When I think about bow ties, my mind automatically conjures up images of Pee Wee Herman and Orville Redenbacher. Poor Donald Duck didn’t have any pants, but he always wore bow tie. They’re not exactly fashion icons, are they?
On the other hand, I also think of James Bond, Madmen, Fred Estaire and Frank Sinatra. Now we’re talking style!
Truth is, I happen to love Bow Ties. But I’ve always been the type of person that likes to set myself apart from a crowd. And as a matter fact, that’s exactly what bow ties do.
A Little Bow Tie History
Bow ties got their start in the 17th Century. Croatian mercenaries would tie scarves around their necks to hold the opening of the shirt closed. Shortly thereafter, it evolved into the cravat, worn by the French upper class, the leaders in fashion at the time. Hence, the cravat stayed in fashion through the 18th Century. Finally, in the 19th Century, it transformed into the bow tie that we know today.
The Modern Bow Tie
In modern times, the necktie has become the most popular choice for non-formal dress. The bow tie, however, is make a comeback.
DIY Bow Tie, Really?
Yes, really. As a matter of fact, Absolutely!
Bow Ties are easy and fun to make. For me, learning to make one was very similar to learning how to tie one. The beginning was a little confusing. The first few turned out a little wonky. However, with a little practice, it became second nature to me.
Before you begin, it’s important to think about where you will be wearing your bow tie. This will help you decide which fabric to use, the color, the style of the bow tie, etc..
The tie that I will make in tutorial will be made out of linen. Spring is right around the corner, Linen is perfect for non-formal dress in warmer weather.
If you don’t a lot of experience sewing. I suggest you not use of a really expensive fabric. Instead, use an inexpensive cotton fabric. Then it won’t be a big deal if you make a mistake.
Now let’s make a bow tie!
The DIY Bow Tie
Things you’ll need:
- Sewing Machine
- Pressing Cloth
- Tape Measure
- 1/2 Yard of Cotton Fabric
- 1/2 Yard of Light Weight Fusible Interfacing (I used a cotton woven interfacing).
- Thread that matches your fabric.
- Bow Tie Pattern (I created this for you, you can (download it here).
The Bow Tie Pattern
First, download, print, cut-out and tape together the above bow tie pattern. We will be layering the interfaced fabric together and cutting them all the same time. You pattern should look like the picture below:
The Bow Tie Fabric and Interfacing
From the fabric, cut one rectangle 10 x 38 inches. Do the same with your interfacing.
Lay the glue side of the interfacing over the “wrong side” of your fabric. Next, using and iron and a pressing cloth fuse the two together according to the interfacing manufacturers instructions. As a result, you will now have one piece of interfaced fabric.
Fold the fabric in half lengthwise and lightly press it with your iron.
Now fold the fabric in half again, this time along the width. Press it with your iron.
Next, lay and center the pattern onto the fabric. Pin it every 6 inches.
(I did the folding so I could cut all four pieces at once. In the long run, it saves on time. Additionally, it ensures that each piece will be the same size and shape. However, you can cut them individually if you prefer.)
Next, carefully cut along the pattern, cutting as close the edge as possible. (Use very sharp fabric scissors using long strokes to ensure that your cuts will nice and straight and not choppy). As a result, you should end up with four identical cuts of the interfaced fabric.
Sewing the Bow Tie
First, lay two of the pieces “right side” facing each other. Then pin the narrow side 1 inch from the end. Finally, repeat with the remain two pieces of fabric.
Using a quarter inch seam allowance, sew the two pieces together across the narrow side.
Then press the seams flat using your iron and a pressing cloth.
+5 ou should have two identical pieces of interfaced fabric.
With the right sides faced together, pin fabric every 6 inches.
Next, using a 1/4 inch seam allowance, stitch around the entire edge of the tie leaving a 4 inch gap on one side in the middle.
Finishing the Bow Tie
To begin with, carefully clip the corners. Do not cut through your seam.
Next, you’ll need to turn it right side out.
First, on one end of the tie pinch and separate the fabric.
At the same time, using your finger, push the very edge of the fabric inside itself. Then, use a pencil or a chopstick to push it the rest of the way through.
Next, pull it through the opening, then repeat it on the other side.
Next, use the chopstick to push the fabric out to the seam. Then press flat with iron and pressing cloth. Finally, pin the 4 inch opening closed and stitch along the edge.
That’s how you make a bow tie.
Congratulations! You just made a bow tie!
I have made so many bow ties in all kinds of color and fabrics. Feel free to comment below and let me know how you’re DIY Bow Tie came out.