How to Make a Bow for a Dress

Actress Hofit Galan shows off a ribbon at the Cannes Film Festival.

Photo: Andreas Rentz/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Once used primarily as decorative detail for doll clothes and little girls' head bands, bows have recently re-entered mainstream women's fashion in a big way. They were last seen in the 1980s and 1990s, adding a dash of playful innocence to sassy party dresses. This time around, bows run the gamut from quirky and cheerful to elegant and fashion-forward. If you've got a dress that you think could use a little bit of bow flair, you can make one yourself in about one hour's time.


Fold the fabric in half lengthwise, right sides facing each other. Pin the edges together.


Stitch straight across the length of the fabric using the sewing machine, creating a long tube.


Stitch across one of the short ends of the tube -- using a 1/2-inch seam allowance -- closing it completely.


Stitch across at the open end of the tube, leaving about 2 inches open. Turn the tube right-side out and press it flat with an iron.


Hand-sew the 2-inch opening. Your tube should now look like a rectangle that measures 5 by 8 inches.


Use the alligator clip to pinch the center of the bow. With the clip in place, hand-sew the pinched area to permanently hold the shape. Remove the clip.


Stitch the end of the ribbon to the underside of the bow and wrap it around the pinched area, concealing the stitches. Wind it around twice and hand-stitch it to secure it in place. Snip off any excess ribbon.


Hand-sew the completed bow onto any part of your dress you want.

Things You'll Need


1.Piece of fabric 17 inches long by 6 inches wide



7.Alligator pinch clip


2.Yard of 1/2-inch wide ribbon that matches the fabric

4.Sewing machine

6.Hand-sewing needles

8.Straight pins

10.Ironing board


Tips & Tricks


This tutorial helps you make a bow that is 5 inches high and 8 inches wide. Adjust the measurements to make the bow in another size.


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