Sunday, November 15, 2015

Bow Tie Tutorial

Several weeks ago, 'Stache's cousin got married. If I had been possessed of two daughters instead of two sons, I doubtless would have labored over whipped up two lovely little frilly dresses for such a special occasion. Being possessed of two sons instead of two daughters, I refrained. But something special was needed, particularly since my sister-in-law was going to do a family photo shoot.

I settled on bow ties.

Photo by Maryellyn Hawbaker

I love bow ties on men and boys of all ages. They make a man look so dapper and well-coiffed. I had never made a bow tie before, though, so I decided that as I figured out what worked, I would write it down so that the next time this comes up I could do what worked instead of reinventing the wheel, as is my wont.

I used scraps of gray dupioni silk that I had left over from making the bridesmaid dresses for my sister's wedding several years ago. (Never throw away anything!) Using silky fabric, if not actual silk, is the key to getting a professional-looking bow tie. And sorry, your bow tie models will never be as cute as mine, because that's just not possible.

Bow Tie Tutorial 

You will need:
scraps of a silky fabric such as silk, satin, or polyester, or a 15"x5" rectangle of same
a small piece of felt
2 hook and eyes or pieces of Velcro

Sewing machine, needle and thread, scissors

From your tie fabric, cut one rectangle 15"x2", one rectangle 3.75"x2", and two rectangles 4.75"x3". (These last two rectangles are the body of your bow tie, so if your fabric has a print, you will want to position these carefully.)

From felt, cut a rectangle 4.75"x3".

Take your two large rectangles and layer them with their right sizes together. Put the piece of felt on top. Secure with pins if you wish.

Sew around the edge with a 3/8" seam allowance,* leaving a 1" space to turn the bow tie right side out. Trim the felt to very close to the seam. Turn bow tie inside out, using a pair of closed scissors or a knitting needle to make the corners neat and sharp. Iron flat. Sew the opening closed using mattress stitch
Before trimming the felt.

After trimming the felt.
 Fold the long rectangle in half lengthwise, with the right sides together. Sew the edges together lengthwise, with a 3/8" seam allowance. Do the same for the small rectangle. Turn them both right side out and iron flat.

Sew two large stitches down the middle of the bow tie piece, positioned like so:

This is the front side.
 Tighten your thread and tie off the end, so that the bow tie piece is now shaped like a bow tie.

This is the front side.
Sew the small rectangle around the middle of the bow tie, turning under the raw edge to make it neat.

This is the wrong side.
 Sew the middle of your long rectangle to the middle of the back of the bow tie.

Hem the ends of the bow tie strap. Sew on your hooks and eyes or your Velcro. The way I figured out the right spot to put these is I buttoned the top button on my sons' dress shirts and put the strap around the collar and positioned my hooks and eyes so that the strap would be snug against the collar. This seemed to be a good measurement, as the ties were neither too loose nor too tight.
You could sew one end of the bow tie strap to the middle of the bow tie, but I thought since I was putting these on two wriggly bows, they would behave better if I wasn't trying to fasten something right under their chin.

*This is the width on my machine from the needle to the edge of the sewing machine foot. If yours is 1/4", just use that.

Photo by Maryellyn Hawbaker

No comments:

Post a Comment