Merry Martingale

With a little help from yours truly, Santa brought our pup Leela some stylish accessories for Christmas: a new martingale collar and leash.

Martingale Collar and Leash

A quick primer on martingales: this kind of collar has no buckle – instead, it is comprised of two loops. One loop goes around the dog’s neck, while the other is used for clipping on a leash. Tension on the leash pulls the collar taut to prevent your dog from backing out of it. When adjusted properly, a martingale collar fits snugly – but not too tightly – at its smallest setting and provides a comfortable, loose fit in the “relaxed” setting.

While there are some cute options when you’re looking at regular collars, I’ve had trouble finding anything outside of plain vanilla in martingales, so I set out to sew one myself.

To make the collar, I took measurements from a commercially produced martingale that Leela was already wearing. I cut two pieces of 1” nylon webbing for the loops, leaving a long piece for the leash. As an added bonus, I got to use our fireplace lighter to melt the ends of the webbing. Any craft project that incorporates fire gets an A in my book!

I sewed some funky patterned ribbon onto the webbing along the edges, then simply mimicked the construction details of her current collar. I made sure to double and triple stitch at stress points, using an "X-box" (square with an X in the middle from corner to corner) stitching method to secure. I have a regular ‘ol cheapy Kenmore machine, but even so, sewing through multiple layers of webbing didn’t present a problem.

The leash was even simpler: a loop for my hand, and a metal snap secured at the other end.

Leela's New Collar

Three yards of nylon webbing and all the metal hardware (loops, d-ring, slide, and snap) came in right around $7 from StrapWorks.com, and three yards of ribbon cost around $6 from SewSmart Fabrics in Doylestown, PA. Total: $13 for a custom, girly martingale collar and leash set for our little monster!

Martingale Collar and Leash