Make a Bow With Tails - To Trim a Hat or Embellish a Garment - Threads


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Make a Bow With Tails - To Trim a Hat or Embellish a Garment

Learn how to make a fabric bow with angled tails by following John Kochs instructions.
Learn how to make a fabric bow with angled tails by following John Kochs instructions.

Learn how to make a fabric bow with angled tails by following John Koch's instructions.

Photo: Jack Deutsch

Last week, in the post titled "Try Your Hand at Hat Trimming: Bows Without Tails" Threads shared designer John Koch's technique for making a bow type he uses to embellish his glorious hats (featured in "Millinery Marvels" in issue no. 153).

This post features another bow-making technique John uses on his hats. Next week's post will explain how to make realistic-looking features from fabric and wire.

If you'd like to review John's basic hat-making techniques, check out the post "How to Make a Hat Base."

Make a bow with tails

1 Decide on the finished bow dimensions and plan the fabric. Cut fabric on the bias, double the height plus 1 inch for seam allowances, and three times the length plus 4 inches. For example: A 3- by 8-inch finished bow requires a 7- by 28-inch fabric piece.

2 Fold the fabric in half lengthwise, right sides together. Cut nylon net in a double layer the same dimensions as the folded fabric. Place folded fashion fabric over netting and pin. Trim the short ends at an angle from the bottom corner to 1½-inches in from the upper corner.


3 Stitch around fabric and netting’s, ½ inch from the raw edges. Leave a 2- to 3-inch opening in one long edge’s center. Turn fabric and netting to right side. Push out the corners.

4 Mark the bow’s middle with a pin. Fold in half. Measure one half of the bow’s finished width from the pin and mark.  Sew from top to bottom at this mark.



5 Open out the bow and tails, aligning the center pin and seam line. Remove pin. Pleat the bow, and stitch through the center to secure.

6 Make a center “knot” as in "Try Your Hand at Hat Trimming: Bows Without Tails."



Next week: Make realistic feathers from fabric and wire

Comments (6)

clothingeng clothingeng writes: Thanks, great instructions!
Posted: 11:29 am on January 30th

smcfarland smcfarland writes: Dear PeechyMe and JB5 - It does mean "one and a half inches." I'll edit it to spell out the measurement. Thanks!
Posted: 2:09 pm on January 20th

SewFascinated SewFascinated writes: PeechyMe I'm guessing they meant one and a half inches. They just put the dash in the wrong place.
Posted: 1:58 pm on January 20th

JB5 JB5 writes:

PeechyMe, I believe that is supposed to be 1 1/2-inches or "one and a half inches".
Posted: 1:38 pm on January 20th

PeechyMe PeechyMe writes: I enjoyed this article, however, I don't understand part of the instructions. It says to "Trim the short ends at an angle from the bottom corner to 11/2-inches in from the upper corner." What does "11/2-inches" mean?

Thank you.
Posted: 11:07 am on January 20th

LebecEgirl LebecEgirl writes: Enjoying learning about hats !!!
Posted: 6:30 pm on January 14th

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