Saturday, February 26, 2011

Making Collars and Contributing to the Cause

In my not-so-abundant spare time, I sew collars ... lots of collars ... collars that adorn the throats of dogs throughout the country ... collars that support Greyhounds Rock Fredericksburg, with the goal to one day find effective treatments (and hopefully a cure one day) for canine cancer. 

It's time for me to take this enterprise to a wider audience, which means setting up an online store through Etsy.  To do this, I had to have great photos of my collars ... and no one I know does better photos than my friend Kat, from Low Tide High Style.  Last week, I mailed her a box of collars to photograph, and she sent back the most unbelieveably beautiful images.  Oh, the wonderful things that she can do with a camera!!

I learned to sew when I was ten years old, on an old White, straight-stitch sewing machine that once belonged to my great-grandmother.  I still have this machine, in its walnut stand, and I use it as a table in our master bedroom.  I moved up to a fabulous Kenmore machine that my husband bought for me shortly after we got married ... and it is the one I still use today, 30+ years later.

My collars are mostly made from designer fabric samples, gathered from various sources.  These fabrics are high quality and very durable ... and the colors are always beautiful.  My favorite fabrics to work with are tapestries, damasks, and linen and linen blends. 

The fabric samples I use are small, and I can usually only make two or three collars from each.  This means that my customers won't find their collar on every dog at the greyhound gathering or dog park, like happens with so many other collar makers.  It also keeps the process interesting for me, since I'm not making the same thing over and over and over.

To make these collars, first I cut the fabric into strips ...

... and I sew on the lining.  To make the process go faster, I usually sew the strips one after another without cutting the thread.  I end up with a huge heap of strips behind the sewing machine, then I cut them apart and iron them.  While I'm sewing, I can usually count on having at least one of the cats sitting in the middle of what I'm doing.  This time it was Amy, taking a quick bath.

Dorothy was sitting behind the machine for a while, watching the needle go up and down.

.... and Alice hops into my chair whenever I get up.

Now the fabric blanks are ready to get their hardware and become collars.

All done!

These stylish, colorful collars aren't just for greyhounds!  Any breed of dog whose head is smaller than their neck (like Great Danes, Collies, Poodles, Shepherds, and many other breeds) can benefit from wearing these comfortable, secure collars. Recently, I sold a collar to the owner of an English Bulldog!! 

When we sell these collars at our booth at events, and in the Etsy store as soon as I get it up and running, 100% of the purchase price is donated to Greyhounds Rock Fredericksburg.  (I donate my time and all materials.)  My hope is that each collar I sell will  bring us that much closer to the day when fewer of our beloved canine companions are lost to cancer. 

THIS is my dream, and you can help.  I should have the Etsy store up some time next week ... it's a lot more work to get it started than I thought it would be.  In the meantime, if you see a collar here that you like, or have any questions, please send me an EMAIL and I will give you the details.

Thank you, Kat, for helping me get this started.  I know our Etsy store will be a success ... and a large part of the success will be because of your beautiful images!

Watch this space for news about our annual 'Take a Bite Out of Cancer' event, held in Fredericksburg, Virginia, November 12-13, 2011.  We have two BIG NAME guests in the works, and I can't wait to tell you all about them!!

'Greyhounds Rock Fredericksburg' is a 501 (c) (3) registered charity.
For more information, visit our WEB SITE.

To help spread the word, I'm linking this post to:
Saturday Nite Special at Funky Junk Interiors
Show and Share at Just a Girl


  1. The collars are beautiful and this is a great way to help the cause. Are you on Twitter? If you are and send out a tweet about this I will retweet to my 2,000 followers there.

  2. Love the collars!
    I love to sew, too...we can't sew without our helper furbabies, can we?

  3. Nice... Congratulations on your store! This is going to keep you busy.

    The collars look well made and great choice of fabrics too I might add.


  4. These coolars are really beautiful. Your sewing is fantastic. Thank you so much for the post on roses below. I have to confess that I find it hard to resist those roses on offer.....but no more!!!!


  5. Wonderful. I grew up around greyhounds. Beautiful dogs with the patience of saints.

  6. Beautiful collars for the glamorous and regal greyhounds!

    Please send me a clickable image link to your Etsy site and I'll put it up on my blog. I think you have my email?

  7. Very high fashion collars, Connie, and for a good cause. Great work all around.

  8. Beautiful collars and a wonderful cause! Good Luck with your sales. No dogs here I'm afraid! hugs, Linda

  9. My chihuahua is jealous.

  10. What a fabulous cause you support. The collars are fantastic. You are right, Kat takes wonderful photos. I don't have a dog right now but I wish you much success. Great post.


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