This is a post that I’ve been planning for a while, but didn’t write, because life. A few years ago, I added a men’s accessory to my Etsy shop, a pre-tied bow tie. I noticed that those who wore bowties, were pretty distinct with their styles, and I have an appreciation for unique style. Like this guy.
I mean, who wouldn’t like to know him? He wears a pocket watch around his neck on a chain! Then there’s Mr. Intense:
I might be a bit apprehensive about meeting him, but I appreciate his determination. Also, who doesn’t dresses accordingly to read?
So, I simply had to do justice to an understated accessory that brings so much to a man’s personality. It took a bit of research and trial and error, (lots of error) but I finally made a pattern that cut and fit well on many fabrics.
For the fabrics, I’ve used cotton, satin, linen and polyester and they all work well. Really, it’s hard to find a fabric that doesn’t make a great bowtie.
Now, the purists insist on cutting ties on the bias. I have cut this pattern on the bias and not and it looks great either way. Since I use interfacing, I found that the weave direction has no bearing on the final look. This tie can be made with a fat quarter of fabric, if you don’t cut it on the bias.
I use stiff sew-in interfacing for the bow itself. I have found that fusible interfacing on the bow makes the fabric pucker too much with the gathering of fabric in the center.
For the neck piece, I use a very lightweight fusible interfacing, but it’s not necessary. It’s a personal preference. I just like to see a crisp structure when I finish a piece.
If your local fabric store doesn’t have the hardware, and mine didn’t, you can find it at Wawak. Link
So, let’s get down to it shall we?
- Bow tie pattern – 4 fabric pieces, each 8 in x 3 in
- Sew in interfacing (I use Pellon 50) – 4 pieces, 8 in x 3 in
- Center piece – 1.75 in x 3 in (No interfacing)
- Neck Piece – 2 in x 22 in
- Lightweight fusible interfacing (Optional) 1 in x 22 in
- Trace and cut all the bow tie pieces from the fabric and interfacing using the pattern.
- Put fabric together, right sides facing, then interfacing on top and bottom to make a sandwich.
- Sew around the edges with 1/4 inch seam leaving the small end open. (yes the small end)
- Fuse neck interfacing to half of the neck strap piece (on wrong side) if applicable.
- Fold the 3 inch center piece and long neck piece in half lengthwise, right sides facing and sew the long edges of each with 1/4 inch seam.
- Personal note: I use pinking shears to trim the ALL the edges after I’ve finished sewing, to cut down on bulk when it’s turned out.
- Fun Part! Turning out all the pieces. Use a safety pin on one end and push it through to turn out the two tubes. They will be a hot mess when you are done. It may not be easy, but it’s doable. Trust me. I use a wooden dowel to push out the corners of the bow. Iron those bad boys flat.
- Put the two bow pieces together and sew the small ends together to make one long piece. Then make a Z of the new long piece to form the bow. The new center seam will line up with the narrower part of the bow pieces.
- Gather the center of the bow. It might take a little work, but try to fold the center in half lengthwise and put the center piece around it. Pull the center piece tight on the back of the bow. Use a pin to hold it once you get it tight enough.
- Hand stitch the center piece on the back side of the bow (not to the bow). How finished you want this part to be is up to you. I put several stitches on the center piece in the back, then trim off some of the excess fabric and make a small fold of what’s left of the fabric and put a few more stitches to hold the fold down.
- Neck Strap Time! Feed one end of the neck strap through one side of the slider piece and down through the other. Fold over enough to sew in place with your machine (or hand sew if you prefer).
- Loop the loose end of the neck strap through the loop piece, and then back through the slider.
- You should have formed a loop of fabric that will make the tie adjustable. Use a safety pin to feed the loose end of strap behind the center piece of the bow.
- After you’ve pulled it through, remove the pin, and loop it through the hook piece of the hardware and sew the edge.