Saturday, April 3, 2010

Tutorial: The Amazing Bow Tie (A sadly fading tradition..)

My FIRST tutorial! YAY!   I had some requests for a tute on making my bow ties, so here it is!  I will inevitably revise this many more times, but for now this is what I have,. I DO apologize ahead of time,  I am jumping into uncharted territory here with this baby, so bear with me!

  Until I can figure out how to make a pattern AND get it on the computer in a PDF file, (any help with that dept would be appreciated!)  You have 2 options.  Option one:  go to the thrift store and but a cheapo 99 cent old bow tie and use as a template, OR, Use the measurements below to "eyeball it" and make your own pattern.

For option one all you have to do is fold old bow tie in half ( length wise) and trace about a half an inch out all the way around onto a piece of heavy paper or a piece of poster board.  Honestly, this is the easiest way, AND the way I did it to begin with.

For option 2, use the measurements in the picture below to get an idea of the measurements to eyeball it and draw your own. (these measurements are how it should be BEFORE you cut, not as a finished tie)  If you can do this option and make it work, YOU ROCK.
(The rounded part is around 4 inches in lenght, and the triangular end is around 2 inches in length.  Of course this all depends on how BIG you want to make it, but the ratio should stay the same.)

Length depends on your individual neck size, but my measurements are pretty average.  If you are unsure if it is too big or small, simply measure the neck of the person you are making it for, and use that as a guide.   The Length for MY pattern is noted in the diagram below.  However, you need to measure the neck in which you will be making the bow tie for to make sure it will fit.  Everyone's neck is different!  Just replace my middle measurement of 16 inches with the measurements you have taken and it should be the right size  :

Once you have got your pattern down, go ahead and cut it out.

Once that is done, take your  fabric of choice and fold in half. (a yard is MORE than enough)
Pin down and trace your pattern onto the fabric, with the middle of the bowtie on the folded end of the fabric.  When unfolded you should have the whole tie shape.

(fold is on upper left of pic)

Do this a total of two times.  You will end up with two main fabric pieces.  Do this one more time on a piece of either interfacing (which I HATE to work with) or a piece of white fabric (or another PLAIN color depending on the main fabric you are using).  I use white fabric.  I think it works JUST as well as interfacing, and doesn't have a horrible scratchy feeling , ick!   The main point of this extra piece is to make the bow stiff enough to stay looking like a bow tie when you tie it up, if not it will end up being a saggy sad tie.  If you use a seriously stiff main fabric to begin with, such as DENIM, you probably won't need to use this extra bit, but if not, you MUST have it for it to look proper.

You will end up with a total of 3 pieces when you are done cutting.
  TWO focus fabrics, and ONE interfacing fabric.

Take and set your first main focus fabric piece and lay it BACK side down on the ground.  Take the second Focus fabric piece and lay it FACE side down on top of first piece.  This will leave you with both front sides together.  Take interfacing piece and lay it on top of other two pieces.
(pic below has interfacing on bottom, but it really doesn't matter if it is on top or bottom, as long as the two main pieces face each other.)

Match up at edges and pin down to keep in place.  Sew all the way around, at 1/4 mark (at edge of foot), leaving a 1 1/2 inch gap in the very middle of tie.  ( although I use a serger, it is not necessary to have a great tie!)

Take the opening and look down into it, and find the spot where the two faces  meet.  stick an instrument down in there to help flip the bow right side out.  Make sure that the interfacing fabric is on the INSIDE, or you will have to flip it back inside out and start over. (believe me, I KNOW ;D)

Once flipped right side out, iron out flat to get a sharp edge.  Make sure to fold in the gap that you used to flip it in so that you can close it up when you sew the edge.

It helps if you roll the fabric between your fingers along the edge while you are ironing to help draw out the edge so you maintain the correct shape.

Once the bow is ironed, start sewing around the very edge of the entire outline of the bow.  Get as close to the edge as you feel comfortable.  
(The pic below shows my fingernail pressed against the general area I am talking about.)


Here is a shot of the edge up close:

Once you have done this, its time to iron out all the wrinkles and tie!  here is the finished look:

This last part is not something you HAVE to do, you can simply sew down JUST the gap and let the edges be a bit puffy, which looks fine too.  I just like the look of the edge when it is sewn down.  I guess that the un-sewn edge is a bit more formal, and the sewn is a bit "edgier" (forgive the pun!).  It is purely up to your preference!  Make it YOURS.

Here is a video on how to tie a bow tie:

Hope this works for ya, if you have any extra ideas let me know, this IS my first tute and I have NO idea what I am doing!!!

<3 <3 Laci <3 <3


10 Sweet Talkers:

Jenny said...

thanks laci! i'm excited to try this!

Sue said...

i've always wanted to make a bow tie, i'm definitely going to try your tute out, thanks!

Ashley @ Little Miss Momma said...

I LOVE this tutorial!!!! I am going to have to try this!

{found your awesome blog via etsy forums}

ashley said...

let me know how it goes guys! :D

mermaids said...

you give the measurement for the neck band, but how long should the bow part be? it would be helpful to have length and width measurements for each segment. i have yet to find a bow tie at my local thrift shop

Laci Jo said...

ahh, good point mermaids, lets see, the rounded part is around 4 inches, and the triangular part is about 2 inches. i will post that now. thanks for the imput :)

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much! I've been looking for the traditional version for ages, none of these cheat bow ties. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

great tutorial, by far the best i've found on the art of bow tie making. good job!

Mr. Philippe said...

Thank you so much, i'm searching for this help for so long <3 thank you

vixen Made said...

I love bow ties!! I actually think they look great on men. I added this to my features today: