How to: Sew a Bow Tie

how to sew a bow tie

Bow ties are stylish, timeless, and cool. There are also extremely simple to DIY.

What You Need:

  • 1/4 yard of Awesome fabric
    – from crazy patterns to the classics. If you want to customize your bow tie stick with simple solids. Medium to heavy weight fabrics work best but a sheer interface can be used to make even the thinnest materials usable.
  •  Thread
    – matching or complementing colors
  • Sewing Machine or needles
  • (Optional) 1/4 yard of Stabilizing fabric/ Interface– If you prefer your bow tie to be extra stiff or are using a light- medium weight fabric you will need a thicker fabric (like denim) or iron-on interfacing (eg Pellon 950F ShirTailor)
  • (Optional) Fabric paint or permanent markers

Let’s Get Started:

Bow ties range in shape and size just as much regular ties. If you have access to a favorite bow tie, I suggest you create your own pattern – it will make sizing easier.

Create your own Pattern

1. Adjust bow tie to fit.
2. Trace bow tie onto parchment/wax paper.
Other paper would work but you will not be able to trace it all on one paper. If this is the case, it is important to measure how long the adjusted tie is so that you can replicate it on your fabric.
3. Label!
It’s always frustrating to spend time making a pattern only to render it useless by forgetting to label it. Obviously we are making a bow tie but marking the neck size (or going by name) keeps everything organized.

Now it is time for the fun part.

After tracing or pinning the pattern you will need to cut it out. If you were able to trace the entire bow tie then cut out two pieces of fabric. If you are planning to use interfacing or a stabilizing fabric cut out one piece using the same fullsize pattern.

If you were not able to trace the entire bow tie onto one pattern or if you are using a printed pattern from the internet you will need to find the neck size of the person receiving the bow tie. This will be the first number of their collared shirt size – eg [16 34/35]. In this example, the long skinny strip of the pattern will need to be 16 inches in order to fit.

  • If you are using interfacing iron it on now to one piece of your decorative fabric.
  • If you are going to decorate your bow tie with fabric paints or permanent marker do so now before it is sewn together. Some geeky examples are my Minecraft and Gallifreyan bow ties but there’s no limit to what you can do. I’ve seen everything from poetry to doodles on bow ties!

The Gallifreyan is based on the language developed by GreenCrook.  It’s a great way to personalize a gift with a secret Doctor Who message.  
bow ties minecraft

The final step

Is to sew together your bow tie. Place your pieces right-side together (with your optional stabilizing fabric on top) and pin. Sew around the edge with a 1/4 inch seam allowance. It is important to leave a 2 inch gap while sewing in the center or else you will not be able to invert your bow tie right side out.

Snip the corners and cut slits into the seam allowance along the curves of the bow tie to help it lay flat.

Using your trusty pencil, chopsticks, or butterknife invert the bow tie through that gap you left.

Iron the bow tie flat and sew up the 2 inch gap. It is hidden under the collar so don’t worry about using an invisible stitch.

Tada! You now have a fantastic bow tie.
Do you have any ideas for a fantastically geeky bow tie?

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