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How To Make A Bow Tie

This is a step-by-step tutorial from showing how to make your own bow ties with simple and inexpensive printable bow tie sewing patterns.

Jay Thomson

on 5 July 2015

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Transcript of How To Make A Bow Tie

How to make a bow tie
with any fabric using Printable Patterns from
Before you begin,
gather your supplies:

Printed Paper Patterns
Adjustable Bow Tie Hardware
Iron & Ironing Board
Rotary Cutter & Cutting Mat, or Scissors
Sewing Machine & Thread
If you haven't done so already, print your bow tie sewing pattern(s), and assemble them according to the instructions.

Pre-wash the fabric if necessary, and press it using the recommended steam and temperature settings for the type of fabric.
Arrange the pattern pieces onto the prepared fabric. Pay attention to the design— you may need to match stripes or plaid, for instance.

Don't place the pattern on the bias (diagonally on the fabric) unless you need to for a special reason— when making a diagonally striped tie, for example. Cutting fabric on the bias usually gives the bow tie too much stretch to be practical.

Use weights or tape to hold the pattern pieces down.

If you'll be cutting with scissors, trace the pattern pieces with a pencil, tailor's chalk, or a washable fabric marker.
The best way to cut out the fabric pieces is with a rotary cutter and cutting mat.
(If you don't have these, you can use scissors instead.)

Carefully cut around the patterns. Go slow and try not to cut
the paper pattern. Be careful not to cut yourself!
Once you've cut all the fabric, you should have four pieces total: two long ones, and two short ones.

Pin the matching pieces together,
right sides facing
. Use four pins on the long pieces, and three on the short ones. Place your pins length-wise, down the very middle of the fabric so they won't interfere while sewing.

Begin sewing at the narrow end, on the right side as shown. Position the fabric under the sewing machine foot so that the edge is 1/4 inch away from the needle.
Use your rotary cutter (or scissors) to snip the corners off, and trim the seam allowance. This makes it easier to invert, and prevents bulk at the seams.
Using a bodkin (also called a loop turner), carefully turn the fabric right-side out.
Now that you have both halves turned right-side out, it's beginning to look like a bow tie!

Let's just take care of that puffiness now by pressing the seams flat.

Next, you'll install the hardware that makes the bow tie adjustable.
Thread the end of the short piece through the hook. Stitch it down with a strong stitch, like a zig-zag stitch.

Use fusible interfacing to stabilize fabric if you intend to cut on the bias, or if the fabric is very thin.

Available from Amazon:
Available from Amazon:
Need more pins?
How about a new pincushion?

Get them now at Amazon:

Inexpensive Printable Bow Tie Sewing Patterns are available in many different styles:

Fold or stack the fabric
to cut through multiple layers at once!

Sew around the entire piece, leaving a 1/4 inch seam allowance. When you come to the point, stop with the needle down, lift the foot, and pivot the cloth underneath. Lower the foot and resume sewing until you reach the small end again.

You can easily make a bodkin using a piece of wire coat-hanger and a pair of needle-nose pliers: cut the hook off the hanger, and make the longest piece of straight wire you can. Turn the end back on itself so it doesn't poke trough any fabric.

You can buy
Adjustable Bow Tie Hardware
Thread the end of the long piece through the slide and loop as shown.

Manouver the fabric under the machine's presser foot, and zig-zag stitch as before.

Adjust the length as necessary.
Ta da! It's finished! Now all you have to do is tie the knot.
Pro Tip:
If you make a lot of bow ties, you may be ready to upgrade from printed paper patterns to sturdy laser-cut acrylic templates. Click the link below for more information about them:
to help prevent cutting slips
They're clear for precise placement on fabric
They're weighty to keep fabric flat
Let's get started...
28mm Rotary Cutter
Replacement Blades
Cutting Mat
Pro Tip:
Pro Tip:
Pro Tip:
Pro Tip:
Pro Tip:
Pro Tip:
Pro Tip:
If you're not sure how, you can download a FREE "How to tie a bow tie" PDF here:
Full transcript