Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Harnessing the Power of Recycling--Green Project Entry for MAKE Magazine

Click on the MAKE icon to vote for my Recycled Jeans Dog Harness project! Tag Your Green

Introducing Tulip

Here is Tulip in her cool new harness:

I adopted a really cute dog from a rescue organization over the summer (does that make her a "reused" or "recycled" pet?). Her name is Tulip. She came with a collar, but she clearly needed a harness for "walkies" or she'd choke herself pulling on the collar.

Tulip's hair was cut very short, so Tulip looks pretty good in a T-shirt or harness. Tulip is practically a rag doll--floppy, mellow, and pliant--and she is very tolerant of being dressed and undressed repeatedly. So another project began...

I still have the leftover jeans parts from my jeans circle quilt, dining room chair covers, and other jeans projects. Since most of these used leg pieces, I have plenty of waistbands and upper sections handy. Time for some serious seam ripping!

I started with the one waistband and the attached upper back section of the jeans. I removed the back pockets to save for some other project. I cut the section to get a rough fit under and around Tulip's chest.

I also used a waistband from another pair of jeans.

Here is the chest part after stitching to fit Tulip. The separate collar section on the right is sewn closed, so the jeans button is now just decorative. The collar part just slips over Tulip's head.

I salvaged the buckle and webbing strap from one of my kids' old lunchboxes. My kids go through at least a couple a year by doing things like leaving spilled milk in them over Spring vacation (mmm, yum!), dragging them over concrete, and other things, so I regularly scavenge useful buckles, hardware, zippers, and straps from them (the picture shows a newer one).

I used part of another waistband to make the strap that goes between the collar and the chest strap, and sewed on a reused belt loop to hold the scavenged D-ring.


Here is the finished harness. The second button has been replaced on the chest strap so I would have two matching waistband buttons. It is also sewn closed and is now just decorative, since the lunchbox buckle provides the adjustable fastening. If you look carefully, you can see that I completely removed the waistband that goes around the chest and then sewed it and the belt loop back on so the button and buttonhole would be in the right place! Tulip is fortunately much smaller than the original 36-inch waist. The triangular section goes on the dog's chest.

Here is the finished harness looking down at the top (the dog's back).

The buckle strap goes through a loop on the D-ring section.

The Finished Product

Here she shows off the D-ring on the belt loop:

Lacey and Tulip: Out and About

Yes, Lacey needs a matching jeans harness too. Maybe later...

Let's go!