Big bows look beautiful. There is no denying that. They are used in inumerous ways – on dresses, on bags, on Christmas trees, on presents, to bring on a quaint charm or a striking look.They do stand out, because of their size as well as their beauty.
You can make a giant bow in 2 ways . The No-sew method and the sew method. Whichever way you choose, the secret of a beautifully large bow that hold its shape is interfacing. If you donot use interfacing and if you have a loose weave / medium weave fabric the bow will look lifeless. With interfacing (iron on) the bow will have the needed stability and stay upright. No more droopy big bows. If you donot like the look of interfacing, choose a stiff fabric for making large bows.
No sew method of making the bow
Cut out the fabric pieces
Decide on the width of the bow you want and the length.
A rough calculation for the pieces for the large bow
Cut a piece of fabric – width of the bow you want * 3 = length of the fabric. This is an approximate calculation. If you want long tails you can increase the length.
Here I am taking 16 inch wide fabric . so have taken 48 inch long fabric. (You can increase or decrease this according to length of the bow you want or the tails )
Cut the interfacing ; width = 1/2 of the width of the bow fabric ; length = same as the bow fabric ( or lesser if you want the tails to be floppy rather than stiff ; in which case the length of interfacing should be taken as the width of the bow only and should be adhered to the middle of the bow fabric)
Keep the interfacing in the middle of the bow fabric, sticky side up.
Bring down the side edge of the bow fabric to the middle. Press with an iron so that the interfacing will adhere to the turned fabric
Do the same for the other side
You have the bow fabric interfaced and ready to be tied.
Fold the piece by the middle. Tie a string some distance from the fold. I have taken it as 8″ which is half the width of the bow I want.
Open up the fold as in the picture below
Open up the tail pieces as well
Now tie the bow in the middle with another string
You need another fabric piece to conceal the middle string. Fold a small piece of fabric (edges to the middle ) . Use this piece to tie around the center of the bow. Glue in place ( this is a no-sew bow otherwise I would have said ‘stitch in place’, which is what I would prefer). If it is for a christmas tree or something you can use a pin to hold the piece in place
Make a large Bow – sewing method
For this bow you have to cut 3 pieces for the bow and then another long strip for the tails.
One piece is for the front of the bow. This should be taken 1″ all around more than what you want the bow to be.
Here I have taken a piece of fabric of width 14 inch and length 20 inch. This will make a bow of about 13 inch width and 20 inch length.
Interface the backside of this fabric. Press with hot iron so that the interfacing is fixed in place
Take 2 more fabric pieces with the dimensions . Width = 14 inch ( same as the earlier piece) length – half of the bow fabric length + 1/2 inch.
Take these two back pieces, stack them together and stitch along one edge ( the 14 inch edge) leaving a 2 inch gap in the middle unstitched
Open this up. Press the seam allowance open. You will get a small hole in the middle of the seam.
Keep this piece on top of the bow top fabric, both rightsides together. Pin in place and stitch along the outside edge with a 1/2 inch seam allowance
Clip the corner seam allowance – for neat turning
Turn the bow piece inside ou through the hole in the seam.
Make the tails. You can use large ribbons as tails. Use more than two tails if you have narrow ones.
To make the tails with fabric, Take a long piece of fabric for the tails( if you want tails) the width should be double the width of the final tails and length should be double the length you want for each tail.
Fold the fabric by the center ( right sides inside) . Stitch the side edges together ; donot stitch 2 inch in the middle of this strip. After you have sewn from the edges , turn the strip inside out
Alternatively you can cut the ends of the tails at an angle for a different look.
Use a string to tie the bow by the middle. Tie the tails as well in the back. Then use a fabric strip as used earlier to conceal the tie.
Check out the post on “How to tie a bow on a Dress“