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How To Make A Faux Bow

Bows. Next to ruffles, lace, and lots and lots of shirring, bows are a favorite of mine. They’re all the things I like – pretty, coquettish, and very feminine. But not all bows are created equal. For the wholistic and organic sewers, bows can be created by looping and knotting two ties together (that’s some great alliteration right there). But for the sewers who like to cheat just a tad, bows can be faked. In the diagram and steps below, I show you how to create a faux bow. After, I list my favorite bows that I found from this wonderful thing called the world wide web. Not all are faux bows, but all are just as lovely.

Step 1: Cut a rectangle of fabric that is twice the width and twice the length of the desired bow, including seam allowances.
Step 2: Fold the rectangle in half lengthwise and with right sides together, stitch along the length of the rectangle ONLY

Step 3: Press open seam allowances, turn the rectangle to the right side, and center the seam on the underside and in the center of the rectangle
Step 4: Bring the short ends of the rectangle to the underside, overlap edges 1/2″ (it’s okay to leave edges raw), and stitch short ends together ONLY (do not sew through all plys)

Step 5: Hand or machine baste directly on top of stitch made in previous step (should be in center of rectangle) and through all plys. In my opinion, hand basting with a needle that is threaded with 2 plys of thread is best. Because the rectangle is so thick at this step (4 plys), machine basting will break easier.
Step 6: Pull up basting stitches to create shirring

Step 7: Create knot by cutting 2 rectangles of fabric that are the required length to wrap around center of bow plus 1″ for overlap. To determine how long the knot should be, wrap a measuring tape around center of bow, ensuring it is taught, and record measurement.
Step 8: Overlap short ends of knot just as in step 4 and stitch together. Secure bow to whatever it is being attached to – purse, dress, shoes – with hand tacking or snap. It is okay to leave edges of knot raw when overlapping if the bow will be secured to something. If the bow will be removable, clean finish edges by turning one short end of the rectangle under 1/2″ and slipstitch.
Step 9: There isn’t one! You’re finished

Tips and add-ons:
To give your bow more oomph, line bow with net, tulle, or organza


  1. Reply


    I share your love for bows, ruffles and lace! I love your picture tutorials by the way πŸ™‚

    • Reply


      It’s always a pleasure of mine. I’m glad you enjoyed πŸ™‚

  2. Reply


    Adorable! What a great tutorial. Thanks!

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  4. Reply


    Oh how I love bows too, now to get me onto my sewing machine is another story. πŸ™‚ Great tutorial!

  5. Reply


    Bows are a great finishing touch! I like the idea of snap on bows… that’s brilliant!

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