow 1.5″ of strap to sew everything in place. Once you’ve chosen your length and size of your loop, tuck in the raw edges and pin in place. As with the clasp end, sew a 1.5″ long rectangle 1/8″ from the edges with a large X inside to secure your lead loop. Now you have a great new DIY custom dog leash!

Leash in Action

The DIY leash in action with Carver, the cutest dog in Oklahoma

Recommendations for further customization:
– use 1/2″ or 1.5″ wide strapping for a petite or large dog
– use up some fabric scraps making the fabric cover out of bright and mixed-up fabric pieces
– add an embroidered name of the pet to the fabric tube before sewing for a custom embellishment.

– Stephanie, HoustonDIY