HUGE Bow Photo Tutorial (FWOOSH!)

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#1 phantomthief on 12 years ago

Do ginormous bows of epic proportions elude you? They're great for dresses and uniforms (and almost required for some lolita designs!). 'Cause a droopy bow just won't do, let's DO IT!

As a note, there are probably lots of ways to do these, but this is the method I used to make my Lolita Riku bow, seen here!

[url]http://images.cosplay.com/showphoto.php?photo=1119475[/url]

Pictures are obviously not actual size XD I made a tiny one just for this tutorial X3
In case you're wondering, the fabric I used is simple cotton broadcloth ^.~

Materials:
2-3 yards of material (depending on how long you want the trail)
1/2 yd stiff interfacing
Matching thread

Step 1.
Measure! Look at where the bow is going to go and figure out how large you want your bow to be. Also, measure how far down you want the "tails" of the bow to go. Write this down.
[url]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v419/Ari-chan/Bow tutorial/Bow001.jpg[/url]

Step 2.
Cut out a rectangle of fabric using the measurements you just took. Make sure to leave a seam allowance! It's best if one side is a fold (one less side to sew!) but you can just cut out two seperate rectangles if you have to.
[url]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v419/Ari-chan/Bow tutorial/Bow003.jpg[/url]

Step 3.
Cut out one rectangle of fusible interfacing (stiff is good!!!) to fit your rectangle, keeping the seam allowance in mind.
[url]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v419/Ari-chan/Bow tutorial/Bow004.jpg[/url]

Step 4.
Follow the manufacterer's instructions to fuse your interfacing to the wrong side of the fabric. Usually this requires an iron with a steam setting and a damp presscloth :)
[url]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v419/Ari-chan/Bow tutorial/Bow005.jpg[/url]

Step 5.
Sew the sides together, leaving one side open. I just used my serger.
[url]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v419/Ari-chan/Bow tutorial/Bow007.jpg[/url]

Step 6.
Flip the fabric rectangle right side out. Make sure all the corners are pushed out. (Use a sharp object if necessary)
[url]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v419/Ari-chan/Bow tutorial/Bow008.jpg[/url]

Step 7.
Finish fusing the interfacing.
[url]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v419/Ari-chan/Bow tutorial/Bow016.jpg[/url]

Step 8.
Turn the edges of the open end inward and iron down. (be careful not to burn your fingers!)
[url]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v419/Ari-chan/Bow tutorial/Bow017.jpg[/url]

Step 9.
Topstich the open edge closed. (Mine's a little messy but you get the idea XD) At this point you might want to iron again.
[url]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v419/Ari-chan/Bow tutorial/Bow019.jpg[/url]

Step 10.
Squeeze the edges of the bow together and you should get something like this:
[url]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v419/Ari-chan/Bow tutorial/Bow020.jpg[/url]

From this, figure out how wide the center of the bow needs to be. Cut out a folded rectangle of material (again keeping seam allowance in mind) and a strip of interfacing to match. IMPORTANT: Make the fabric rectangle longer than you think you need!!! We'll touch that subject momentarily.
[url]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v419/Ari-chan/Bow tutorial/Bow021.jpg[/url]

Step 11.
Sew the rectangle into a tube, leaving the ends open. Slide the interfacing into the tube and fuse.
[url]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v419/Ari-chan/Bow tutorial/Bow022.jpg[/url]

Step 12.
If you have a serger, simply serge the ends of the tube closed. If not, use an overlock stitch or similar.
[url]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v419/Ari-chan/Bow tutorial/Bow023.jpg[/url]

If you wrap it around your bow, you should get
[url]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v419/Ari-chan/Bow tutorial/Bow025.jpg[/url]
Yay!

Step 13.
Bunch the bow into position and whip stitch it a few times to keep it in place. Then, sew the ends of the loop together around the bow. I just serged a straight seam. At this point, if you don't want a tail on the bow, skip to step 16.
[url]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v419/Ari-chan/Bow tutorial/Bow030.jpg[/url]

Step 14.
Tail time! Figure out how you want the tails to look. I cut out the two most popular styles here :) my Riku bow is the one on the right.
[url]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v419/Ari-chan/Bow tutorial/Bow026.jpg[/url]
Now, take your measurement of how long you want the tails to be and add an inch. Cut out two and sew them together in the middle. At this point, you want to finish the edges (I didn't on the mini model since I was getting impatient XD) and iron everything. I only used one layer of fabric, but if you want it stiffer, you can use two layers with interfacing in the middle or starch the heck out of it. I may try the latter soon...

Step 15.
Now thread the tails through the loop (see? That's why we left room :)) and pull it through to the middle. And you're done!!!
[url]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v419/Ari-chan/Bow tutorial/Bow031.jpg[/url]
Here's the back of the full-size bow...
[url]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v419/Ari-chan/Bow tutorial/Bow033.jpg[/url]

Step 16.
You're done!!! Congrats! There are several ways to attach the bow so experiment and find out what works for your situation!
[url]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v419/Ari-chan/Bow tutorial/Bow034.jpg[/url]

Hope this has helped some people out :)
Let me know if I need to clarify anything or if any links don't work!
Ja ne~

~Ari-chan

#2 dark_angeltears on 12 years ago

OMG this was soooo helpful!!! :D Now I finally know how to do that bow for my upcoming project! ^^ And this wasn't confusing at all either, like lots of other tutorials I've read. Thank you so much!!

