HOW TO SEW: bow tie (upcycle project!)


Father and son matching DIY bowties
My husband and son, wearing matching DIY bowties

Hello Darlings,


November is a big month in our family: we will be celebrating our sons FIRST birthday! For this special occasion, I wanted to create matching bowties for my husband and baby, to get some cute 'Father & Son' photos. And the results blew me away! While I was expecting these photos to be cute, but they turned out super-extra-cute and I just can't stop smiling looking at them.


These bowties are very easy to make and it will take about 30 minutes to an hour to complete one bowtie. They look gorgeous in photos and make for a cute DIY gift for upcoming holiday season - so why not give them a try!


This project is also special because I decided to do an upcycle instead of purchasing new fabric. A few years back I made this gorgeous skirt, but unfortunately it no longer fits - the fabric is gorgeous and was perfect for my bowties. Plus, bowties do not need a lot of fabric, so they are great for upcycling project!


The tutorial for these DIY bowties is made in partnership with Mettler - a manufacturer of high-quality sewing threads.

I've been sewing with Mettler threads for a couple years already and I always enjoy working with these threads because they are reliable, get job done and I always find a needed thread in their wide assortment. Mettler keeps innovating in their field and they have created a new thread called Seracycle, made from 100% post-consumer recycled PET bottles. Yes, you read it right - this thread is made from bottles! Whole Seracycle is based on environmentally friendly materials and both the sewing thread and the bobbin are made from recycled plastic, making this thread a perfect choice for resource-conscious projects.

Mettler thread Seracycle
New Mettler thread Seracycle

For our upcycling project, we will be using Seracycle and will learn more about this new innovative thread. So, let's start!


Click below to watch video tutorial for these bowties or scroll down to read written instructions.



MATERIALS

To make these bowties, you'll need:

  • Fabric (I recommend medium-heavy weight woven fabric and I encourage you to check closet for old garments that you could upcycle for this project!);

  • Fusible interfacing;

  • Bowtie closures (you can find these at fabric notions stores and they are really inexpensive);

  • Thread for sewing (I'm using Seracycle thread, made from recycled PET bottles - this makes it a perfect thread choice for upcycle project!).


PATTERNS

The patterns for bowties are really easy and simple - just two rectangular and a strap! Here are the measurements I used for adult and baby size (measurements include 5mm seam allowance).

Bowtie sewing pattern
Bowtie pattern measurements for adult size
Bowtie sewing pattern
Bowtie pattern measurements for baby size

Cut 1 pieces of each detail from fabric. Also cut big rectangular from fusible interfacing.



ASSEMBLING

The assembling of the bowties is very easy and it will take you about 30 minutes to an hour to do it (the more bowties you make - the faster you get!).


Seracycle thread
New thread from Mettler - Seracycle

First, let's get our sewing machine ready by threading it. For this project, I'm sewing with Seracycle - new thread from Mettler, made solely from recycled PET bottles. To ensure top quality of the thread, all bottles that are used in the production of this thread are transparent. Seracycle is a high-quality thread that works great with a variety of fabrics - cotton, synthetics, mixed fabrics, linen and silk. Seracycle impresses with its optimal abrasion resistance and tear strength, as well as colorfast, iron-proof and shrink-proof qualities. The construction of the core thread guarantees a supple textile look with excellent elongation. Seracycle is great for women’s, men’s and children’s clothing, sportswear and outdoor as well as underwear and lingerie.


Seracycle comes in 36 color options, so it's easy to find a right color for your project.

Seracycle thread color range
Seracycle thread comes in 36 color options

Also, this thread comes in several set options, which makes it a great gift option.

Seracycle thread sets
Seracycle thread sets

For this project, I'm choosing black colored Seracycle thread, as it will blend perfectly with the fabric.

To sew with Seracycle, no special tension adjustments are needed and you can sew a variety diffrent types of stitches trouble-free. Simply put Seracycle into bobbin and top thread and you're good to go!


  1. To start assembling the bowtie, fold big square lengthwise, right side in and sew 5mm from the edge.

  2. Press the seam open and turn tube inside out.

  3. Press again, so that the seam goes right through the middle. If you're working with patterned fabrics, make sure that the front of the bowtie is symmetrical.

  4. Fold tube in half and sew open edges together, 5mm from the edge.

  5. Press the seam open and turn the detail, so that the seam is inside. Press again and make sure that all lines at the front are symmetrical an beautifully aligned.

  6. Take small square, fold it right side together and sew 5mm from the edge.

  7. Iron seam open. Turn the tube inside out and press, so that the seam goes right through the middle of the back and the front looks beautiful and well aligned.

  8. Fold small tube in half and stitch the raw sides together. Press the seam and turn the loop inside out, so that the raw seam is inside the loop.

  9. Slide the small tube through the big tube, so that it's right in the middle. This might not be an easy task, especially if you are working with thick fabric like me, but be patient and move slowly!

  10. Take the strap detail, fold it half and sew, 5mm from the edge.

  11. Iron the seam open - this will make it easier to iron the strap neatly once we turn it out.

  12. Turn the tube inside out. Iron the strap flat, so that the seam is right on the edge.

  13. Optional step: I also topstitched both long edges, 1mm from the edge, to really lock that strap shape.

  14. Slide the strap through the bowtie loop back.

  15. Final step is to add closures to both sides of the strap.

Bowties are finished and they are look so adorable!

Finished DIY bowtie

And here are bowties on my models - my husband and my son:

Matching father and son DIY bowties
Matching father and son DIY bowties

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial - making bowties is such a fun task, I'm sure you'll love it!


Special thanks goes to Mettler for partnering on creating this project. Make sure to check out Seracycle sewing thread if you're looking for an environmentally friendly product with superb sewing qualities.


Best wishes,

Julie