How to Make A Bow Tie

Image of How to Make a Bow Tie
And you thought we only made girls’ stuff!  As I mentioned, we had the amazing honor of creating these bow ties for a little website you may have heard of called Martha Stewart, and as you mentioned, you’d like the tute.  So here is our free bow tie pattern for you! Let’s learn how to make a bow tie!
How to Make a Bow Tie
See the whole gorgeous shoot on Martha Stewart Weddings here and get the full DIY for how to sew a clip-on bowtie for a boy after the jump…

How to Make A Bowtie

You’ll need some fabric and a teensy bit of lightweight interfacing for the bow, and for the strap you’ll need a set of bow tie accessories (one 7/8″ slider and one clip set).  There are three sections to this DIY, two different ways to sew a bow tie, then how to sew the bow tie strap.  See the measurements for each item below.

Simple Bow Tie & Double Bow Tie
How to Make a Bow Tie
You are learning how to make a bow tie, and you can choose if you want a single bow tie or double bow tie. These two use the same method but the big one doubles up. Make ’em any size you want, I like them a little big to give the boy a funky look.

1.  For each bow tie cut two rectangles of fabric 1/4″ bigger then you want your finished bow tie to be.  Mine are 4.25″ X 3.25″ for the small one.  For the big one I also cut two pieces 6.25″ X 5.25″.  You’ll also need a piece of fabric for the center of the bow tie 2″ wide X 3″ long. I eyeballed it after the fact but it should be double the width you want it to be plus 1/2″ and the length plus 1/2″.

2.  Cut a piece of lightweight double-sided interfacing 1/4″ smaller then the fabric and iron it to the wrong side of one rectangle.

3.  Leave the paper on the un-ironed side of your interfacing and pin your rectangles right sides facing.

Sew all the way around the edge with 1/8″ seam allowance, leaving a hole in the center of one long side for turning, then remove the paper from the interfacing and trim the corners:

Turn it inside out, push the corners out as sharp as you can, and fold the edges under at the turning hole.  Iron it flat, which will attach the interfacing to both sides and give you a stiff rectangle:

4.  Now take your small piece of fabric and fold it in half the long way right sides facing and sew a tube.  Turn it right side out and iron it flat with the seam in the middle:

Fold it in half right sides facing and sew together along the short side like so (ignore my huge seam allowance, I cut it off after as I was eyeballing it):

Iron the seam flat:

Turn it right side out:

Take your bow (or two bows) and fold them accordion style:

and slip your tube over them.  Arrange your bow tie to your liking:

You’re done:

Double Fold Bow Tie

This one is my favorite and also the easiest!

1.  Cut two long pieces of fabric, double the length you want your bow tie plus 1/2″ and the width your want your bow tie plus 1/4″.  So for mine I cut two pieces of fabric 12.5″ long by 3.5″ wide.

2.  Cut a piece of lightweight double-sided fusible interfacing the size of your finished bow tie (3″x6″ for mine) and iron it to the wrong side of one piece of fabric in the center:

3.  Leave the paper on the un-ironed side of the interfacing and lay your two pieces of fabric right sides facing:

Sew around the two long sides and one short side:

Trim the corners, remove the paper from the interfacing, turn it inside out, poke out the corners, and fold the edges of the unfinished side under.  Iron it flat to fuse the interfacing to both sides:

4.  Decide which side is the front of your bow tie and fold it in half with that side to the inside:

Sew up the short side:

You’ve created a tube.  Turn it inside out and align the seam to the middle of the back:

5.  Sew the tube as described in the simple bow tie above:

And slide it onto your bow tie with all the seam to the back:

You’re done!



Clip-on Bow Tie Strap

Now I only created one strap so these could all be interchangeable, but you could actually sew your bow tie to the strap if you wanted.  This strap is sizeable so it can grow with your boy!

