Life, Left Over

Tutorial Tuesday: Bow Tie

Posted on: October 25, 2011

I must apologize. I do not have a proper tutorial to share this week. When I made this item last night, I didn’t even think to take pictures. I started out just messing around to see if it would work, and then it was half done when I realized it was turning out great! So there IS a tutorial, but I unfortunately have no in-progress pictures to share with you. 😦

My husband is dressing up as the Eleventh Doctor for Halloween, and he obviously needs a bow tie. Bow ties are incredibly hard to find, it seems, though, especially since red or blue would be preferable for the character.
And then it hit me. I had some brick-red/pink tweed left from when I made throw pillows (years ago now)! I dug it out of the fabric box, and set to work. This one is deliberately a bit oversized, so please make sure to use your own measurements and preferences for the size!

a bit of fabric
some thread (color doesn’t matter – none of the seams will show)
some narrow elastic
a snap fastener
scissors, needle, pins, etc

I didn’t even use a ruler for this. I just measured and estimated with my hands and eyes. I cut a piece of the tweed that was approximately 12 inches long and 4 inches wide. (Remember I did NOT measure.) The finished product will be about half the length and half the width of the original rectangle of fabric, so plan accordingly!

Then, I folded it along the length, right side in, and made a seam along the edges, making a long tube. Flip this right side out. Now, arrange it so that , when flattened, the seam is in the center of the back side.

Bring the short ends together now, with the right side in, and sew another seam. Flip the circle of fabric again, and arrange it so that the short seam is in the center of the back, with the seam ends facing in.

Next you want to create a band for the center of your bow tie. I used the tightly-woven bit that’s on the end of the fabric – just trimmed it and went with it. If this isn’t an option for you, cut a nice long ribbon from your fabric (or another one, if you’re into contrasts). You could put a few seams in, but honestly, I’d just fold it so that the cut ends are on the back. A regular ribbon would also probably work. The band on mine is about 1/2 inch wide.

Carefully pinch the center of your bow tie, to create the bow shape. Make sure that you like the way it folds. When you’re happy, take your band and wrap it tightly around. Make sure the end of the band ends up on the back of the bow tie, and put in another little seam to secure it. You’ll only need a few inches here. Mine was about 6 inches long, and I wrapped it around a couple of times.

Now it’s time for the part that goes around the neck. I had found a nice length of narrow black elastic earlier in the day, though. Grab the person who’ll be wearing the bow tie, and measure their neck with your elastic. If it’s long enough, just run the elastic between the band and the bow and move on to the next step. If it does not reach all the way around, you’ll need to lengthen it. I used another bit of the tightly-woven edge-of-fabric stuff (that I also used on the band), running that through between the band, and sewed the elastic onto one end of it. (Alternately, you could probably devise a quick clip-on solution.)

Last step! The fastener. I used a simple snap fastener, and I think it’s probably the easiest option. Velcro is itchy, and I don’t think a button would work at all. Measure your neck-band around the wearer’s neck one more time, to make sure of the placement of the snap, and simply sew the two parts of the snap in place.

Voila! A bow tie. And as we all know, BOW TIES ARE COOL.


2 Responses to "Tutorial Tuesday: Bow Tie"

I’m a visual person so even though you gave very detailed destructions I don’t think I’ll be making bow ties anytime soon 😦 Cuz I honestly have no idea what your words mean lol. That’s ok, I have no reason for a bow tie at the moment, sadly.

😦 It looks super cute, but it’s not like a bow tie is an every day accessory, so I forgive you. I should try to add at least a couple photos…

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