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How to Make a Bow Tie – Pattern for Four Styles + VIDEO

In recent years musicians and actors have made bow ties wildly popular, and for James Bond they have never gone out of fashion. Think of Daniel Craig in Casino Royale with that untied bow tie.

Yes, that’s the one I’m going to show you in this how to make a bow tie tutorial. Forget clip-on bowties – a real gentleman ties a bow tie. Your problems in finding a bowtie to coordinate a partner’s outfit with your dress will be over once you learn to how to sew a proper bow tie within a few minutes using this tutorial. Our bow tie is suited to beginner and intermediate sewists, who will breeze through this easy bow tie pattern.

DIY bow tie

However, before we dive into making the bow tie, let’s see where it originated. The bow tie was developed from the cravat worn by Croatian mercenaries employed by French King, Louis XIII, during the Thirty Years War of the 1600’s. The soldiers used the small neck scarf to wipe sweat off their faces, bind wounds, and keep cold winds from poking icy fingers down their jackets. The French soon took notice, and modified the practical neck cloth into the elegant bowtie.

To make the bow tie you’ll need ¼ yard of cloth. You can go for a plain or shiny finish cotton. Perhaps leave the satin and silk until you are experienced in working with these slippery fabrics. All seam allowances are ¼ inch.

Below you will find my step by step bow tie tutorial with VIDEO instructions for all the visual learners.

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How to make a bow tie

Supplies and tools

sewing bow tie supplies

DOWNLOAD: bow tie pattern (Free PDF file)

We offer 4 bow tie style pattern options (see image above):

  1. Classic
  2. Wide daily
  3. Daily skinny
  4. Diamond

Follow us for free patterns & tutorials!

How To Sew a Bow Tie

Watch the diy bow tie video first and then follow the written step by step instructions below.
Please enjoy and don’t forget to Like and SUBSCRIBE over on YouTube to be kept up to date with new videos as they come out.

DIY BOW TIE VIDEO TUTORIAL

DIY BOW TIE INSTRUCTIONS:

STEP 1: Print and assemble the bow tie pattern

Print out the two bow tie pattern pieces supplied, exactly to scale, selecting the appropriate size according to neck measurement of the person for whom you are making the bow tie.

bow tie pattern

A note about neck sizes – on the tag for a formal shirt you will see a series of numbers. The first refers to the neck size – for example 15 means a 15-inch neck circumference. The second set of numbers refers to the length of the sleeve. You are only interested in the neck size for this project. If the shirt is imported you may have the size given in centimeters with numbers like 38, 40 or 42. Simply divide the first number by 2.54 to get the neck size in inches. For example, a size 38 will be a 15-inch neck.

STEP 2: Cut fabric and interfacing

Fold your cloth, right side out and lay the pattern pieces on the straight grain of the fabric, skinny end to skinny end, and pin into place.

Cut out the pattern pieces from the fabric– you will have two of each (4 pieces total).

Lay out you fusible lining and cut one set from your 2 pattern pieces after pinning them in place.

bow tie all fabric pieces cut to pattern

STEP 3: Fuse interfacing to fabric

Using an iron, fuse the lining, on the wrong side of the fabric to the two pieces cut from the top layer of the folded fabric.

fusing interfacing to bow tie

STEP 4: Sew together the skinny ends

Put the right sides of the fabric together, and on the wrong side machine stitch the skinny ends together.  Press the seams open.

Join the other two pieces of fabric, right sides facing each other, skinny end to skinny end, then press the seam open.

pinned skinny ends of bow tie

STEP 5:

Now lay the two right sides of the joined fabric together, one will be wrong side out – this will be the inward facing part of the bow tie and the other will have the fusing showing – once turned this will be the outer side of the bow tie. Pin them together.

making of bow tie - pinned

STEP 6: Sew around

Stitch around the whole piece of fabric leaving a gap of 1 ½ inches on either side of the skinny end seam on one side – this is to allow you space to turn the bow tie right side out.

STEP 7: Clip and notch

Remove the pins and using your sewing scissors clip across the corners so you don’t have excess fabric puckering up the corners when you turn the bow tie. On the curve make small incisions with the scissors that don’t quite reach the stitching to ease the fabric, so it will lie flat.

clipping and notching diy bowtie

It should look like this when you finish notching:

notched bow tie

STEP 8: Turn inside

Turn the bow tie right side out through the slit in the neck. Start with one end and work the fabric down to get it through the slit and then work on the other end – a knitting needle or chop stick will work well. Make sure all the corners are pushed through.

turning homemade bowtie right side out

STEP 9: Press

Press the bow tie carefully making sure the seams are flat and neat, also pressing the seam allowance inside where the slit was left.

