Friday, 12 October 2012

How to Sew a Fabric Bow

image fabric bow how to sew

Things have been so busy here at the house of Two Cheeky Monkeys that it was only earlier this week that I realised I had never posted my promised tutorial  for sewing a fabric bow.  Very terribly remiss of me, I know, but never fear, that error is now being corrected!  For those of you who missed the no sew technique for making fabric bows, you can find the tutorial here.

- Two pieces of fabric 1cm wider and longer than your intended bow size
   (e.g. for a 6 x 4cm bow, cut two 7 x 5cm pieces of fabric)
- A small piece of fabric 8cm long and twice the width of  your bow centre
   (e.g. for a 2.5cm wide bow centre, cut a piece 8 x 5cm in size)
- Needle and matching thread
- Sewing machine
- Iron and ironing board (optional)

image fabric pieces for making a bow

image sew your two rectangular pieces together wrong side together fabric bow

1. Take your two rectangular pieces and sew them together, right sides facing, leaving a 0.5cm seam allowance.  Make sure that you leave a small gap in the middle of one long end (see arrow) for turning your bow right side out.

image how to sew a fabric bow tanya whelan sugar hill FreeSpirit

2. Carefully clip the corners of your rectangle, then turn your bow right side out.  If you have a large gap which won't be fully covered by the bow centre band, slipstitch the gap closed for neatness.  Press your rectangle with a hot iron to give a crisper finish.

image how to sew a fabric bow tanya whelan sugar hill FreeSpirit pleat your bow

3. Gently concertina fold your rectangle then pinch it in the middle.  Using your matching thread, sew a few loops of fabric around the middle to keep your bow shape in place.  Although this step is not absolutely necessary, it does help when you are making small and fiddly bows or double bows.

image how to sew a fabric bow tanya whelan sugar hill FreeSpirit prepare bow centre band

4. Iron or finger press the long edges of your remaining piece of fabric towards the centre.  Carefully remove any loose threads hanging over the edges.

image how to sew a fabric bow tanya whelan sugar hill FreeSpirit attach bow centre band

5. Stitch one short end of the bow band to the bottom edge of your bow, making sure that it is centred correctly (use a ruler if, like me, you have spatial orientation issues).  Wrap your bow band once around the bow to cover the centre entirely.

image how to sew a fabric bow hand stitch bow centre in place tanya whelan sugar hill FreeSpirit

6. Cut off excess fabric, leaving a little overhang to turn under and hide the raw edges.  Stitch the loose end of your bow centre in place, making sure that you have covered all raw ends.

image how to sew a fabric bow tanya whelan sugar hill FreeSpirit

7. And there you have it, a quick and easy bow you can sew in next to no time.  As with the no sew bow, you can easily up- or down-size this bow pattern to create larger or smaller bows.  You can also turn your bow into a double bow simply by repeating steps 1-2 and then pleating your two rectangles together before step four.

image how to sew a fabric double bow


  1. This is great. Thanks so much!

  2. Commented on the wrong post. Great job Deb!

  3. Wow, they look great, and so easy! Thanks :)


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