DIY: Bow Tie (tutorial + free pdf pattern + a giveaway!!)…

Now, look…I hate to be the first to mention it. You know what I’m referring to. “That” time of year that is fast approaching. I can’t quite bring myself to say “that” word yet. It’s far too soon. So lets just talk about gifts. Nuff said? Nuff said! If like me you like to give the occasional handmade gift, you’ll probably find  it relatively easy to come up with something for a female friend/relative. But blokes?? Well, that’s a little trickier I find. They’re trickier to buy for and definitely trickier to “make” for, as a rule.  Ah but hang on a minute! Bow ties look set to stick around for a while, so if your man is game enough to wear one, how about whipping up a cute little number to pop in his C*****mas stocking? They’re super quick to make and you can easily squeeze one of these out of a fat quarter or indeed a modest size remnant. So a great way to stash bust too. Bonus!

You’ll need a light weight fabric. (I used about 2/3 of a fat quarter) Mine came from the Riley & Blake Range from Elephant in My Handbag. This moustache print makes for a perfect, quirky take on a classic bow tie. You’ll need to interface your fabric with a lightweight fusible interfacing; then print off and assemble the free pdf pattern (link at the bottom of this post). I cut mine from card to enable me to trace around it rather that pin it on the fabric….

Once the reverse of your fabric has been interfaced, trace 4 pattern pieces directly onto the interfacing. 2 in one direction, 2 in the other. (eg 2 with the fat end to the left, 2 with the fat end to the right), to ensure the pattern lines up when you come to join your pieces. Of course this is because I was working with a FQ and therefore didn’t have the width to cut on the fold. But with a larger piece of fabric you could cut on the fold so you end up with 2 complete pieces (as opposed to 4 pieces that need joining) and skip the next  step…

RS together, stitch the skinny ends together with 1/4″ seam allowance. Press the stitching line then press seam allowances open…you’ll now have 2 bow tie pieces. Front & back…

RS together again, stitch the 2 pieces together with a 1/4″ seam allowance. Leave approxa 3″ gap for turning…

Trim seam allowance by about half. Snip corners and notch all curves…

Use a knitting needle to turn the tie through on itself…

Once turned through it will look a little like this. Some serious pressing required!

I used my chunky wooden knitting need as a kind of pressing aid to press all the seams around the outside of the tie…

Then pressed the hell out of it!

Whip stitch the opening closed…

Et voila!!

Now all you need to learn is how to tie the thing! There are loads of tutorials out there. Mine is technically tied incorrectly. At some point I’ll get around to learning how to tie it properly, but this pic adequately conveys the finished tie for now!

You can download the free PDF pattern here! Make sure you print with no scaling/actual size. When it comes to sizing your bow tie pattern, you’ll need to know the neck size of the person you are making for. You can lengthen or shorten “piece B” before joining it to “piece A” to get the correct length of tie…

Now as it happens, I have a couple of spare FQ’s left over. “Moustaches on White” by Riley Blake (the multi coloured one in the pic) and “Moustaches/Beards on Cream” (The bottom one in the pic) from the Manscaping range by Michael Miller. So essentially I have two FQ’s to giveaway to two lucky peops! To be in with a chance of winning simply go to Elephant in My Handbag, have a mooch, then leave a comment below sharing your fave fabric (and if you like, what you would make with it!) Giveaway is open worldwide and closes for entries on Sunday 17th Nov at midnight (GMT).


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  1. Giddyauntlola November 12, 2013

    I really love bow ties and can see me making one up for each of the men in my life for Christmas. I love the Holiday Hostess retro Christmas fabric – would make a super little Christmas apron.

  2. clippedcurves November 12, 2013

    Thank you so much for the bow tie pattern… could be a good Christmas present! I had a look at Elephant in my Handbag and it was so hard to choose just one. I’ve narrowed it down to two: 20/20 Glasses which I’d use for a flex frame glasses case or Deck chairs on light blue could make a fab summer dress.

  3. Harriet November 12, 2013

    I am going to make these for my fiance, dad and brother for christmas – perfect! Thanks for the pattern =)

    I love the Tiny elephant print in grey – and having just seen their lampshade kit I would make a lampshade! Awesome!

  4. Almost a Hippy November 12, 2013

    Thanks so much for introducing me to this shop, my bank balance is already feeling sad. The fabrics are all amazing but I think my favourite is “spot owls coral”. Your bow tie tutorial is amazing! I really struggle with gifts for men (some lucky guy is definitely getting a boy tie this year!) Please, please can we have some more gifts for men ideas.

  5. All Set November 12, 2013

    Wow, worldwide… Then it’s simple… I would like to sign up! Fantastic fabric!

  6. Ellen November 12, 2013

    Thanks for the tutorial, that looks totally feasible! I always find it hard to find gifts for my father and boyfriend because they seem to have pretty much everything they want and if they don’t, they just go and get it!
    I really like the Washday Clouds on Elephant in my handbag. Unfortunately, it suits the weather…

  7. Lori Kay November 12, 2013

    I’m loving the Sewing Bird patchwork bundle. Very sweet colors.

  8. Jenny Larking November 12, 2013

    Love the cotton reels and I would make a travelling embroidery pouch jennylarking at gmail dot com

  9. Grace Ainsworth November 12, 2013

    Loving the bow tie pattern! Thanks so much for sharing and for the introduction to ‘Elephant in my Handbag’ so many great prints to choose from but I’d have to pick ‘Sidewalks ABC Main Cream’ not only is it stunning but my daughter is learning phonics, so it would be super helpful too!

  10. Kay November 12, 2013

    I really like the woodland organic range by Clothworks and would use it to make a quilt for a baby boy. Thanks for a fun giveaway and tutorial, it is great to see some pressies for men.

