little boy bow tie tutorial March 20 2012, 2 Comments

I am excited to announce that our favorite guest blogger, Jen Carlton Bailly is back with 2 new really fun and rewarding projects and today she'll be sharing 1 of them.  With wedding season around the corner, along with Easter and Passover, I'm sure a few parties will be happening and Jen has designed the most adorable boy accessory for all of those special occasions or just for fun on a Friday night.  Today she is sharing the "Little Boy Bow Tie Tutorial".

From Jen Carlton Bailly of

One thing I love to see is a little boy in a bow tie with a rumpled shirt and jeans. It’s probably the love of all things from The Preppy Hand Book in me. But it’s also teaching our boys that dressing up and looking nice is cool and awesome!

Ready to create this simple tie?  It’s a little bit over-sized and oh so cute!


  • Scraps of fabric in varying widths at least 12 inches long
  • 1 piece of 4 by 4 inch solid fabric for the center of the tie
  • 1 piece of 4½ inch by your child’s neck measurements (shirt on) plus 1 ½ inches in solid for the neck strap
  • 1 piece of 1 inch Velcro
  • 1 piece of fusible interfacing cut to 6 by 7 inches (I used Pellon 906F)
  • 1 piece of card stock cut to 6 by 7 inches
  • Point turner or knitting needle to poke out corners
  • Liquid Stitch


Step One: Making a String Block (as it’s know in quilting)

  • After cutting your card stock and fabric strips, lay them out over the paper at a diagonal to determine your order. Most of my strips did not measure over 2 inches wide
  • Set your machine on a really tight stitch width. I usually sew at 2 for this I set mine at 1. This helps to perforate the paper and make it easy to tear off



Step Two: Sewing the fabric to the paper

  • Lay the middle strip down, then your next strip on top of it right sides together
  • Sew a ¼ inch seam
  • Fold over your strip and press flat with a dry iron
  • Continue this process on each side until you have covered the paper


Step Three: Squaring up your block

  • Turning your block upside down-paper facing up, use your ruler and rotary cutter to square it up trimming the fabric


Step Four: Taking of the paper

  • Since you used a nice small stitch, taking the paper off will be like tearing a perforated coupon out!
  • Stick your finger under the paper, and gently tug. The paper should come lose, bend it back and gently tear.
  • Continue until all the paper is off.

(FYI: If you are a garment sewer, you actually just became a quilter too! You did your first quilt string block!)



Step Five: Interfacing and Sewing

  • Following the manufactures guidelines for your fusible interfacing, attach it to the back of your block
  • Fold the block in half on the 7 inch side right sides together
  • Your block should measure 3 ½ by 6 inches
  • Make a 1 ½ inch mark in the middle at the raw edges (this will be were you will turn your tie inside out.
  • Stitch all the raw edges with exception to where you marked
  • Make sure your stitch length is back to where you normally have it
  • Clip the four corners on the diagonal being careful not to cut into the stitch line


Step Six: Turn out and Top Stitch

  • Turn your block inside out, take care to poke out the corners with a point turner (as pictured) or a knitting needle
  • Press flat (the flatter you get it the nicer it will look)
  • Top stitch using a 1/8th inch seam allowance

TIP! Increase your stitch length a bit when top stitching. You’ll get a nicer looking stitch.



Step Seven: Forming the Bow Tie

  • Pick the side of the tie that you like best
  • Find the middle and pinch in place
  • Stitch down the middle to hold it in place (I went back and forth a few times to ensure it was secure)


Step Eight: Making the Center and Neck Strap

  • Using the 4 by 4 inch piece of fabric, fold it in half and press
  • Open it up; fold the sides in to meet the center and press
  • Fold at the center and press
  • Top stitch
  • Fold in half and match raw edges
  • Stitch a ¼ inch to form a circle
  • Turn so the raw edges are facing in
  • Complete the same process for the neck strap
    • Measure the neck WITH the shirt on (add 1 ½ inches to this)
    • Cut out
    • Fold each end up by ¼ inch
    • Follow above directions with exception to the last three points
    • Top stitch along all edges

Step Nine: Finishing the Bow Tie

  • Slip the ring onto the tie by compressing it


Step Ten: Finishing the Strap

Note: I realize that not everyone is going to like to glue on their Velcro. This just happens to be my favorite product right now. It dries clear, is super strong and I don’t have to have stitch marks! Do what works best for you.

  • Taking your strap position the Velcro at the ends
  • Add a dap of Liquid Stitch and apply the Velcro to the fabric.
  • Take note of the 3rd photo below-one piece will go on the top side, the other on the bottom side
  • Let dry for recommended time


Step Eleven: Completing the tie

  • Fold your strap in half
  • Feed through the back of the tie


Step Twelve:

  • Try it on
  • Admire your work and enjoy creating a hand made wardrobe

 (Zeke calls it his “party boy tie”)


Here is the same tie using one fabric. Do what you love or better yet, what your little guy would love best. Involving him in the process will probably help encourage him to keep it on longer!



Thank you so much Jen for gifting us with another terrific tutorial!  Thank you Z for being SO DARN CUTE!  Look at those eyes.  Stay tuned because Jen has one more wonderful tutorial coming our way for the upcoming holiday.

Enjoy preparing for your future event and Happy Sewing!