Obviously, one has to have a collar. (Hopefully that's obvious.) You've gotta have a place to put the tags, in case the dog wanders off. And since I sew, I thought it would be fun to make a unique collar for my dog. I had seen a review for a sewn collar on PR, and it mentioned getting the instructions in a kit from Creative Designworks. So I looked it up and was happy to discover that a kit was only $5 (including shipping!) and contained hardware for two collars. Bonus! I had already purchased the hardware (from the hardware store) for two leashes, so I didn't order the leash kit. Besides, how hard could that be to dream up, right?
And DH also suggested a harness for her, due to her age. We didn't know if she'd be the type to be stubborn about where she wanted to go (eh, she is a little - not too much), but a harness can spread out the tension over her neck and shoulders, instead of just tugging on her neck. So I ordered that kit, too. (It contains the hardware for one harness.)
Can I just say that I'm really pleased? :) The collar went together very well, and I loved the fact that it didn't require webbing. Just fabric and heavyweight interfacing. In fact, the collar was my first completed item in my new sewing room! The instructions were great - it was easy to put together, even though I was sewing late at night on a deadline! (I needed the collar and leash finished before I went to pick her up from my buddy the next day.)
The harness took another week or so to be done, just due to sewing inertia. But it was also easy to put together, although my picky side is telling me to remove the chest strap and replace it with one an inch or two longer. Can you tell that the girth strap is being tugged forward between her legs? Anyway, that's my only gripe. And since it doesn't seem to bother her, I might just leave well enough alone.And from the top. I keep the harness in the closet with the leash, and she's already learned that when the harness comes out, she's going for a walk. She gets all excited (though quietly!) until I start to put the harness on - then she stands rock steady until it's on.
I also decided that it would be smart to have a bag holder in the closet by the leash and harness, since I recycle plastic grocery bags as a responsible dog owner's poop sacks.
My final (I think!) touch is in progress - I'm working on a zippered pouch (with a loop that will snap around the leash handle) to hold said plastic bags. I currently stuff them in my jacket pockets, but this may work better. We'll see....