I recently had the honor of being a bridesmaid in the loveliest wedding I may have ever seen — for my dear friends, Heather and Jay. I also had the unique privilege of making bow ties for the four handsome young men who served as part of their junior bridal party. I had so much fun making these. They were definitely economical too. Buying custom bow ties on Etsy can get expensive. They require so little fabric, you could really make them out of anything. I used three fabric quarters for mine. I probably could have gotten away with less but for my trial and error process of sewing.
First I turned to Pinterest for a tutorial. I found several, but most used hardware for the bands that I could not locate in any of the fabric stores near me. Since the bow ties had to fit boys of several different sizes, the neck bands needed to be adjustable. Heather and I decided Velcro would probably work just as well as the hardware. So, I made these from a hodge podge of different tutorial sources and my own tinkering. I had to make a few prototypes to get the size right. The boys looked completely adorable. Just one element of an absolutely beautiful wedding!
The bow ties are made of three different parts, the bow, the neck band, and the ring which holds everything together. I added a quarter inch seam allowance to all my measurements. The total measures are below.
Starting with the bow, iron the interfacing to one layer of fabric on the wrong side.
With right sides together, stitch the two bow pieces together, leaving one end open for turning.
It will look like this on the other side.
Turn the right side out and press.
Tuck the finished end into the unfinished end, folding the unfinished end in a bit to hide the unfinished edges.
Stitch through the tucked ends and press. This will basically form a loop. The part you see below is the back of the bow. The front is not stitched.
Onto the ring!
Fold the ring piece in half lengthwise and stitch down the long edge.
Turn right side out and press. Press the seam so it runs down the middle of the back. The front is shown below.
With right sides together, stitch the ring into a ring!
It should look like this when you’re done stitching. Trim off the excess seam allowance, which is still shown here. You can trim it down very close to the seam, maybe to an eighth of an inch.
With all seams turned towards the back, fold the bow like an accordion, lengthwise. Slip it into the ring. Boom! Bow!
We just have to make the neck band now.
Fold the neckband piece in half lengthwise, then stitch. Leave one end open for turning.
Turning these was by far the most time-consuming part! I know there is a good method to make it go faster, but I sure couldn’t remember it at the time!
After it is turned, press the seam towards the middle back, finish the unfinished edge. The one end here is kind of wonky. I think I made it a little prettier on later versions.
Sew Velcro onto the ends of the neck band. The pieces I used were about an inch and a half. One piece of Velcro should go on the right side of the fabric, the other on the wrong side.
When you’re finished, it should look like this.
Now just slide the neck band through the ring at the back of the bow tie.
Done! I secured my neck bands to the ring with a few hand stitches so the bows wouldn’t fly off. I remember what it’s like to have little boys!
Here are a few more pictures of the bow ties in action at the wedding. Those suspenders just kill me! So cute.