1.  Cut a long piece of fabric for the strap.  If you know the neck measurement of the boy, make it about six-seven inches longer by 2″ wide (for a 7/8″ strap width).  I made mine so at it’s largest it would fit a 12″ neck circumference (the size of my neck), but could go down to 6″.  So I cut a piece 14″ long and 2″ wide.  It is a good idea to cut this on the bias.  Fold it in half the long way with right sides facing and pin:

Sew it together then loop turn it inside out with a loop-turner or safety pin:

Iron it flat with the seam in the middle:

2.  Slide your slider on in one side and out the other.  You are looking at the BACK of the neck strap in all of these pictures:

Now slide the receiving end of the clip on:

Then fold the end of the strap over and back through both sides of the slider:

Cut notches in the end of the strap:

Fold it under 1/4″, then another 1/4″, iron and sew in place:

On the other end of the strap, cut notches like above, fold 1/4″, then another 1/4″ and iron to hold the shape, but don’t sew yet:

Slide the clip on, making sure it is facing the right way to actually clip into the other side, fold it back up along your ironing lines, and sew in place:

Done! You’ve learned how to make a bow tie!

Slide your bow tie on!

Yay! These sound complicated and probably look that way from the instructions above, but really they were not. Once you learn how to make a bow tie, you will want to make a million and might reconsider the usual position that it is more fun to sew for and dress girls.  I totally wish I had a little boy of my own to make 10 million of these for!

Now that you know how to make a bow tie, try some other fun sewing tutorials like our Snappy Toddler Top with Free Pattern, How to Sew Pants, or How to Sew a Vest (so cute on jacinda’s little boy)!

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91 Comments

Marie

yay! something for the little men in our lives 🙂 My hubby wears bow ties (I know, we're dorks, right?), and now my son can have some, too! oooh, maybe you can make a pattern for ones that tie for real? Then he could really be his daddy's boy.

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Nikki Madden

Hiya! I'm making a few of these as gifts and I am having a heck of a time finding the hardware! Did you buy a bow tie accessory kit, or was it separate pieces? I've been to JoAnn's and Hancock and can't find it … Help!!

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Jaime

hi! i found it in a kit (that also included a snap-on bow tie thingie that i didn't use) at a local fabric shop called international silks and woolens. it was $1.25. i'm not sure where else you can buy it!

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Sarah

Can you give the manufacturer and product name? I am having a really hard time finding anything I can use even online when I am searching for some to buy. They don't have it at our local Joann's either, and the store you went to doesn't have an online shop where I can buy them. Thanks so much!

happyyellowball@hotmail.com

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Elisabeth

I went looking for a tutorial for a regular tie but saw this and LOVED it! I can't wait make one for my little guy's school pictures tomorrow! Thank you so much for this!

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Elisabeth

Just wanted to let you know I made the bow tie last night and it turned out great! I used a lightweight denim fabric and a small plastic snap, like on a backpack, since I could't find a clip like the one you used. It all turned out as good as I hoped and looks so adorable on my little guy! Thanks again for a super easy tutorial and pics to go with it!

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Dolomite

Thanks a million for the tutorial. I made one for homecoming just now and it turned out perfect. I couldn't find the hooks that I needed so I stopped in the Dollar Store and found a little bra that had perfect slider and hook!!! Worked like a charm.

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Handmade Mama

Okay ladies, so I found the bowtie hardware today at my local Hancock Fabrics. The price was $1.50 for the set. The manufacturer is Blumenthal Lansing Co. and the website is http://www.blumenthallansing.com. The style number is 1070 and the item is found in the button section of the store. Hope that this helps someone!

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Kristen

Great tutorial! And the funny thing is I would still make one of these to use for my daughters hair! lol! girls are fun.

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Mrs. Rogers

Whoop whoop! Just made a set of bow-ties for my boys! Got the hardware at Hancock thanks to Handmade Mama! I serged the collar casings and that was a big mistake because I could never get the seam flat/smooth and it was super hard to stitch over plus it just doesn't look as nice. Next time I will use a regular stitch and then go back and iron flat before I turn it right side out. Thanks or the great tutorial!

