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View Full Version : HUGE Bow Photo Tutorial (FWOOSH!)


phantomthief
06-08-2007, 10:35 PM
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!

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

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.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v419/Ari-chan/Bow%20tutorial/Bow001.jpg

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.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v419/Ari-chan/Bow%20tutorial/Bow003.jpg

Step 3.
Cut out one rectangle of fusible interfacing (stiff is good!!!) to fit your rectangle, keeping the seam allowance in mind.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v419/Ari-chan/Bow%20tutorial/Bow004.jpg

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 :)
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v419/Ari-chan/Bow%20tutorial/Bow005.jpg

Step 5.
Sew the sides together, leaving one side open. I just used my serger.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v419/Ari-chan/Bow%20tutorial/Bow007.jpg

Step 6.
Flip the fabric rectangle right side out. Make sure all the corners are pushed out. (Use a sharp object if necessary)
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v419/Ari-chan/Bow%20tutorial/Bow008.jpg

Step 7.
Finish fusing the interfacing.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v419/Ari-chan/Bow%20tutorial/Bow016.jpg

Step 8.
Turn the edges of the open end inward and iron down. (be careful not to burn your fingers!)
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v419/Ari-chan/Bow%20tutorial/Bow017.jpg

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.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v419/Ari-chan/Bow%20tutorial/Bow019.jpg

Step 10.
Squeeze the edges of the bow together and you should get something like this:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v419/Ari-chan/Bow%20tutorial/Bow020.jpg

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.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v419/Ari-chan/Bow%20tutorial/Bow021.jpg

Step 11.
Sew the rectangle into a tube, leaving the ends open. Slide the interfacing into the tube and fuse.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v419/Ari-chan/Bow%20tutorial/Bow022.jpg

Step 12.
If you have a serger, simply serge the ends of the tube closed. If not, use an overlock stitch or similar.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v419/Ari-chan/Bow%20tutorial/Bow023.jpg

If you wrap it around your bow, you should get
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v419/Ari-chan/Bow%20tutorial/Bow025.jpg
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.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v419/Ari-chan/Bow%20tutorial/Bow030.jpg

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.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v419/Ari-chan/Bow%20tutorial/Bow026.jpg
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!!!
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v419/Ari-chan/Bow%20tutorial/Bow031.jpg
Here's the back of the full-size bow...
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v419/Ari-chan/Bow%20tutorial/Bow033.jpg

Step 16.
You're done!!! Congrats! There are several ways to attach the bow so experiment and find out what works for your situation!
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v419/Ari-chan/Bow%20tutorial/Bow034.jpg

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

dark_angeltears
06-08-2007, 11:07 PM
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

wiltingflower
06-08-2007, 11:18 PM
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?

london2191
06-08-2007, 11:27 PM
Aw, just for me Ari-chan? xDD

phantomthief
06-08-2007, 11:29 PM
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

london2191
06-08-2007, 11:43 PM
-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?

phantomthief
06-08-2007, 11:47 PM
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

wiltingflower
06-08-2007, 11:49 PM
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

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, here was the bow before it got pummeled by A-Kon. (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v74/uminoeika/cosplay/2007-03-25008.jpg)

london2191
06-08-2007, 11:52 PM
What kind of snaps did you use? -is absorbing- xD

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

wiltingflower
06-08-2007, 11:56 PM
What kind of snaps did you use? -is absorbing- xD

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

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

london2191
06-08-2007, 11:58 PM
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. =^^=

wiltingflower
06-09-2007, 12:00 AM
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-

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

london2191
06-09-2007, 12:02 AM
Do you have a pic with it /on/ her? =O

*btw, I editted my post*

wiltingflower
06-09-2007, 12:04 AM
Do you have a pic with it /on/ her? =O

*btw, I editted my post*

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.

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

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

phantomthief
06-09-2007, 12:07 AM
*whistles* That's definately huge :3

Hope round 2 works out well for you ^_______^

(OMIGOSH FRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAANZ!!! *hearts everywhere*)

~Ari-chan

london2191
06-09-2007, 12:07 AM
Wiltingflower: =O Holy cow. That=Huge. Mine is smaller than that, definitely. But yeah, my mom got me addicted to it. Sadly, I only watch for Hiro-chan and Ando-kun. They amuse me sooo much. xDD But yeah, Gankutsuou and it's confuddlingness shall take over the world.

