Would you like to make a unique, classy bow tie for your man, or yourself? I have a DIY streamlined sewing method that you’re going to love. It’s a very simple sewing project that even a beginner seamstress can handle.
Why would you want to wear a bow tie?
It used to be that wearing a bow tie was a thing for the science guys and nerds, but not anymore! These days, wearing a bow tie represents pure creativity and a confident willingness to be different. I love that!! To me, it shows someone with a little spunk, style, and a bit of a playful side.
When my boys were in their teens, (now 25 and 30 years old), they started wearing bow ties to church. They were the only boys wearing them, and I loved it. My youngest son actually designed this particular bow tie.
This hand-sketched pattern has been stuck to the bulletin board in my sewing room for about 10 years. I thought it was time to share it and make it accessible for others to use. There are several types of bow ties: pre-tied, clip, and freestyle tie. This particular pattern is for a FREESTYLE tie. Don’t worry, I will include some instructions below.
It really is a simple fun project to make. I am going to show you a non-traditional method of sewing it together that really does make it so much easier.
Here is what you’ll need
- ¼ yard of fabric (woven cotton, cotton blends, polyester, and even silk can be used)
- FREE Printable pattern
- Fusible interfacing (2- 2 ½ inch strips)
- Sewing machine
- Iron and ironing board
- Turning stick (I like this turning kit or you can use a simple chopstick)
- Chalk pen/water-soluble ink pen/or pencil
- Rotary cutter optional
Pattern will need to be downloaded, printed, cut out and pieced together. If using the method I’m going to be showing you, cut the dark inner lines on the pattern. (You will be tracing around the edges of the pattern, so get a clean smooth cut)
Cut strips of interfacing 2 ½ wide the length of the fabric, usually 45 inches. (If you don’t have interfacing that long, just cut several strips.
Fold the fabric in half lengthwise and with right sides together.
Place the interfacing, bumpy side down onto the fabric. Center the strip down the whole width of the fabric.
Set the iron settings for STEAM, and for whatever type of fabric you are using.
Press the interfacing onto the fabric. Flip over and press again.
Now you are ready to trace the pattern onto the interfacing side of fabric.
There are several different things you can use to trace. I like using a chalk pencil because it doesn’t show through on the other side of fabric. You can also use a water soluble ink pen that is specific for sewing and fabric use. The purple ink (which is what I like to use) will disappear after a short time. The blue ink needs water applied to disappear. Not my favorite.
Leave a little bit of room on the end of the pattern for the seam allowance.
Trace one side of the tie and then flip pattern, line up the center ends and trace the other side.
THIS WILL BE YOUR STITCHING LINE. You will NOT be leaving a seam allowance. You will cut that after you sew!
Mark the NO SEW ZONE.
Pin the two fabric layers together.
SEWING BOW TIE
Set sewing machine settings to regular straight stitch, about 2 ½ length. Thread machine with corresponding color of thread.
You will be sewing right on the stitching line you just traced.
Starting at the edge of the NO SEW ZONE, backstitch and then sew all the way around.
Take your time sewing around the corners. SEW SLOWLY!
Stop at the other end of NO SEW ZONE and backstitch.
Using the fabric scissors, cut out the tie leaving a ¼ inch seam allowance.
Clip notches on the corners and curve indents, making sure not to cut into the seam! (This will help with bulk and allow the tie to lie nice and flat when pressing).
Using the turning stick, turn the tie inside out. (Watch the video for tip).
Push the corners out and press. (Watch the video for pressing tips).
To close opening you left, simply fold the seam allowance (1/4 inch) under and press.
Take it to the sewing machine and topstitch closed. If you want a more finished look, you can close the opening using a slip stitch.
Now the trick is knowing how to tie the bow tie.
If you are clueless, like I was, here is a great diagram showing the steps. There are also a ton of videos showing you how to do it.
Now you have a one-of-kind, authentic bow tie. These make great FATHER’S DAY GIFTS!
Have fun sewing my friends. Be sure and reach out if you have any questions.
By Chris 73 / Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=19682
This is a great idea to sew a bow tie and I love the way you present it. You are so neat and precise and there are no questions at all. Of course, I also loved to see the family photo from a few years ago. Thank you.
Thanks for a wonderful tutorial! I made 11 in 2 days for Christmas gifts.
Oh my goodness. That is awesome!!!