Tied with a Bow

For me, bows are an accesorissing staple! To tie a dress, an accent on a cardy, on shoes, a belt, fashioned from metal as a piece of costume jewellery or as the finishing touch for the perfect hair do. I simply can’t get enough of them.

This is a tutorial for simple and perfect fabric bows. Add them to a headband, stick them to a plain top, or sew them to slide comb or brooch pin, there is nothing these bows can’t lend their dainty whimsy to!

You’ll need

A 50cm x 20cm piece of your chosen fabric per bow
matching cotton
tailors chalk
sewing shears
measuring tape
sewing machine
needle for hand sewing
a slide comb, hair clip or brooch backing
hot glue gun or strong craft glue

You will need:

To make the bows

First off, you can sew the entire bow by hand if you’d like, though it will be a bit quicker if you have access to a machine. Before you start, iron your fabric and assemble all you’ll need.

1. Using your chalk and measuring tape, measure then cut a 45cm by 11cm rectangle and a 5cm by 7 cm rectangle from your fabric.

Cut fabric

2. To create the taper of the bow place the fabric wrong side down, with your tailor’s chalk measure and mark points 2.5 cm from the short edge of the fabric on both long edges. Measure and mark the mid-point of each short edge at 5.5 cm, lightly draw lines connecting the marks then trim.

How to taper your fabric

3. Fold your fabric in half, right sides together and press. Mark a 4 cm gap in the centre of the fabric and pin. Sew together with a 10 mm seam allowance, back stitching at both ends and at either side of the gap.

Sew your bow piece

3. Trim the corners of your bow piece, this will give you nice sharp corners, then press your seam allowances outwards on both sides. Using a chop stick or other probe, turn your bow right side out and press. Make sure you push each corner out well.

Trim, press and turn out

4. To make the tie for your bow, take your 5 cm by 7 cm fabric piece and fold it in half length ways, right sides together, and press. Sew it together down the long edge with a 5 mm seam allowance. Press your seam allowances outwards on both sides, turn right side out and press with the seam centred.

Fold, sew and turn out

5. Now to assemble your bow! Fold your bow piece in thirds with tapered edges facing down. Gather the centre of your bow and stitch with 6-8 large looping stitches.

Hand stitch your bow

Tie off your cotton and trim the thread. Next take your tie and wrap it around the centre of your bow so that it covers the stitching. Flip the bow over, pull the tie tight and secure with hot glue or fabric glue. Trim the end of the tie as need.

Step 5

And there you have it, your bow is finished and ready to be fastened, stitched or glue wherever your heart desires!

Ta da! A finished bow

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