Ari-chan: btw, instead of the bow being rouned on the sides, is there anyway for the middle of it to go in and the corners go out? *is i makin' sense? =O*

phantomthief
06-09-2007, 12:09 AM
I'm sure if you cut the rectangle with the dips in the sides, it'd simulate that look ^_^

Gankutsuou=Acid trip of amazingness XD

~Ari-chan

london2191
06-09-2007, 12:13 AM
Hahah, I hate to experiment in cosplay because I'm always afraid of something bad happening. xD But yay! I'll do that. =D

Gankutsuou=Holy Mother of Midgar. o.o

Edit: So I measured...and 34" is huge. o.o I think I'll only need about 16" to 21" for my gown. *you think that's okay Ari-chan? for Mizuki?*

wiltingflower
06-09-2007, 01:23 AM
Hahah, I hate to experiment in cosplay because I'm always afraid of something bad happening. xD But yay! I'll do that. =D

Gankutsuou=Holy Mother of Midgar. o.o

Edit: So I measured...and 34" is huge. o.o I think I'll only need about 16" to 21" for my gown. *you think that's okay Ari-chan? for Mizuki?*

I would measure the width of your waist (or wherever the bow is going to sit) and then measure out how wide you want to be in relation to your body. The reason mine is so huge is because we wanted to make an optical illusion in regards to Mikuru's bust-to-waist ratio. XD

phantomthief
06-09-2007, 01:35 AM
Hit up step #1!!!

It's always proportions :)

~Ari-chan

london2191
06-09-2007, 02:58 AM
=3 I'm really tempted at 4 am to start because I can't sleep, but alas...I am interfaceless. *hurrhurr, faceless*

ningyobaka
06-09-2007, 06:28 AM
i posted this on your riku dress thread but i dos it again. thank you!!!!!! i loves you much for this.

Devi 1313
06-09-2007, 01:39 PM
Woo, I'll have to keep this in mind for Rozalin for her Epic bows.

Misheru-dono
06-10-2007, 06:17 PM
Wow! This was really helpful! Thank you for posting it! Now I can make gigantic bows successfully! ^___________^

london2191
06-10-2007, 10:10 PM
Okies, Ari-chan. I went to Wal*Mart today to get me some interfacing and I could not find it. >_< I found fusible pellon brand interfacing but it was all floppy and stuff...so I assumed that was not it. It comes in a bag, right?

kuko-chan
06-11-2007, 12:29 PM
That was a most entertaining tutorial! I enjoyed the plushies the best. ^^ Very informative! I attempted to make the yellow bow that goes on the back of Yuna's costume, but the darn thing hangs forward when slipped into the obi sash. >.< Oh well, the bow by itself looks fantabulous! I'll figure out a way yet to get it to sit up straight when attached to the sash! :D

DigitalDeviance
06-11-2007, 09:46 PM
Thanks for the tutorial! I found it the second I was thinking of the bow for my next project.

phantomthief
06-21-2007, 07:14 PM
Glad I could help ^_^

London: The kind I get comes right off the bolt >.> The stuff in the bags is usually pretty flimsy. >.<

~Ari-chan

Skyefall
06-22-2007, 04:22 AM
*glomps* Do you know how happy I am to see this tutorial?! :love: I've been trying to figure out how to do the bow for my Myu Pluto costume and then I found this! Thank you so much. (^.^)

....now I just need to figure out exactly how much fabric I need (>.<)

Chibi Ice Wolf
06-22-2007, 12:48 PM
Thanks for sharing this! That's totally how I did my Sailor Mercury bows! (except even with the really stiff interfacing, I had to use TWO layers of it) I will have to direct people towards your tutorial from now on. ^^ I find snaps come undone really easily under the weight of the bow (my bow popped off constantly). D: So a few little hooks & eyes or stitching to hold up the ends are a great idea! Also, on my Puchiko costume, it was big but not supposed to be stiff so I ended up just using wire in the hems of it - so that should work for certain costumes too. ^^ Or wire PLUS interfacing. hmm...

