Tuesday, April 9, 2013

How to Make a Baby Bow Tie

As I mentioned in last week's Five Favorites, I kind of have a thing for making bow ties for my little boy. Not only are they adorable, but it covers up the fact that his neck is too fat for his top button to fasten. That's not really a problem (at all since I also think that is adorable...what a mom), but, nevertheless, it is a plus!

I took some photos when I was making Ryan's bow tie for the wedding we went to this weekend so I now have a bow tie tutorial for you. You know, just in case the bow tie bug bites you as well. It is incredibly easy, and if you don't have a sewing machine, you can always use a hot glue gun or some Wunder Under.

What you need:
- material of your own choice
- interfacing (I used a fusible medium weight). This is key! Ryan's first bow tie was a floppy disappointment since I didn't use it.
- scissors
- matching thread and needle
- short length of 1 in velcro
- safety pin

1. Wash your material. I learned my lesson the first time that I didn't wash the material first, put the bow tie on a baby that was drooling buckets and watched the red, green and white bow tie turn into a red, green and pink one.
2. Press your material.

3. Cut out the pieces needed. I played around with the proportions until I came up with a size I was happy with for Ryan. Ryan is 15 months old and 32 in tall so these measurements are for that.
     - Bow:
           - Fabric - 10 in by 5 in
           - Interfacing - 10 in by 2 in
     - Neck strap:
           - Fabric - 20 in by 3 in
           - Interfacing - 20 in by 1 in
     - Center: 3 in by 3 in
     - Velcro: - 1.5 in by 1 in (both sides)
4. Take the piece of fabric for the bow and fold it hot dog style with the right side on the inside.

5. Sew down the open side with about a 1/4 in seam.

6. Take your safety pin, fasten it to the top side of one end, then turn it on itself and slide it through the tube. Turn fabric right-side-out.

7. Now take the safety pin and fasten it to the piece of interfacing for the bow. Slide the interfacing through the tube of fabric. Press.

8. Fold with ends overlapping like in the photo below.

9. Sew down the middle. I didn't measure exactly where the middle was so I just pushed the sides up on each end of the foot and eyeballed it.

10. Onto the center! Fold in half with the right sides together and sew with a 1/4 in seam. Turn inside out using the safety pin. Press.

11. Now fold the neck strap piece hot dog style with the right side on the inside. Sew together with a 1/4 in seam. Turn inside out like with the other two pieces and then use the safety pin to slide the interfacing through. I tore my interfacing a few times before I was able to get it successfully through so roll the interfacing on the end a bit, put the safety pin through that end and then pull through. The thicker bit of interfacing won't tear as easily. Press.
12. Now fold one end of the neckstrap to cover the seam.

13. Take one piece of velcro and place it on top of the folded end. Sew the velcro to the neckstrap.

14. Fold the other end of the neck strap over, then take the remaining piece of velcro and sew it on. Make sure to do it on the opposite side!

15. Take the bow piece and gather it in the middle to your liking. Wind a piece of thread around the center to keep it in place.

16. Now place the bow on top of the center piece. Then place the neckstrap on top of the bow.

17. Wrap the center around as tight as you would like it and whip stitch together.

18. Repeat with the other end of the center.

And there you go! Your DIY bow tie.


  1. SO cute! That first picture of your little boy is adorable. He is going to be a heartbreaker!

  2. Love it! I've been planning to make some for J too. Little boys in bowties are the cutest

  3. It was so easy to make! I just made my husband and son matching bowties! Thanks for the easy instructions!

  4. This was a whole lot easier than I thought it was going to be! it has been forever since I've used a sewing machine, and I have never used interfacing before. It was a lot of fun to make, and turned out perfect!!!! The only thing that I added to help make it easier to assemble (and for it to seem to be held together a lot better) was I put a dot of hot glue in the center of the Center Piece and laid the bow on that. And then I put a little strip of glue on the edge of the Neck Strap right where the Center Piece lays across, this way there was no bulging on the sides or front of the Center Piece, and the Neck Strap didn't get tucked under weird when sewing the Center Piece in place.
    Thank you for this great tutorial!

    1. the glue was only used when attaching the 3 finished pieces together in the end.

  5. I have a question about measuring the neck strap length. How much would you add to the length of the fabric from what the size of the neck is? Say the neck measurement is 12 inches around.....how long would you probably cut the neck strap fabric to?

  6. Hi Tiffany! I would add three to four inches so you have room to fold the ends over and so your little one can wear it for a while! I measure around the neck of a collared shirt.