Sunday, January 13, 2013

Easy Stash Busting Bows Tutorial

Yesterday, I was preparing a quick swimsuit costume which required the use of 4 golden bows. I was really happy with my results, as it was done in a very quick and slap-dash way yet yielded a very pretty result. Today, I made a few more and decided to make a tutorial to share with you. They are very easy to create and I will warn you they are addictive.

All you need is a sewing machine, scissors, fabric and matching (or not!) thread.


Step 1 - is to cut your bow fabric. I did mine just by eye-balling the length I wanted, but to be more precise the above is 24cm x 23.5cm (9.6in x 9.4in). Basically a square. I would not be concerned if your dimensions differed too much to the above. If you are not comfortable 'just winging it', make yourself a paper pattern to follow.


Step 2 - is to cut the fabric for the centre of your bow. The above scrap of fabric is 5.5cm x 23.5cm (2.2in x 9.4in). You can vary your width, and we will not be using the full length, but you will need at least half the length of above to create one bow centre.


Step 3 - will to be for you to sew a straight seam for the fabric of your bow, and the centre of the bow. Mine uses a stitch length of 3, and I've left a very narrow seam allowance and neatened it to approx 5mm. Turn both pieces so the fabric is the right-way out.


Step 4 - shows you where you should position your middle seam


Step 5 - sew a 5mm seam and trim to neaten. Ensure that the seam we sewed in step 3 is visible on the outside, as per the image above.


Step 6 - Turn your bow fabric so all your seams are on the inside. Position the seam from step 5 into the centre of the bow.


Step 7 - Wrap the centre of the bow with the seam facing outside around the middle of your fabric square.  I would recommend at looking at what will be the front of your bow to see how well the folds are sitting, as opposed to focusing on how the back of the bow will look.

Ideally here you will switch to a zipper foot to allow you to sew as close as possible to the bow, without catching any part of the bow in the needle. Trim the seam allowance to approx 3mm.


Step 8 - Turn the fabric of the centre of the bow so that the seam is now concealed on the inside.


Step 9 is the bestest step of all-- Admire your handiwork! It is also appropriate at this time to straighten the centre of the bow so that it is sitting well... In the centre of your bow!

Here is an assortment of different bows I have created using this method. For the tulle bow, I played around with the amount of fabric that was used. It was made slightly differently to the above method, and uses more fabric and has a few more seams. Encapsulated inside are small confetti hearts - score! using some of my craft stash too! :)

Once you have your bows finished, there is many different fun things you can do! Here are some things I have done with my bows:

Here I have sewn a hair clip to the back, with a matching gold thread. This makes a perfect hair accessory!

In this instance, I have made a bow that matches my crazy custom-made jacket, and attached a pin to the back ... Perfect for when I do balloon twisting events, or when I want to brighten up an otherwise average outfit!

Lastly, the above is a bathing suit top, the reason I need and made the bows! It features four of the golden bows. It was for an anime-themed visit to the local water park. I was a bit pressed for time, so all of the bows are secured on with safety pins. They all managed to stay on despite about 6 trips down the water slides!

I hope you have as much fun as I do creating these bows. All the fun is in seeing the rewards of your easy work and using fabrics out of your stashes! I think the next logical thing to make would be to put a bow onto a headband...

If you use this tutorial at all to make some bows, leave a comment or a link to them because I would love to see them! I hope it is all straight-forward, but if you need any help or have questions, please do not hesitate to ask!

Bonus out-take pictures... Mousecat and Blue delaying the creative process! Gotta love my little girls...

More the Merrier Monday


  1. Adorable! Thanks for the tutorial. I'm pinning so I can make some for my daughter.

    1. Thanks Jessica! :D that sounds wonderful to me! <3

  2. Thanks for sharing this stash-busting project, Sonia! These would be great to get rid of all the scraps. We will be featuring this today, by the way! Can't wait to see what you have in store for us this week!

    Lelanie @


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