How To Sew a Perky Fabric Bow

Nylon Net – good ole’ inexpensive stiff nylon net – is the SECRET to keeping bows ‘perky’.  The color doesn’t matter, as you will be using stiff nylon netting (NOT the softer tulle) as an underlining for your bow fabric. Underlining means that you lay the netting on the WRONG side of the fabric, cut the same size, and then treat the netting + fabric as ONE.  The fabric shown is silk dupioni, purchased from JoAnne’s in the home decorating department.

Follow along for how I created this waist sash for the bride at her (VERY) casual wedding…..(will be teamed with a white lace T and jeans).  

I apologize for not having more photos…as I hadn’t planned for this to be a complete tutorial at the time of stitching!  

Perky Bow

 

Step 1: Cut Pieces

Sash Pieces:  Cut 2  in a long, shaped ‘tie’ shape ON THE BIAS GRAIN 13″ wide and 45″ long.  Cut 2 pieces of nylon net the same size.

Outer ‘Scrunchy’ Front Piece:  Cut one piece 7″ wide and 1″ longer than the body FRONT waist measurement on the BIAS GRAIN.  Cut 1 piece of nylon net the same size.

Inner ‘Flat’ Front Piece:  Cut one piece 4″ wide and same length as the Scrunchy Front Piece but on the STRAIGHT GRAIN.  Cut 1 piece of nylon net the same size.

Step 2:   Attach Underlining Net to Wrong Sides of each piece. 

Lay netting pieces on the WRONG side of the fabric.  Pin.  Stitch at 1/4″ from all edges.

Step 3:  Gather Scrunchy Front Piece 

Seam allowance for this project is 1/2″.  Set 2 rows of longer gathering stitches at each short end of the Scrunchy Front Piece and one end of each of the Sash Pieces.

Pull up the gathering stitches to 3″ for each side of the Scrunchy Front Piece.

For my Gathering Technique, watch this YouTube Video paying attention to the first part, where I use a smaller stitch to start, and set 2 rows, one on either side of the seam line.  For this 1/2″ seam allowance then, set one row at 3/8″ from the cut edge and the other row at 5/8″ from the cut edge.

Step 4:  Create Scrunched Front

Pin Scrunched Piece on top of Inner Flat Piece RIGHT SIDES TOGETHER.  Match the long edges and stitch in 1/2″ seams but STOP 3″ from each of the short ends to allow for easier attaching of the Sash Pieces later.  Press seams open, and 1/2″ of the ‘free’ long edges of the Inner Flat Piece to the wrong side.  Press 1/2″ on the Inner Flat Piece to the wrong side on both short ends for ease in hand finishing later. Turn right side out.

Scrunch and Steam the Scrunched Piece as desired to create the look desired.  Hold a good (non-leaking) steam iron over and steam, pressing scrunches into place with your  hand.  Add random pins.  I actually did small zigzag tacking stitches to secure the Scrunched Piece to the Inner Flat Piece to hold everything in place.

Scrunched Front Piece

Step 5:  Create the Sash Pieces

I cut these pieces 45″ long to insure that they would be long enough, then cut them to the desired length during a fitting, AFTER they were tied into a bow as desired.  

Underlined Sash Ties

Fold in half RIGHT SIDES TOGETHER, matching long edges.  Pin.  Stitch in 1/2″ seam.  Press seam to ‘seal the seam’ as it was sewn. Then…(and this is SO important) PRESS THE SEAM OPEN as os shown in the image above.    Do NOT press the opposite long folded edge of the sash!  Keep it all SOFT with the exception of proper pressing of the seamed edge.

Turn the Sash Pieces right sides out.  Turning sashes right side out

SOFTY press now that the right sides of the Sash pieces are out.  Do NOT press a strong crease in the fold.

See what nice ‘perky’ body everything has thanks to the body of the nylon netting? 

Step 5:  Attach Sash Pieces to Scrunched Front Piece

Set gathering stitches in one doubled end of each Sash Piece.  Use gathering technique as shown in Step 3 above.   Pull up to 3″ so matches short end of Front Piece.

Match and pin a gathered Sash Piece end to each gathered short end of the Scrunched Front Piece, keeping the Inner Flat Piece of the front free and out of the way.  Stitch in 1/2″ seam allowance.

Remove the innermost gathering stitches that show on the outside of the seam.

Pin the Flat Inner Front piece into place to make everything look nice and finished on the inside.  Slip stitch in place.  Though not exactly the same ‘2 folded edges’ as shown in the video clip, I recommend using the same ‘sidewalk’ slipstitch technique as shown below.

 

FIT and DETERMINE SASH LENGTH 

First – you MUST tie the Sash Ends into a proper bow!!!  The technique taught for the tying in the video below is CORRECT in my opinion.  Do not, however, cut the ends as she does.

Once the bow is tied, it is time to cut off (allowing for 1/2″ turn in and slipstitch) each end at the desired length.

 Your COMMENTS and SHARES are always appreciated.  I’m always happy to answer sewing questions.  I’ll add more photos of the complete casual bridal outfit later…..

 

 

 

 

 

 

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