  11. valerie boudier November 12, 2013

    Love Nutcracker by Michael Miller. Would use it to make stockings (not using the word)

  12. Becky November 13, 2013

    Michael miller farm life.

  13. pootleandmake November 13, 2013

    I like red spots by Dashwood studio

  14. prolificprojectstarter November 13, 2013

    (This link should be at bottom but my not so smartmdevice is not playing fair )

    Loving the tutorial. My 7 year old loves dressing smart. Hoping to make him a shirt for christmas, but if I run out of time (or have some left over), I might try downsizing a bow tie.
    As for fabric, I have a major crush onnthe lime green cord. For a dress for daughter, I have some lime green batik flower fabric that will accent it perfectly. And for some trousers for me, once I’ve found and mastered a pattern.
    Do I get bonus points for pointing out that Sew Jereli has just made some kids shorts in the road signs transport fabric?


  15. 25052011 November 13, 2013

    Ooooh! I’m so going to make this for my husband! He has an awards dinner every year at gis hotel and I think in that sort of occasion it is required to have something quirky, as it isn’t too official, but men are still expected to arrive woth bow ties and everything.

    My favourite is the nut cracker fabric, love them! Still haven’t got round to ordering it, so I’m hoping I don’t have to! x

  16. koolkatskate November 13, 2013

    Thank you, perfect timing. You are a little bit bad making me look at Elephant in my handbag, it’s really hard to choose. I’m quite smitten by the beautiful muted colours of the westfalenstoffe ‘Deer’. Nice, nice.

  17. Tean Porteus November 13, 2013

    I love the Magic Unicorns and Holiday Hostess

  18. My heart is here November 13, 2013

    Awesome giveaway 🙂 I love the london images on bright blue and would make something for little baby boy from it! 🙂

  19. rainjerette November 14, 2013

    Thanks! I like Enchant by Riley Blake. I have a new niece and she would be adorable with something made out of this.

  20. roseytoessews November 14, 2013

    My favourite fabric at the moment is Foxtrot by Michael Miller. I love the gorgeous rich colours in it, along with the beautiful woodland animals. I’d just sit and stroke it! 😉

  21. Sandi November 14, 2013

    How in the world can I choose one thing. I love the Christmas ribbons and fabric. Too much to just pick one.

    Should I be lucky enough to win fabric from you, I would be making bow ties for my grandsons. My 12 year old grandson loves wearing bow ties for all his band recitals.

  22. Elizabeth Truscott November 15, 2013

    So cute! My fav fabric was holiday hostess which would make Into such a great ruffled Christmas Day apron!

  23. Gemma Roberts November 15, 2013

    Ahh what a great design, you could make a bow tie as a gift for someone for Christmas or for yourself worn untied over a shirt or anything with a collar… (I’m so greedy). Gorgeous!!

    I am immediately drawn to the Sign In “Holiday Hostess” – Retro Christmas Fabric Fat Quarter by Michael Miller”, it has Bettie Draper pre season 4, written all over it 😉 I’m thinking pencil skirt worn with a chunky cream knit jumper…

    Faded Windmills

  24. picaropicara November 15, 2013

    I love the Teapots on Red fabric… I would probably use it to make a cute retro headband for myself, and the leftovers to make kitschy little teabag holders for stocking stuffers

  25. hart44 November 17, 2013

    As a self confested fabric addict it was the hardest thing to try and find a fav, they are all my fav’s lol. If I had to pick one then I could make so many lovely things for my grandkids with the lovely Owls Reindeer Outline On Cream 🙂

  26. pennylibrarian November 19, 2013

    Thanks for the free pattern, very timely. My first attempt at a bow tie is nearly ready to share! Pennyx

  27. Lisa November 20, 2013

    Thank you for the free pattern and a chance to win! I like the Washday Montage. I am always try to spruce up my laundry room and this would be perfect for a little memo board to put things found in pockets and a list for shopping day!

  28. Gem Smith November 22, 2013

    Aw thank you for the pattern!!! I’m definitely trying it out for a Christmas gift!

  29. Marjorie November 24, 2013

    Love the craft kits, particularly the projects that come in the sweet tins. I would have adored to get one of them when I was a small girl.

  30. Melissa December 22, 2013

    I just made my husband and son matching bow ties for Christmas Sunday. Thank you for the great tutorial!

  31. Anonymous January 2, 2014

    Thank you for the pattern. A successful person render his own bow tie, no? Henceforward that is… /Erik

  32. Marisa Zimmerman January 9, 2014

    this is such an easy tutorial, but i am having the darndest time turning the bowtie right side out. NOTHING I do is working. How do you get the big end of the bow tie down to turn and able to pull through the narrow channel?

  33. So quirky! You should sell these on etsy or something!

  34. bare sparkl May 23, 2014

    Thank you for the free pattern and a chance to win! I would have adored to get one of them when I was a small boy. I just love your style. Thanks for sharing. Here is another source which may help you guys.
    mens braces

  35. Yasmin Ibacache May 23, 2014

    Thanks for this !!!!

  36. Carma's Capers June 2, 2014

    Your tutorial is excellent and I am ready to use your pattern to make this tie for my granddaughter – yep she needs it tomorrow! Can you give me any idea where to measure on this pattern to make it fit her 14″ neck? I will be making it from red satin-type lightweight fabric with matching suspenders., Your prompt response will be appreciated.

  37. How cute and it is so easy too. Can’t wait to surprise my honey with a bow tie for his birthday. Thanks!

  38. Stephanie November 17, 2014

    I just made my husband and son matching bow ties for Christmas ! Thank you for the free pattern.


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