Thursday, March 26, 2015

Little Boy Bowties: A Tutorial

Most have seen my little man sporting a bow tie occasionally at church.
Even if only for a few moments.
Bowties are so cute on little boys, and can add so much to plain boy clothes. But stores want an arm and a leg for anything worth wearing, if you can find them at all, so I decided one day that I was going to make some.
I went to my local thrift shop and bought men's shirts in the colors and patterns I wanted for next to nothing. This was great because I was able to find some really masculine patterns, plus I had a ton of left over fabric.
Being the non-original person that I am, I turned to Pinterest. Found a great tutorial on making a "no sew" bowtie.
( Unfortunately the link is no longer valid, not sure what happened but that is the website I got it from.)
Of course, I did make a few changes to the original tutorial. I'm afraid my version is not a "no sew," but still simple none the less.
What you'll need:
Fabric of choice, no more than 1/4 yard
Clip on earring frame
Hot glue gun
Felt (optional)
E6000 (optional)
When I use a man's shirt for a bowtie, I usually start with the sleeve. Just cut it next to the seams and lay it out flat.
There! Plenty of fabric for what we have to do.
Next you make your pattern. The original tutorial says to cut a rectangular piece of fabric 7"x 5" and a square piece 2 1/4 "x 2 1/4". I find it difficult to draw or cut out dimensions directly on the fabric, so I usually make the pattern on paper first then cut it out. This way too, I have the pattern for future use.
Take your larger piece of fabric and fold and press with an iron into thirds longways.
Clean and crisp. Don't make your thirds so exact that the edge of the fabric is lined up with the fold; the point is to hide the edges.
Hamburger fold in half right sides together. Do not press.
Sew along the open edges. I zig-zagged to keep it from fraying. The original tutorial did not call for this but it's almost impossible to glue it later without the ends sewn together.
Now open up the hamburger fold so that the seam is in the middle.
Turn it right side out.
Flip it over and you've got your bow ready for gluing.
Now for the tie.
Take your smaller piece of fabric and fold and press into thirds. There, ready for gluing.
Now for the glue. This part gets a little tricky for me because I don't like burning my fingers. Dab some hot glue in the middle of the front side and pinch it over the glue so that the front side is going inward. Hold it till it dries (which is fast because it's hot glue).
Next dab glue on the back side on each side of the center fold. Pinch the fabric down over it. Easier said than done when working with HOT glue and stubborn fabric. This picture shows what it looks like on the front. Again, hold it till it dries.
Dab glue on the middle-ish of the back side of the bow. Take your tie and stick one end on the glue, wrap it around the center all the way to the back, where you will glue the other end down.
Like so.
And there you have it. A bowtie.
Now how do you put it on the kid?
The best that I've found is clip on earrings. You can find the make your own frames at Hobby Lobby. You have to remove the loop on the front with some pliers.
I just sew them on the top and bottom by hand.
You could be finished at this point, but I usually do this last step especially for babies with sensitive skin. Cut a little rectangle piece of felt about the length of the back of the earring frame. Glue it on with some E6000. Hot glue isn't flexible so it will pop off the first time you try to open the earring.
Voila! Bowties to fit any age! I was inspired to make a few here recently with the upcoming spring holydays. Love all the fresh springy colors!
You could also use this method to make cloth hair bows for girls. Just add a hair clip instead of the earring clip and you've got a classy little bow for your little doll! I've been wanting to try that for Sabrina, but frankly she has so many bows already!

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