Tutorial: How to Make a Bow Tie

Austin loves bow ties.  His cousin who is only 6 weeks younger wears them and Austin had been pleading with me to make him a bow tie.  After having up-cycled a man’s necktie into a small bow tie, he was totally excited!  Now he needed more, and his request didn’t stop there.  He wanted different colors and most importantly, he wanted one for him and his cousin to match!

HoneyBeGood Fabrics is one of my newest sponsors and has a great selection of organic fabrics!  We started looking and had a hard time deciding on which fabric to choose.  We actually settled on Alegria – Bouquet and Alegria – Triangles In Turquoise .   Then one night after the children were sleeping I pulled out my sewing machine and went to work.  These are actually quite easy to make, no professional seamstress needed!  I love to sew and forget that until I pull out my machine and get started on a project.

You will need the following to make this adorable bow tie:

  • About a 15″ x 15″ piece of fabric (larger if you are making these much bigger or less if smaller)
  • A scrap piece of interfacing, felt or fleece to use inside your bow tie -approximately 4″x10″
  • Velcro-1″

So we started out by cutting out by cutting the pieces we needed.  Cut out 2 pieces that are 3 1/2″ wide by 10″ long.  This will give you the size bow tie pictured.  Austin is a tall 4 1/2 year old, (he wears 5T some 6T collared shirts).  Next cut out the same size of your fleece, felt or interfacing.  The interfacing will make a thinner bow tie (the pink one pictured).  If you prefer a fuller bow tie, then use felt or fleece.  Just a note:  the felt squares you can purchase separately are a little more difficult to sew.

Next cut out a 2″ by 4″ strip to make the center of your bow tie.  Then cut out a strip for your new strap.  This will vary with each child.  To measure your child, have your son wear a collared shirt and then measure him around his neck with a measuring tape under his collar.  Add on 2″ or more if you wish to add longer Velcro so you can continue to use it as he grows.

To begin, you want to layer your A 3 1/2″ by 10″ fabric pieces right side (patterned sides) together.  The backside of the fabric will be on the outside.  Now add your felt, fleece or interfacing on the bottom.

Sew around the edges with a 1/4″ seam.  Leave one end open two inches on the side.

Now turn the materials right side out, being sure to keep the lining on the inside.  Poke out the corners as best you can (I have even used a pencil or scissors.  Be careful not to poke through).  Now turn your raw edges in on the end you didn’t sew up.

Sew the edges in with your seam as close to the edge as possible.

Now this is a little tricky but can be done if you hold your tongue just right!  Placing your end seams together, you are going to slowly use a zip zag stitch to sew your end seams together.  If it is too difficult or you do not want the hassle you can use a slip stitch and hand sew them together.

Now pitch your tie together in the center.  Play with it a little as you will not be able to change the creases much after the next step.

Make about an inch seam down the center of your bow tie to hold the creases in place.  If you use interfacing this should be pretty easy.  With fleece or felt it is a little more challenging.  I wasn’t able to lower my pressure foot.  I just had to guide it through slowly.  You can also do this step by hand with a few stitches through the center of the bow tie.

To sew the neck strap, take piece C and sew the right sides (patterned sides in)  together with 1/4 inseam.  Carefully turn it right side out.  I use a pencil with an eraser on the end to help me guide it.  Press it flat.

Carefully trim the edges to be neat.  Turn in the unfinished edge on the end 1/4″-1/3″.

Now place the “sticky” side of your Velcro over the edge and sew a 1/8″ seam around the Velcro.  Position the opposite end, being sure to sew the “smooth” side of the Velcro on the inside so they meet.

This is what it will look like finished.

Next step is to make the center cuff for the bow tie.  Take your B piece of fabric, 2″ x 4″ and sew this one wrong sides together with a 1/4″ inseam.  Your print should be on the outside.

Iron the piece so that the seam is on the center of the backside.  Depending on the size bow tie you are making and the thickness of the batting, I trimmed down 1/2″ to a 1″.  Place the ride sides together and sew the unfinished edge.  You will now have a circle that when turned inside out will be the center piece of your tie.  (If it is too loose, just trim off a little more).

Flatten one side of your bow tie and slide your center piece on.  Again, if it is too loose, trim it down and re-sew the end seam to make it tighter.

While you are holding one end flat, slide in your neck strap.  I found it easier to use the smooth side of the Velcro.

Now you have a very cute bow tie for your little man!

HoneyBeGood is a Mama owned fabric shop that offers organic cotton & artisan textile fabric.  Karen understands the importance using organic fabrics to not only protect the environment from all the chemicals used to produce conventional organic but also for ourselves.  She has a large variety of solid and bright, fun prints available in organic cotton.  I love many of the Amy Butler prints.  Please be sure to head over and check out the amazing fabrics that HoneyBeGood has to offer. 

Inquiring minds would like to know which print is your favorite?  

Right now to celebrate the gold won by US Olympians, they are doubling that number and that is the amount you can take off your order by using code TEAMUSA at the checkout!

Be sure to stay tuned as I will be sharing a few other projects in the upcoming weeks featuring HoneyBeGood’s amazing fabrics.

12 thoughts on “Tutorial: How to Make a Bow Tie”

  1. That is a wonderful tutorial! I think my son would look super cute in a bow tie! I will have to pass the tutorial along to my mom…she does all the sewing. I haven’t mastered the sewing machine yet! I am so glad you posted the link to HoneyBeGood! They have some fabric that I was looking for for the quilt my mom is making for baby #2! The discount code makes it even better! 🙂

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