DIY Fabric Bow Tutorial

How to Sew a Fabric Bow Tutorial

Hello We All Sew readers! My name is Beth and I blog under the name Sew DIY. The holiday season is such a fun time to sew things to decorate your home (or yourself!). But it’s also a busy time of year so I’m always on the lookout for projects that will be quick to make. Fabric bows are one of my favorites.

Attach the bows to a garment or other fabric item by hand stitching in place. This time of year, they can also be used as Christmas ornaments by threading a piece of wire or a twist tie through the center band and then attaching to a tree branch. Slide ribbon through the center band and use the bow to finish off a gift. The bows can be re-used year after year making them more environmentally friendly than disposable paper ones. Try out different fabrics like flannel, suiting, quilting cotton or velvet to create a look all your own.

These instructions are for making a small bow, about 3.5 x 1.75 inches. Note that the fabric is cut on the bias to make it extra easy to shape. If you’re using a plaid fabric, the bias cut will show off the plaid in a dynamic way.

Materials to make a fabric bow:

  • Fabric scraps or fat quarters
  • Matching thread
  • Hand sewing needle
  • Rotary cutter and self healing cutting mat (optional)

Step 1: Cut two pieces of fabric on the bias measuring 4 x 8 inches and 4 x 1.5 inches. The larger piece will be the main part of the bow and the smaller piece will be the center band that holds it all together.

Tip: If you’ll be making a lot of bows, cut a 4 inch strip of fabric on the bias. Then cut the strip into 8 inch and 1.5 inch pieces. A rotary cutter makes this especially easy.

step 1

Step 2: First, we’ll make the main part of the bow. Fold the larger piece of fabric right sides together so that the long edges meet. Using a 1/4 inch seam allowance, stitch the long edges. Press the seam open and turn right side out. Center the seam in the middle and press. The side with the seam is now the wrong side. Fold short ends right sides together and stitch using a 1/4 inch seam allowance.

How to Sew a Fabric Bow Tutorial

Press seam open. Turn the seam to the inside and center it in the fabric circle. The side with the seam is the back of the bow.

step 2

Step 3: Fold the center band right sides together and stitch the long edge using a 1/4 inch seam allowance. Trim the seam. Use a safety pin or tube turner to turn right side out. Press flat with the seam on one side.

Step 3

Step 4: Pinch and fold the bow in the center with the outside edges angled down. The shape of the folds is kind of like a double humped camel or an “M”.

Step 4

Step 5

Step 5: While holding the bow in position, turn the bow over so the back side is facing up. Put one end of the center band inside the fold of the bow on the back side. Wrap the band tightly around the bow and trim away any excess. Fold in the raw edge of the band and hand stitch in place.


How to Sew a Fabric Bow Tutorial

Since you might be thinking about different sizes, I tried out three sizes, shown above. The middle one is the size detailed in the instructions. For the smallest one cut one 3 x 6 and one 3 x 1.125. For the large size, cut one 6 x 12 and one piece 6 by 2.25. Be aware that the thicker your fabric is, the harder it will be to form the bow. I used flannel for the small bow and you can tell it’s a lot stiffer than the largest size. By the way, that big bow will be going on top of my Christmas tree this year!

How to Sew a Fabric Bow Tutorial

I’ve had a lot of fun making these bows and can’t wait to use them all over the house. I even slipped one on my cat’s collar and he looks so handsome! I hope you enjoy this fun little project too. Happy sewing!

2016 Holiday Countdown - 12 days until Christmas Day

Our December 13 Gift for You

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All you have to do is post a comment below answering the following question:

For whom would you sew a bow?

A winner will be chosen at random on December 14, 2016 and announced the following week!

Good luck!

The contest is open for comments until December 13 at 12:00 midnight Central Time. Click here for contest rules.

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