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Shipley Mommy

You have just made my day! I love bow ties for my infant (well, now toddler, but I started putting them on him very early!) son. You can not buy them anywhere, and the very few I have came from thrift stores (where I jumped up and cheered in the middle of the store). I can NOT wait to start making one for every season, and ever sweater vest he owns, and for every holiday. Thank you so much for showing me not only that I can do it myself–but how to do it!

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wallybee

I love this! I followed the tutorial and made one for my big man, but am having a hard time coming up with measurements for my little men (6mths & 20mths). Can you help?

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Romona

Thank you. I am going to make one for my cousins's twin and my little man out of the extra material from their Easter pants.

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abuchner

I got just about everything I needed at joann fabrics to make some bowties, yet I could not find a clip set!! Any idea where I can buy some online?? I am not having much luck with my searches.

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vicky

Thank you thank you thank you.
My 4 year old has a bunny he named tricks and he wants to be a magician and announced now all I need is a bow tie!
Maybe this will be the magic bowtie he is begging for!

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Lauren

These are awesome! And so easy! Thank you for the tut!

All the fabric stores in Kansas City have quit carrying the finishings. Most knew of them, but they were no longer stocked.

Thank you for posting that website!

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francys G.

ola boa noite adorei a ideia estou indo ver alguns desfiles do sao paulo fashion week e a ideia vai dar um ar moderninho no look ate mais

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francys G.

hello good night loved the idea I'm going to see some shows in sao paulo fashion week and the idea will take a look at the air Hipster even more

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Melissa

So glad I ran across this tutorial! I am making bow ties and hair bows for all the little guests at my sons 1st birthday this weekend! This is exactly what I was looking for! Thank you!

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Niki

this is such a great tutorial! I was looking for fabric to make a bow tie, what a great little detour! What fabric do you suggest btw?

Thanks! <3

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Miftic

This is an amazing tutorial! I’m going to make one very soon, since I do not have enough time tonight. 🙂

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Shirley

I have found using velcro works just as well and it isn’t hard to find.

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Kelly

thanks! My son, 10, wants a bow tie for Easter. He’s a Dr. Who fan and so the european style of men in bow ties is “cool” to him! Now i can make him one just in the nick of time!!!

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Kate

May I just say, YOU ROCK?! Thanks for posting this tutorial. I just made three different ones (in about an hour) for a friend to choose between for her ring bearer in her upcoming wedding! Thanks thanks thanks! She’s gonna love ’em!

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Anita

THANK YOU so much for posting this tutorial! We need bow ties in a specific color for a dance performance coming up in the next two weeks, and the place I had ordered from canceled my order last minute. Finding your tutorial saved us, since I could get all the materials for less than it cost to buy the bows straight out! It takes me a bit more than an hour per bow since I don’t have a sewing machine, but it sure beats the alternative. I also swapped the adjustable hardware for velcro, since we’re all adult sized folks and won’t need to worry about using them more than a few times.
So thank you thank you thank you!! 🙂

Reply
Jamie

I want to make the bow version for my cat!

Does that make me a crazy cat lady? Definitely.
Does it make him look super adorable? Definitely

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Alice

I whipped one up so my grandson could be Dr. Who for Halloween – took me a half-hour, but only because my first one was too small (and I poked thru the seam turning it right-side-out). Thanks for the instructions!

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adriana martinez

This is kinda confusing. I was trying to make one for my grand daughter because she’s going to be a nerd but it’s not working.

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Jamie

Hi, do you have instructions if you just want to use a clip instead of making a bow tie strap? I am excited to try this!

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Grace Coffey

Lovely tie, I just finished one for my grandson and it is beyond cute. I was wondering, what fabric did you use? It is a lovely ok for boys to wear floral.

thanks for sharing the great tutorial.

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kim

just whipped one up for my son – quick, easy and SUPER cute! thanks for the great tutorial. my son will be the most dapper 2 year old at my friends wedding this weekend!

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Nice guide, but it could stand to be clarified for the amateurs… for example should the interfacing have a 1/4 inch border of fabric around it, or should it be measured 1/4 inch smaller in each direction?
It’s too early to tell if I made the right call 😉

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