Friday, March 18, 2011

Simple Bow tutorial

One of my favorite things to do with scraps is make accessories (particularly hair accessories for Kadie and myself). The one I've been doing a lot of lately is bows.
So I thought I'd share my little tutorial on how I like to make them.
So here we go!!
Materials needed:
-fabric strip A (8 1/4" x 2 3/4")
-fabric strip B (7 1/2" x 2 1/4")
-fabric strip C (2 3/4" x 1 1/2")
-sewing machine
-needle and thread
-headband/alligator clip or any hair clip/elastic/safety pin/whatever you want
Start with fabric strip A (the larger one). Fold it in half width-wise.
Sew it about 1/8" from the edge (or as close as you want to get). Then iron it flat so the folded edge has a distinct crease.
Unfold and line up the seam and the folded crease.
Sew along the top 1/8" from the edge.
Sew along the bottom, leaving a small opening in the center to turn fabric right side out.
Turn fabric right side out, pushing corners out completely, and then press all the edges.
Sew the opening closed with either in invisible stitch (such as a ladder stitch) for a cleaner finish, or just top sew it closed as close to the edge as you can get it (as I did here). The stitching will be on the bottom of the bow, both tucked a little under the bow and mostly covered by the center tie. But do as you'd like!
Repeat these steps for fabric strip B.
When fabric strips A and B are done, lay and center fabric strip B on top of fabric strip A.
Make sure the "top stitched" edges are down if you chose to do a top stitch instead of an invisible stitch.
Sandwich it closed pinching the center along the bottom as shown above.
Fold the two sides in the center down as shown above.
Stick a pin through all layers to hold it.
With a threaded needle, pull the thread through on the right side of the pin.
Then pull the thread through on the left side of the pin.
Pull the needle through the thread loop and pull tight.
Tie the thread to keep the bow tight. Now, with fabric strip C (the center tie), fold it in half length-wise.
Sew along the top and down the side, leaving the bottom open. (I didn't get a photo of this, so on the photo above, I drew small black "stitch" lines to show where to stitch)
Turn it right side out and press.
While holding the bow, turn it so the bottom of the bow (where you pulled and tied the thread) so it is facing you. Line up the raw edge of the tie with the bottom of the "top bow" as shown above.

Do a loop stitch to secure them together. It doesn't need to be pretty. You won't be able to see it later.
Tie off the loop stitch, but don't cut the thread. We're just going to pull it through later so we don't have to re-thread a needle. Pull the center tie around so it crosses the top of the bow.
Don't pull the center tie too tight so you can slide clips or head bands in and out, letting the bow be interchangeable. (If you want to make the bow permanent for something, you can insert the object under the center tie now, such as a hair clip or safety pin)
Make sure the end of the center tie is on the underside of the bow.
Pull your needle and thread through the bottom of the tie and through the edge of the tie as show above.
Pull and then begin to do either a loop stitch to secure it or an invisible stitch (such as a ladder stitch) if you want a cleaner look. (I personally don't care what the underside of my bows look like, but I'd probably do an invisible stitch if it was for a gift).
Tie it off and snip the thread. You have yourself a bow!
There are a bunch of things I like to use my bows for. Some times I slide a safety pin underneath the tie and pin it onto the side of a beaded necklace. Or slide in a hair clip as a fast hair accessory for the little girly-girl.
Or slide it onto a headband.

It's also perfect for a bow tie for the little man. Just pin a safety pin on the end of a 1/4" elastic and pull it through the tie on the under-side. Sew the ends together or sew some velcro on each end.
And you've got yourself a snazzy lookin' boy!

Hopefully you enjoyed this tutorial! Please feel free to ask any questions if you have any!!
Happy Monday!!


Jess said...

so cute Nikki! and I love the double layers!

2littlehooligans said...

so cute! love the orange and yellow ones. that little guy of yours is too cute!

Nikki said...

Hi there. I just found your the bow tie! Now I'm inspired for my son's Easter outfit. Thanks for sharing! PS - nice name, btw (ha ha)

Sarah Forhan said...

Very cute! I really enjoyed your tutorial!

Brad and Marci said...

Nick's, Jessie gave me your blog address and now I am glued! You are so talented and I am totally going to steal some of your helpful ideas.

2littlehooligans said...

oh good. i thought i saw a tute for one of the bow ties. i making one for a friend and needed some measurements. they are too cute:)

Donna said...

I love this! I'm making some bow ties for my little man!