Monday, July 12, 2010

All Tied Up: Little Tie and Bow Tie Tutorial

I am sure there are several of these on the web and crafty blogs but I really think this is the easiest way to make a good looking tie that actually looks like it has been tied, even though it is not :)
What you will need:
Your sewing machine (unless you are wicked cool old school and sew by hand)
A long strip of super funky fun fabric
A little square of velcro (both sides) either sew on or iron on
Paper, pen measuring tape for pattern
That is it! How cool is that!

I knew I was going to be making lots of these for gifts and well just for my boys so I made sure to make a pattern. Grab a long piece of paper, a pen, a measuring tape or ruler and something to use as a straight edge.
In the end your pattern will look similar to this:
I dubbed this 3T even though Sawyer is four and wears it :) The measurements are:
23 inchs on the longest side, 21 inches on the other, 8 on the widest side and 5 on the other. Here is the tricky part, you may need to get your 5th grader over to help you with this (is that when you learn angles?). The 8 and the 5 are parallel to each other not the 23 and the 21. What I did was I drew my 23 inch line, then I draw my 8 and 5 inch lines, the 8 at a 45 degree angle the 5 at 120 degrees. (I did not use a protractor or anything just eye balled it. My mother in law wasn't kidding when she said you needed to know math to sew haa!) Then I used my straight edge to connect the 8 and the 5 with my 21 inch line, phew, I probably would make a horrible math teacher. Don't sweat it if yours are a little off it will turn out fine :) Take your spanking new pattern piece and cut out your main tie fabric.
If you would like (not required AT ALL) you can use your pinking sheers on the ends of the tie to prevent any fraying. I just really wanted an excuse to use them since they were a birthday present, but it does make sure you will not have frays poking out.
Fire up your iron (I know, I know I am obsessed with ironing my sewing stuff, but it just makes life so much easier!) fold over what you just pinked (is that a word?) and iron it down.
Now you are going to take one corner and bring it to the other to form a triangle thus hiding the part you just ironed
Repeat this process on the other side until your tie looks like this:
turn your tie so that wrong side is facing you. (So you can see the triangle) You are going to topstitch the triangle into place. You only need to topstitch the two sides, do not topstitch the base (you would have a weird line across the bottom of your tie) When you are done the backs will look lovely and finished
Now with the right side facing you fold your tie in half "hotdog style" or long wise so that right sides face each other. Give yourself about a half an inch hem and stitch the entire length (I went back and zig zag stitched but that is optional)
When you are done you should have something resembling this:
Go a head and turn your tie right side out. Woo hoo it sort of looks like a tie. I went back to my iron and pressed it so that the back seem is in the middle and looks nice and crisp. Now we just need a band to hook it too. Cut a nice length of fabric from your left overs. How long depends on your cute boys neck and how long you want him to wear it for. I made mine longer then it really needed but I like to ere on the side of BIG apparently. Once you have your length grab your iron and iron down the sides
Now tuck/ fold under the ends so that you will have a nice finished edge
Now that it is all nice and pressed starting at the top right corner topstitch the entire thing closed to make a nice finished band. Grab your velcro. I decided to sew a nice big chunk of the "soft" side and then a little square of the "sticky" side so that I could change it between the two boys. (You can TOTALLY get a set of clips and an adjustable piece at your local sewing store. I have one and already used it on a tie, so this one had have Velcro).
Now for the sort of, but not really, tricky part, tying the tie. Make a "U" shape with the length of fabric you just created. Find the middle of your tie and with the wrong side (side with the seam) facing up place the "U" on top of it.
Flip the tie up over the "U" and then back through on both sides:
Pull it as tightly as you like (the tighter the smaller the knot in the front). Flip it over and straighten everything out and taddah:
Super cute funky tie! Next we'll do the bow tie that goes a long with it. Of course I made Finn's over the top comically large, and he spent the majority of the time trying to pull it off ha!
How cute would these be for a wedding if you have a bunch of nephews? Happy sewing!


  1. Thanks for sharing this tutorial. My brother-in-law is getting married at the end of the month and I wanted to make my husband and 8 month old matching ties. So fun!

  2. I am so pumped about this tutorial. I was looking for something like this on Friday for a Saturday wedding. We decided Tate should wear his converse shoes (with the flames on the sides) along with his suit. The only problem: his lame tie... Too late for that wedding, but we have another in August. I can get going on it right now. Thanks!!!

  3. Thank you for a great tutorial - it is just what I am looking for! I will be trying this very soon!

  4. You boys are soo incredibly cute! Those big blue eyes are amazing! I LOVE the tie. I might make one for my girls with a cute little tshirt and some bermuda shorts! Totally fun and funky!

  5. Kelly:
    The wide elastic tutorial is from Ruffles and Stuff. Here is the link. I will send you some (wide elastic) soon.

  6. Almost forgot. There are tons of cute boy ideas that fall into the category of "this is cool and will not cause my child to be physically harmed by other children" over at I am Mamma Hear Me Roar. Enjoy!

  7. Thanks so much for this tutorial. I made one for my oldest son (he's 6 so I adjusted the length a few inches) and now he wears it every Sunday. I just got some more fun fabrics to make some more ties for him and his younger brother. I'll send you pics when I get them all done. Thanks, it was so easy!

  8. so amazingly cute! Thanks for the step by step!

  9. OK......I must be pictorial handicapped! I can't figure for the life of me by the pictures HOW you got the knot to look like you did! I'm following your directions (even went to your Flickr pictures!) & just can't get mine to look like the picture! Geesh! Is there a way you can do a short video to demonstrate the tieing of the tie knot please???

  10. I agree with Laurie! I can't figure it out, either. :( I got everything else...but the tying of it is just throwing me for a loop!

  11. Totally just did this for my boys and they LOVE them! They're currently running around in t-shirts, shorts, and Thomas the Tank Engine ties! :-D Thank you!

  12. I can't get my knot to look right either :(


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