Sunday, November 11, 2012

Make a bow-tie! {TUTORIAL}

Recently, I tested a fun pattern for Peek-a-Boo Pattern Shop.  I made a fantastic "Little Gentleman" suit for Ari complete with a vest, pants and corduroy jacket.  I almost never sew for Ari because he is really a t-shirt and jeans kind of guy.  He feels so special in it!  I think I'll be sewing for him more. 

My sister made Ari a bow-tie last year and it looks so cute with his suit!

Here is my tutorial for you to make a swingin' bow-tie of your very own. 

These are also fantastic as gifts for any man (or little man) in your life. Perfect for any occasion, this bow-tie takes very little fabric, so save your scraps!

Start with a rectangle of fabric 6" x 9". Then cut another smaller rectangle of the same fabric 1 1/4" x 2 1/5".

Fold the edges of each piece of fabric so they meet in the middle like the picture. Do a quick press with your iron.

On the short right side of each rectangle fold the fabric over 1/4 inch. This will cover up any raw edges when you are finished. Press again. Put aside the smaller piece of fabric.

Fold the left side into the middle. 

Fold the right side with the creased edge into the middle until it covers the raw edge.

Now it's time to shape a bow-tie! 
Fold your rectangle in half length-wise with the creased side up. Do a couple of hand stitches here about 1/3 of the way up from the fold (like in the picture). It doesn't have to be very perfect because they will be hidden. Keep your needle threaded and re-knot.

Pinch in the center, right where your stitches are. Fold up the first long edge to meet in the middle, then fold the second long edge into the middle.

Secure with a few more hand stitches, looping over about 4 times. You are working through quite a few layers here so you will have to work the needle through.

Wrap the small strip of fabric around the bow-tie with the creased edge over-lapping the raw edge. Have the edges meet at the back, and make a few stitches to close it up, being careful not to stitch into the main part of the bow-tie.

Now you have a few options for wearing the bow tie. If you aren't able to measure the neck that will be wearing the bow tie here are some average sizes.  Its definitely better to make it too big than to small!

Thanks to the GPuniforms page for average neck sizes.

Men's Average Neck Sizes:
  • Men Extra Small 13.5" 
  • Small 14.5"
  • Medium 15.5"
  • Large 16.5"
  • Extra Large 17.5"
  • 2XL 18.5"
  • 3XL 19.5"
  • 4XL 20.5"
  • 5XL 21.5
Boys average neck sizes:
  • Boys Extra Small 10"-10 1/2" 
  • Boys Small 11"-11 1/2" 
  • Boys Medium 12"-12 1/2" 
  • Boys Large 13"-13 1/2" 

An easy solution is 1/4" wide elastic.

Use the measurements above or measure the person's neck who will be wearing the bow-tie. Make sure you measure over a button up shirt under the collar.

Cut a piece of elastic 1" longer than the measurement of the neck. 

Put the elastic through the loop on the bow-tie and overlap 1/4". Sew the elastic together and slide the stitches under the loop.

Now you have a great bow-tie!

For a more finished look on the neck portion you will need another rectangle of fabric Length of neck + 2" x 2". Make a tube by putting the fabric right sides together and sewing one short edge and the long edge with a 1/4" narrow seam. Turn right side out. Fold the raw edges toward the inside and press the whole thing.

 Tuck the raw ends inside 1/4".

Sew 3/4" square of the scratchy side of velcro to one end. On the other end, on the reverse side attach a 2" piece of the softer side of the velcro. This will give the wearer some room for adjustment.

Thread through the backside of your bow-tie and try it on!


  1. I heart this big time!!
    My husband is really into wearing Bow Ties right now and my daughter wants him to get ones that match her outfits, which is really hard to do.

    This way I can make them so they match! AWESOME!
    Thanks and just in time for Christmas!!
    -Steph from A Geek In Glasses

    1. Hi Steph!

      You are so welcome. Thanks for stopping by!


  2. Thank you sooo much! After my mom passed away I thought I'd make some cute fabric flower barrets for my sisters and neices in my family out of my mom's old clothes. But I have been trying to think of a way to include the boys in this too- this is perfect! And so simple that even a novice like me could complete something that they actually wear. Thanks again!!!!

    Cheri- UT

  3. I really love bow ties and can see me making one for myself.

  4. My son has been begging for a bow tie, and since he was Thomas Edison in his school production, I couldn't put it off any longer. This was perfect!

  5. Western styled Pre-Tied bow ties are the one of the latest fashionable and trendy bow ties that has gained enough popularity in the recent times. wooden bow ties


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