Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Making little bow ties!

I have recently joined the bow tie bandwagon and wanted to make Jeff and Finn matching ones to wear to thanksgiving dinner. I found a couple of great tutorials online (here and here) and decided to combine a few bits and pieces of each to create a very simple, (almost entirely) no-sew version that was whipped together quite quickly. And the end result- totally perfect! EXACTLY what I envisioned!

* I apologize in advance for the boring, not well shot or very helpful pictures- It was quite late (and dark) and I was more excited about the actual project than taking photographs of it, so your imagination is requested. (Though both links above has some great step-by-step pictures if you get lost).

Supplies to gather:
Fabric of your choosing
Velcro (just a few small pieces will do)
Iron-on fabric adhesive or fabric glue (alternatively you could use a hot glue gun, or a smaller piece of iron-on fabric adhesive)
Needle and thread (again optional, you could totally use glue or adhesive for this and make it a true 'no-sew' project)
Measuring tape or ruler

1. Cut your fabric.

For the main section of the bow tie -
To fit little people, I used a piece of fabric cut to 4.5" x 9".
For adult people, I used a piece 6" x 11". 

For the piece that wraps around the centre:
Both were cut into 4.5" x 2" sections - later on trimmed to fit as needed.

For the neck piece:
For both wee ones and adult sized, I cut fabric 1.75" x 18" (or so) and again, trimmed to fit later on.

2. Iron fabric - fold all three strips length wise, fold in thirds so the seam meets in the middle and press.

3. With the main bow tie section, fold  and press inwards in thirds the same as you did above. Place a small dollop of glue or iron-on adhesive in the centre to secure the two flaps.

4.  I fiddled around a bit to get the bow tie to pleat properly. I sewed a quick couple of stitches through the centre at this point to ensure it would keep its shape, but you could definitely use glue or just wrap the centre section around the bow tightly.

5. Wrap the centre section around snug and trip to fit. From here a added a few stitches across the back to secure the section.

6. Insert the neck tie piece through the closed centre wrap section

7. Measure the neck of the person the bow tie is for and trim the fabric accordingly (make sure leave enough length to compensate for the collar of a dress shirt) attach velcro as needed and ta-da!! you have made a wonderful bow tie!!

A few notes: In the future, I would DEFINITELY use an iron-on adhesive or fabric glue on the long neck piece- because it's so thin and long, it didn't stay together quite as well as the other small pieces. The bow tie worked fine without it, but I don't think it would stand the test of time. Also, with the adult size bow tie I made for Jeff, I put a small rectangular scrap of fabric in the centre of the main bow tie section to stiffen it up a bit and help it keeps its shape. I would definitely recommend this if you are using a thinner fabric.

And never one to be left out, i made myself a little bow tie inspired necklace with some of the leftover scraps.