kojotutorial: big bow tie, little bow tie

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I often lament the fact that Burke can’t dress up in little coordinated-but-not-exactly-the-same dresses with his cousins.  When my nieces match, it’s cute.  But when cousins from a couple different families match, the cuteness factor is ratcheted up a notch.  Adorable.  Or darling.  Or whatever the next level of cute is.

So while we were putting together the photo shoot dresses, I was contemplating whipping up a newborn version, just in case Babycakes #2 is a girl (you’ll remember, I’ve already done the “just-in-case” matching dress making once– hahahaha!).  Then I thought about how cute it’d be to throw Burke into that mix-y, match-y, adorable, darling, coordinated cousin goodness.  And so, this bow tie tutorial was born.  I didn’t sew a newborn dress by the way… if the peanut is a girl, I’ll do it when she gets here.

Back to the bow tie at hand.  You should know one other thing before we get started.  I waver on my big bow tie vs. small bow tie preference.  Sometimes I think the big ones are fabulously cute and extra professor-ish.  But then, sometimes the big bow tie is too much for me.  So I made both a big bow tie and a small bow tie that both attach to the same neck strap to simultaneously meet my conflicting preferences.

With all of that, let’s get started.  To make an interchangable big-and-little bow tie, you’ll need:
-a square of patterned fabric about 6″ squared for the large bow tie (plus a square of matching fabric about 3″ squared for the middle piece of the large bow tie)
-a scrap of patterned fabric about 4″ squared for the small bow tie (plus a rectangle of matching fabric about 3″x2″ for the middle piece of the small bow tie)
-a rectangle of fabric 15″x2.5″ for the collar piece (yours may need to be a bit longer or shorter depending on your little one’s neck size)
-velcro squares
-a sewing machine and thread

For the bow tie piece:

Iron your bow tie squares of fabric in half with the right sides facing each other.  Stitch around two of the sides.

Flip the unsewn edge over and iron down.  Turn your rectangle right side in.

Top stitch down both bow tie sides.  You should now have a finished rectangle of patterned fabric.

 Iron a few pleats in your rectangle.
*Repeat process for your other sized bow tie.

For the center piece:

Fold and iron your fabric square/rectangle in half (right sides facing in) and stitch down the side, making a tube.

Turn right side in. Iron so that the seam goes down the middle of the back side.  Tuck the unfinished edges into the tube and press in place.

Gather the ‘bow tie’ in the middle and wrap the center with your center piece.  Hot glue the center piece to itself so that it is wrapped around the center as a tube.  Do not glue this center piece to the bow tie itself or you won’t be able to tuck the neck piece through the center and switch out the bow ties.
*Repeat process for your other sized bow tie.

For the collar piece:

With a polo shirt or button up shirt on, measure around your little one’s neck where you’d like a bow tie to sit.  Add a couple of inches to the length for seams and velcro overlap (my total length was 15″).  Cut your fabric rectangle (mine was 15″ x 2.5″) and iron in half, right sides facing each other.

Stitch along one side of your rectangle, making a tube.

Turn right side in.  Iron so that the seam goes down the middle of the back side of the rectangle.  Tuck the unfinished edges into the tube and press in place.  Top stitch along each end.

Hot glue velcro squares on both ends so that when the two stick together, the tube makes a collar.


Tuck the collar piece through the center tube.

Velcro in place around your little one’s neck and delight in the darn cute cousin matchy-matchyness.  When you’re sick of one size, switch to the other.  I love it how this solved my big bow tie vs. little bow tie dilemma solved with one interchangeable gem!

If you’re visiting from Craft Schooling Sunday, Making the World Cuter Monday, Metamorphosis Monday,  Market Yourself Monday, Just Something I Whipped Up, Get Your Craft On Tutorial Tuesday, Make it, Wear it!, We Did It! Wednesday, Show and Tell Wednesdays, Look What I Made Day, Get Your Craft OnStrut Your Stuff Thursdays, or Creative Cats, welcome!

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  1. This is so cute! I can't believe it never occured to me to make one for my 3 year old son. I make hairbows with that exact same process for my daughter all the time. Quick, easy and addictive!

    I just showed him the pictures of your little guy wearing the bow tie and he got so excited to have one. Thanks for making my sewing-project-neglected son so happy this morning. 🙂

  2. So cute! Such a great way to dress up a little guy without going totally over the top matchy =)

    Andrea @ TheTrainToCrazy.com

  3. How stinkin' cute! I am thinking my boys are going to need some bow ties for our next family function!
    And I love your fabric choice, I have 3 yards of it in my stash! lol

  4. I'm visiting from Somewhat Simple. I'd love it if you'd stop by and link up to my Home and Family Friday Linky Party. I host each Friday. Hope you'll come join us!


  5. I've been wondering how to make one of these for a while – thanks for sharing!

    Such cute cousins too!

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