Clip-on bow-ties are a quick way to add a suave retro touch to any collared shirt! Slip one in your back-pack, man-bag, pocketbook, or jacket pocket for any fashion or flirting emergency. They are great one hour projects, as they have minimal construction and sewing (you can even make them by hand).....and they are eminently suitable for luxury or recycled fabrics, as they require very little materials. Most bow-ties are about twice as wide as they are tall, but some mid-century clip-on bow-ties were as much as four times as wide as high – between 3/4”” and 1 1/2” tall and up to 5” wide, with 1” x 4 1/2” being typical. The leaves were usually rectangular with flat ends. In the late 1960s through the 1970s, some butterfly-shaped bow-ties were up to up to 3 1/2” tall by 5 1/2” wide. Those ties had very narrow centers and wide leaves. Although we give size suggestions, feel free to modify your pattern to suit your taste!
Step 1: Supplies
Mid-weight fabrics such as necktie silk, linen or cotton are preferred. You need less than 1/4 yard:
2 pieces of mid to lightweight fabric, both at least 2” x 8”, up to 3 1/4 x 11”, for the body of the bow tie
1 piece of mid to lightweight fabric, at least 3” x 4”, for the center band
1 piece of interfacing, muslin or suit canvas, same dimensions as bow tie pattern
Thread matching the background color of the tie fabric.
Tailor’s chalk, marking pencil, or ball-point pen
Iron and ironing board
Hand sewing needle
45 Deg. triangle (for accurately cutting on the bias)
Japanese chopstick (the kind with the pointed end) or similar thin dowel