Friday, November 12, 2010

Beware of Dog(s)

The next couple projects currently underway are taking a few days to complete. In the meantime, I wanted to share a recent project - - done pre-blog - - that was super simple. It also provides me with a good opportunity for a future blog warning. I’ve mentioned a couple times that I have two puppies that I love and adore - - sweet little Shiloh and Nolan have even been pictured in previous posts. This will probably be a common occurrence. Not only do I love taking pictures of them and think they are the cutest, I also have several projects in mind that are dog-oriented -- and now that my sister has two little ones, I get twice as many to do! I apologize now if you don’t have a dog or any interest in reading about their projects. I will do my best to mix it up and throw some non-puppy ones in there!

Now that I have provided fair warning, let’s continue with the puppy project…

Dogs can be a little messy -- especially when it comes to food. I always find food pebbles outside the bowl and water spilled all over the floor. I’ve actually caught Shiloh, on several occasions, with her head fully immersed in her water bowl blowing bubbles, like she’s teaching herself to swim. Anyway, I decided that, like people, mine needed a placemat of sorts to buffer my poor floor from their messy habits -- and since they’re dogs, what better placemat than one shaped like a bone!

Unfortunately, at the time I made my placemat, I did not have the perfectly shaped bone shown above, so I created my own template. I just used a sheet of computer paper, bowls from my kitchen to trace, and a ruler for straight lines. I drew only half of the bone for a couple reasons -- first, one sheet of computer paper with the whole bone on it would not have been large enough to fit even my tiny pups’ food and water bowls -- second, by drawing out half and tracing it onto a folded piece of fabric, I would get a symmetric dog bone. I had little faith in my abilities to make both sides even.

I choose two pieces of coordinating fabric to use so the placemat would be reversible. I laid the two pieces of fabric with right sides together and folded them in half. I placed the bottom of my bone template on the folded edge of the fabric and traced the image onto the wrong side. I then cut through both pieces about a ¼ of an inch from my traced line, unfolded the fabric and pinned them together. Tracing the image also gave me a very clear line to follow while stitching the two pieces together. I started sewing on one of the straight sides -- about an inch from the curve of the bone -- and worked my way around , leaving one straight side mostly open {think like you’re creating a bone shaped pillow -- it just won’t be stuffed!}

After stitching, I trimmed the excess fabric and inverted the bone. I folded the open edge under and pressed. Pressing is probably one of my least favorite things to do -- I hate getting out the ironing board and the iron -- but it makes SUCH a difference! Despite my dislike for it, I will ALWAYS do it. I think it makes a project look a million times better -- So don’t skip this step! After pressing, I sewed a simple topstitch along the open edge to close it. One trick I’ve learned when topstitching is to match your bobbin thread to the bottom piece of fabric and your normal thread to the top. This makes the stitch even less noticeable and keeps you from having to hand stitch -- which I avoid at all cost! And that’s it -- in about 30 minutes, the pups have a reversible bone shaped placemat to catch all their little messes!

Here is the reverse side. One thing I discovered, and will change for the next one, is the slight gather on each end. Rather than pivoting the needle at these points, I think it would be better to make a slight curve shape.

This really was a super simple project and would be so great to make for different occasions! I may just have to sew a Thanksgiving/Christmas one when I started decorating for the holidays! You could also make one out of oil cloth or vinyl and simply wipe it down every now and then to clean.

And just for fun -- look at that sweet puppy face :)


  1. You need to make an etsy shop! People would love those :)

  2. I took your template and made a cute bone toy out of fleece thanks for the help!