Wednesday, April 16, 2008

How To Tie A Standalone Bow

One thing that often crops up when sewing for little girls is the need to tie a bow which will then be attached to a garment. Here are instructions for getting a symmetrical bow every time.

Start with a length of ribbon that is more than long enough for your bow. I usually purchase an extra half yard of ribbon and cut it as the bows are tied.

To begin, form two loops with the ribbon as shown. Leave plenty of space between the loops; the wider your ribbon, the more space you need to leave. Make sure there is enough length on the short end of the ribbon that you can cut the tail to your desired length. If your ribbon is one sided, the good side of the ribbon should be on the outside of the loops.

Cross one loop over the top of the other loop. I’m left-handed and it works well for me to cross the left loop over the right. If you’re right-handed, it might work better the other way. If the hole made by crossing the ribbons looks a little small, start over and leave more space between the loops.

Take the top loop and fold it down behind the cross and into the hole formed by crossing the loops.

Pull the loop all the way through.

At this point, there should be a loose tail of ribbon laying across the front of the bow (you can see it in the picture above); move it over the top and to the back.

Pull the loops until the knot is snug, but not too snug. If you’re using one sided ribbon, now is the time to make sure that the good side is on the outside of the loops and facing toward you on the tails.

Your bow should look kind of sloppy right now, with very long loops and at least one very short tail. Shape your bow: pull one tail to shorten a loop, snug your knot, then pull the other tail and so on until the loops are your desired size. Trim your tails to length.

Your finished bow:

Coming in the next week: How to tie a sash bow.


Lindsay T said...

Love this post! When my sister's girls were younger and still wearing dresses with sashes in the back, she would bring them over to my house to tie a proper bow. I've tried to teach her how to tie a bow many times but she is sadly challenged in this area.

Paula said...

That's funny and weird. I didn't think anyone was more challenged than I when it came to spatial stuff, but I see that I was wrong!

Dawn said...

Cute, I'll have to practice. I always get one of the tails in the front and one in the back. They never turn out *perfect* and I'm never happy with them.

Kat said...

Thanks for the tutorial, and I'll look forward to the sash one. One of the reasons I avoid picking out patterns with ties in the front is because the models always have things tied so nicely. I never learned how to tie a more fashionable knot.

Lotta@TroublemakerStreet said...

Thanks, never thought of using this "trainer bow" (the first one we tried when learning how to tie our shoes when we were kids) for such bows, but see that it actually looks better than the ordinary way of tying a simple bow, for this purpose... :)

Julia said...

Very helpful, thank you!

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