A Formal Affair

I went home to Cincinnati this weekend for a little R&R, to have dinner with my favorite Ugandan, and to gather a few supplies: bow tie supplies! I can’t recall what possessed me to start googling “how to make bow ties” and “bow tie pattens” but I did.

I found a couple websites with different methods of making a bow tie, some of which were clip on or had adjustable neck straps. I took the old school route and found a patter for a regular, tie-it-yourself bow. I chose a free pattern from this great website.  Then it was time for my favorite step: fabric shopping. So off I went to JoAnn Fabrics for cheap yet fabulous patters.

Here’s what I brought home:

I was very excited about the red, white, and blue patterns. One thing I was a bit weary about was buying the interfacing. I chose the least expensive I could find ($2.69/yd) called “Tshirt/Colllar Interfacing” and it worked perfectly. My advice would be to judge it by feel, I am confident your intuition will keep you away from the ones that are too stiff.

In the picture above you can see the four panels of fabric I cut for the actual bow tie and two panels of interfacing. You will iron the interfacing onto the back of two of the fabric pieces. This is process will result in a bow tie with a seam in the back, I only did it this way once. I quickly learned it was much easier to do it without a seam. This simply means you will cut two long strips of fabric instead of four. If you are confused the instructions that come with the pattern link above will help.

Once you’ve turned the tie right side out, you’ll need to whip stitch the seam closed.

So you plug and chug through the  sewing process as per instructions. Once you have the body sewed together, you will turn it inside out through the 4” hole you left in the middle. This was one of the most obnoxious parts. I had to prod and pull with tweezers and a pencil. It definitely requires patience. Eventually around the third bow tie I found my groove.


You will need to whip stitch the opening closed or do what I did once I got tired and use Heat & Bond. Heat & Bond is iron-on adhesive usually used for hemming. I like this better because the result is a much cleaner, invisible seam. You can find this pretty much anywhere they sell sewing materials. Once you do this you will want to iron out the bow tie to crisp those corners. Then proceed to be a proud, man’s lady, bad-ass!

Happy Fall Everyone!

I even learned to tie one!


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