My boys had shirts laying around the house that they had outgrown. Some of these shirts had sentimental value because they had been handed down and used by all 3 of my boys, and I was having a hard time throwing them in the garbage. That's when I decided to create bowties, so that I could still have a reminder of the little guys they used to be while showcasing the handsome young men they are becoming.
Note: I used cotton woven shirts and cotton knit blends to make these. If you use cotton knit (t shirts) you will need to do all the steps in this Instructable. If you use cotton woven shirts you won't need the stabilizer, and you can skip step 4 (Add Stabilizer).
Step 1: What You Need
T-shirts ( 2 different colors or prints if you want the bowtie reversible) Smaller prints look best
KAM snap pliers
KAM snaps to match or coordinate
Pencil or pen
Scissors to cut paper
Heavy Duty Wonder Under fusible stabilizer
Paper or poster board to draw your pattern on
Iron (not pictured)
Sewing machine or Serger (not pictured)
A measuring tape to measure your child's neck or your child's measurement (not pictured)
Note: If using cotton woven shirts you don't need the stabilizer
Step 2: Make Your Pattern
1. Draw out the shape of your bowtie and then cut it out.
2. Take the piece you cut out and lay it down and trace it.
3. Flip it over to one side and trace half of it again.
4. Take your child's neck circumference and divide it in half, and add 2 inches.
5. Draw a rectangle 1.5" wide and the length you calculated above on to the end of your shape.
Step 3: Cut Your Shirts
The Christmas shirt I used was a baby size so I had to cut the sleeves off and cut down the sides so I had enough fabric for the full length of the pattern. This had a shoulder seam on part of it but I knew it wouldn't matter because it would be covered by the shirt collar when worn.
Lay your pattern on top, trace, and cut it.
You should have 4 cuts total when done.
Step 4: Add Stabilzer
1.Unroll your Wonder Under stabilizer out, trace, and cut 2 pieces from your pattern.
2. Place the stabilizer (paper side up) on top of two pieces ( I chose both prints)
3. Iron it to the wrong side (underside) of your 2 fabric pieces.
4. Peel off the paper from the stabilizer.
Step 5: Right Side Out
1. Sew your bowtie together with right sides facing each other. Leave the very end of the rectangle area open so you can turn the bowtie right sides facing out later.
2. Carefully turn the bowtie right sides facing out. This is the REALLY hard part. It took me a very long time to do it, and my fingers started to hurt towards the end of it. Maybe you can think of an easier way to do it, like using a safety pin. But I preferred not to poke any holes in my fabric.
3.With the rights sides out, you will iron it again. This will make the other side of the stabilizer fuse to the opposite fabric. So now you have a well stabilized bowtie from your cotton knit (t shirt) fabric. If you are using cotton woven then the iron will help lay it nice and flat.
Note: I used a serger but if you use a sewing machine I would straight stitch it and then go around the edge with a overlock stitch or zigzag it. You want those seams to be nice and tight because when you turn it right side out it requires lots of pulling and tugging.
Step 6: Add Snaps
1.Take the very end of your bowtie and fold the ends to the inside.
2. Following the directions that came with your KAM snap, you will add a snap to the ends of it. Making sure you put the opposite snaps on each one so they can be snapped together. I did two sets so that I can mix and match or flip the sides to create bowties for a different look if I choose to do so later.
Step 7: Tie
The only thing left to do is tie your bowtie on. It can be hard to get little boys to sit still while doing this, so I actually tied his bowtie on a teddy bear first. Then I unsnapped the snap in back and then placed it on him. So cute!!!
If you need help learning how to tie a bowtie check out this great Instructable made by Rayray2297
Participated in the
T-Shirt Transformations Challenge
Participated in the
Trash to Treasure Challenge