FaithInDeidara
08-07-2007, 05:22 PM
would this be good for an obi?

CezzaXV
08-09-2007, 01:28 PM
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. :)


Would velcro be out of the question?
I bless the day God invented velcro.

phantomthief
08-09-2007, 09:58 PM
would this be good for an obi?

An obi bow? I can see you having to make some design changes, but I think that could definately work.

~Ari-chan

Pretty Sammy
08-09-2007, 10:10 PM
I just saw this and it's quite useful! Thank you very much!

phantomthief
12-29-2007, 03:29 AM
I mentioned this in passing before, but know it's confirmed: don't use the pellon jacket-weight interfacing from the bag. It won't support anything over 8 inches across. >.< Collars, sure. Bows, apparently not.

~Ari-chan

TR Rose
12-29-2007, 09:19 AM
Thank you for the tutorial!
It'll be very useful when I start making my Sailor Mercury bows. :)

cursedreams
01-25-2008, 11:50 AM
o.o *prints out tutorial* I just found this...I found the need to reply anyway. you have saved my Mitsuru costume/uniform, for that you are my hero. Thank you!!! =D

Oh yush..and I loved the Sephiroth wrapped up, no action figure is safe >:3

Momoko Ichigo
07-23-2008, 01:34 PM
Thanks sooooooooo much for this! I now kno how to tackle Piyoko's HUGEEEEE bow! Thankies soooo much piyo! *bow*

Dana Dee
07-27-2008, 12:58 AM
Thanks so much for making this thread~! You did a fantastic job and your bow turned out lovely on your costume. The picture with the cats ironing was adorable! :D

Ramonachan
07-27-2008, 07:06 PM
Thanks so much for posting this tutorial. It was super useful and I can't wait to make my own! 8D

D001
07-27-2008, 10:57 PM
This tutorial was perfect! Very similar as to what I had been brainstorming in my head, but this fleshed it out. And I now have my bow: http://www.cosplay.com/photo/1635450/ All in a day's work! Thanks :D

noodle42
02-02-2009, 05:03 PM
the first thing i thought when i saw this tut was.... EPIC BOW!
so yeah. gonna be using it for a sailor moon cosplay group.
i'm sure you can guess which one i am. ^^

anyway, thanks for the EPIC BOW tutorial!

alex182
02-02-2009, 07:11 PM
Hmmm.. I must be doing something wrong. I followed all the steps, made sure I double-checked all my measurements, checked it against the pictures, but I can't figure out what I did wrong...


Where do I fire the arrows from? :)

Loveless16
02-28-2010, 12:45 PM
Ahhh thank you for posting this @_@ Great guide!

einlee
04-05-2010, 04:19 PM
Thanks so much for this tutorial! I'm a cosplay-making newbie and this was INCREDIBLY helpful for my Rena Ryuuguu cosplay. Arigatou gozaimasen!

saphira
07-21-2010, 05:28 PM
woot! awesome ^^

Celia Rose
09-11-2010, 02:30 AM
Very informative! I can't wait to try this out. C: My Princess Ai costume has two bows (a medium one in front and a big on in back), and I'm remaking my floppy Sheryl Nome bow. >>

Devil Lista
09-13-2010, 09:45 AM
Omg, this has helped me SO much with my sailor scout cosplay!

Tayels
02-28-2011, 03:36 PM
thankyou! tutorial was very helpful and entertaining :3 Would a double layer of interfacing really help stiffen the bow a bit more?

NiwaNiwa
03-24-2011, 08:19 PM
very nice tut! :{D
I usually stock up on the bows you get at the dollar store around christmas

HezaV
04-25-2011, 04:24 PM
I love your big bowwwws, thank you!

EresGyaru420
05-06-2011, 03:47 PM
This bow tutorial rocks! :rockon: ...I've watched and read so many online, but this one was the easiest for me to follow. I've just made two little bows and will be making another this weekend....my first bow attempt with another tutorial was HIDEOUS!, so I'm so happy you shared this :heart:

lunar_archer
10-05-2011, 06:18 PM
I have to say, you have the most epic point-turner of the century. I clicked on the little picture link and laughed out loud. And I'm in a library! That just...that just made my day. :crylaugh: