DIY bow tie five different ways

by Valerie

in the syndicate,tutorials

It’s a fact: bow ties are cool.

group of handmade bow ties

I’ve been teaching students how to make neckties, bow ties, and pocket squares at Bits of Thread for about a year now, and the bow ties are always a favorite.

The good news is my bow tie pattern is now available for sale, and it includes the traditional butterfly style bow and the swanky diamond point bow. The even better news is I’m going to show you three more variations!

Although I am showing them tied here, my pattern is for a freestyle bow tie you tie yourself, not a clip-on or pre-tied tie.

reversible, diamond-point bow tie

variation #1: make it reversible
When it comes to fabric, my motto is more is better. Why choose just one awesome fabric when you can have two? With a reversible bow tie, you can see both fabrics or one or the other, depending on how you tie it!

fabric layout for reversible bow tie

Achieving the look is simple. Your bow tie is in four parts: two short ends and two long ends.

To make your bow tie reversible, all you have to do is cut one set (one short end and one long end) in one fabric, and the other set in a coordinating/contrasting fabric.

If you were feeling really crazy, no reason you couldn’t use four different coordinating fabrics. Wild!

(If you want to make your bow tie reversible AND adjustable ~ instead you’ll cut both short ends in one fabric, and both long ends in the other fabric.)

adjustable bow ties

variation #2: make it adjustable
My bow tie pattern is for a fitted tie, but it is super easy to make it adjustable, if (a) you don’t know the shirt collar size of the wearer or (b) you simply prefer a little flexibility.

First, you’re going to need some hardware. I use this 3-part set, which I purchase from the amazing Wawak.com for a ridiculously low price.

They are sturdy, yet slim, for a comfortable fit underneath a shirt collar.

3 part bow tie hardware

Next you’re going to need to adjust the pattern. All you need to do is add a few inches…add 1″ to the short end, and 5″ to the long end.

The pattern tells you to create a front and a back of the tie by joining one short end to one long end.

For an adjustable tie, instead you will sew the short ends to each other and the long ends to each other (right sides facing, all the way around, leaving the opening at the pointed end of the strap).

bow tie with adjustable strap

You’ll turn each end of the tie right side out, and then fold under the raw ends to wrap around the hardware. The hardware joins the two completed ends together. That’s it!

variation #3: make it “batwing”
In addition to the traditional butterfly tip and the diamond point tip, you can go for the ultra modern batwing bow tie.

(I have no idea why it is called this. It is clearly not shaped like any part of a bat, nor any type of wing, as far as I can tell. EDIT: apparently it is so-called because it resembles the shape of a cricket bat!)

Adjusting the pattern to make this style of tie is ridiculously easy!

adjusting the bow tie pattern to make it batwing style

Start with your butterfly bow tie pattern. Take a ruler and draw a straight line from the widest part of the curve of the bow, straight out towards the end of the bow.

The line will cut off the very point of the tip of the bow, and that’s okay.

batwing bow tie pattern

This will form a paddle sort of shape, which is what you want to form the “batwing” bow. There is no curve in this style of bow tie, which gives it its modern silhouette.

With so many variations, you can make a bow tie for every well-dressed gentleman you know (or lady…lots of ladies in my classes make bow ties for themselves!), and they can all be different.

Click here to get the pattern and start sewing tonight! As always, send me pictures of the ones you make, I would love to see them!

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Vanessa January 25, 2015 at 11:46 am

I love these – going to have to try one 🙂

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Valerie February 27, 2015 at 4:27 pm

Hi Vanessa, I hope you’ll share pictures of the ones you make!

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Leo McKay March 7, 2015 at 9:00 pm

The batwing bowtie is called batwing because it’s shaped like a cricket bat.

http://sportyviews.com/cricket-bat/

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