Oh, and that Sephiroth was hilarious. XD

#3 wiltingflower on 12 years ago

I made a 34 inch wide bow for my friend's maid Mikuru costume almost exactly like that, and it was completely flattened and limp after one day of con wear. I used some pretty thick craft interfacing too. Do you think starch would help it any, or should I go find the thickest sew-on interfacing I can find and make it again?

#4 london2191 on 12 years ago

Aw, just for me Ari-chan? xDD

#5 phantomthief on 12 years ago

Repeat starching does help, but continued wear will probably take it's toll eventually.
In addition, at one point or another, the bow simply becomes too large to support itself and needs a stronger support (boning, for example).

The one in my example is 21 inches across. My Dejiko bow is of the same measurements and has stayed perky for 2 years of use :)

My suggestion is to use tiny stitches to secure the top edges of the bow onto the costume itself in a few places. (Circled in green in the attachment)

London: But of course, m'lady ^.~

~Ari-chan

#6 london2191 on 12 years ago

-feels special- =D Hahah, so what're your predictions for casa satin, m'dear?

Andddd, what's a whip stich and an overlocking stich? =^^= *is only worth wigs and props* And since Ari-chan is beastly, where does she purchase this beastly interfacing and what brand?

#7 phantomthief on 12 years ago

Let's see... I can actually try that out tomorrow with some scraps I have :) I'll let you know the result ^_^

A whip stitch is just a quick stitch (or a few) while hand-sewing. It's mainly used to secure stuff.

Overlock stitch is generally a stitch on a sewing machine that keeps a fabric from fraying. Check your instruction manual for more details! XD A zigzag stitch also works just fine :)

Most any store that carries fabric should carry interfacing. Make sure you get the fusible kind ^_^ I believe I'm using Pellon brand.
(Avoid the craft-foam thick interfacing XD The bow won't form right)

~Ari-chan

#8 wiltingflower on 12 years ago

[QUOTE=phantomthief;1926641]Repeat starching does help, but continued wear will probably take it's toll eventually.
In addition, at one point or another, the bow simply becomes too large to support itself and needs a stronger support (boning, for example).

The one in my example is 21 inches across. My Dejiko bow is of the same measurements and has stayed perky for 2 years of use :)

My suggestion is to use tiny stitches to secure the top edges of the bow onto the costume itself in a few places. (Circled in green in the attachment)

London: But of course, m'lady ^.~

~Ari-chan[/QUOTE]

I've thought about stitching it to the dress, but the bow itself attaches with snaps so we can transport them both seperately. The dress wouldn't fit in a garment bag otherwise. I'm probably going to have to remake it anyway, and I had an idea involving lots of floral wire, so we'll see how it goes. Thanks for your input! It's a fantastic tutorial. :)

And just for reference, [url=http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v74/uminoeika/cosplay/2007-03-25008.jpg]here was the bow before it got pummeled by A-Kon.[/url]

#9 london2191 on 12 years ago

What kind of snaps did you use? -is absorbing- xD

Ari-chan: Okies...that helped. =D Lemme know if it works.

#10 wiltingflower on 12 years ago

[QUOTE=london2191;1926698]What kind of snaps did you use? -is absorbing- xD

Ari-chan: Okies...that helped. =D Lemme know if it works.[/QUOTE]

Just the regular sized ones you find at Hobby Lobby/Joann's. We put four on the dress and the knot of the bow, one in each corner. It holds it on very well, but because of the weight of the bow, it sags a little bit. This is where the stitching would come it, but it might be a pain to stitch the bow in place every time she wanted to wear it. XD

#11 london2191 on 12 years ago

Mmm, yeah and then again your bow is pretty big, nee? Is there a picture of it? *i hope mine isn't that big. >_<* I'll try that, thanks. =D

Hah, we have a party in here! -points to all users in thread-

Edit: Wiltingflower: HOLY SHIZZ. You're cosplaying Franz?!?!! -dies- I love you. And Claire?! -dies more- Hiro-chan! He is so cuttttte. =^^=

#12 wiltingflower on 12 years ago

[QUOTE=london2191;1926712]Mmm, yeah and then again your bow is pretty big, nee? Is there a picture of it? *i hope mine isn't that big. >_<* I'll try that, thanks. =D

Hah, we have a party in here! -points to all users in thread-[/QUOTE]

I edited my second post with a picture. [url=http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v74/uminoeika/cosplay/2007-03-25008.jpg]Here it is again.[/url] ^^

#13 london2191 on 12 years ago

Do you have a pic with it /on/ her? =O

*btw, I editted my post*

#14 wiltingflower on 12 years ago

[QUOTE=london2191;1926718]Do you have a pic with it /on/ her? =O

*btw, I editted my post*[/QUOTE]

I saw! Thank you very much! The more Heroes and Gankutsuou fans, the better! <3 <3

I don't have one from the back, but you can see here how big it is in relation to my Mikuru.

[url]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v74/uminoeika/cosplay/2007-05-19043.jpg[/url]

[url]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v74/uminoeika/cosplay/2007-05-19042.jpg[/url]

#15 phantomthief on 12 years ago

*whistles* That's definately huge :3

Hope round 2 works out well for you ^_______^

(OMIGOSH FRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAANZ!!! *hearts everywhere*)

~Ari-chan

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