STEP 10: Sew the gap closed

Using an invisible slip stitch join the seams of the slit together to finish.

If you are in a hurry or don’t particularly like handsewing, machine sew 1/8″ from the edge to close the gap.

finished untied bow tie

Voila! The DIY bow tie is now ready for use.

SEWING BOW TIE OPTIONS:

  1. STYLE: 4 different styles – I’m giving you a pattern for 4 bow tie styles: classic, daily wide, daily skinny and diamond
  2. COLOR: 2 colored bow tie – You can cut 2 pieces from one fabric and the other two from another coordinating fabric.

How to sew a bow tie – FAQs & Tips:

  • For a good-looking bow tie try to select a fabric that is medium weight – if it is too heavy you will have difficulty turning the bowtie right way out and in tying it. If the fabric chosen is too flimsy the bow tie will be floppy. The look you are aiming for is effortless elegance, Bond style.
  • Choose a light to medium weight fusible lining otherwise the bow tie won’t be easy to knot into shape.
  • If you or your partner are not sure how to tie a bow tie, then watch my video above for the correct method.

Now you know the tailor’s tricks for creating bow ties you can confidently offer to help coordinate for the bow ties for groomsmen at friends’ wedding parties. You’ll also ensure you stand out at formal events with your partner’s bow tie picking up the color way of your outfit or sew a fabric bow to put in your hair or on for your dress, purse or jacket. And why not create a few just for fun – they make great gifts, and a man wearing a properly tailored shirt with a bow tie is bound to grab attention. The jacket for less formal occasions is no longer necessary as the bow tie enters the 21st Century still stylish and riding a wave of popularity.

Do you like this how to sew a bow tie tutorial? Pin for later:

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RELATED GIFTS FOR MEN and BOYS:

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 11 comments
Melanie - December 21, 2020

Your bowtie link goes to a mask pattern!

Reply
    Helen - December 21, 2020

    Oops! Sorry about that. I fixed it

    Reply
Shelbee on the Edge - December 24, 2020

This is really great! My mom made my prom dress way back a million years ago and it was green with lots of individually sewn sequins. She went so far as to make a cummerbund and bow tie out of the fabric scraps so my date would match. It was amazing. I still have the bow tie in a keep sake box although the dress is long gone. Thanks for sharing your tutorial and giving me a bit of nostalgia along the way!

Shelbee
http://www.shelbeeontheedge.com

Reply
    Helen - December 26, 2020

    That is so sweet and thoughtful! It must have taken her ages to sew all those sequins on the dress!
    I bought my prom dress some billion moons ago. It was floor length black dress with a high leg split.
    I almost cried after we purchased my dream dress and the very next day I saw someone from my school trying on a similar one (different color and size but still..). So my mom added bling and feather trim to my dress to make it unique.
    Good old times..

    Reply
Julie - December 27, 2020

Brilliant, my youngest went through a phase of wearing a bow tie back when Doctor Who made it a thing so I made him a few but all the ready ties ones. This ‘real’ one is a bit more grown up.

Reply
chickenruby - January 10, 2021

It’s been a while since anyone in our house needed a bow tie, it would have been handy for proms. Thanks for joining in with #PoCoLo Hope you had a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Reply
Ann - January 10, 2021

Great tutorial! Thank you for sharing at Party In Your PJ’s.

Reply
Naush Samama - January 11, 2021

Fabulous ! Wishing you good health and happiness in the new year!
Thank you for sharing with us at Meraki Link Party.
Much love and see you again.
Naush

Reply
Stephanie 139a - January 14, 2021

Useful thanks – my parents were big cruise goers (pre covid) and dad likes a customised bow tie. thanks for sharing with #PocoLo

Reply
Pat Gourley - April 10, 2021

I am sorry, but am I missing something? The link to download pattern provided one bow tie pattern. I thought you were providing patterns for 4 different bow tie styles.
thank you

Reply
    Helen - April 12, 2021

    Hi Pat, thanks for the heads up. I’ve re-uploaded the pattern – try to download it again. There are 3 pages and 4 different styles of bow ties. If you are already a subscriber, just enter your details again.
    Happy sewing

    Reply

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