Suspender And Bow Tie Tutorial

Happy Valentines Day!

Kids Suspender And Bow Tie Tutorial

Suspenders

Who doesn’t love dressing up, well for my little man this morning, I surprised him with a Valentines inspired set of matching suspenders and Bow Tie to wear to school.

Too cute. He rewarded me with a flying leap into my arms, covered me with kisses and ‘i love u’s’. Worth every second and the smile and mirror time when he put them on, too handsome..

Suspenders

What you will need:

Suspender Tutorial 

  • Suspender clips 4 x 1 Inch (eg: Dritz #10)
  • Vest Buckles 2 x 3/4 Inch (e.g Dritz #2-65)
  • Fabric of choice (28″ long by 2 1/2 ” wide x 2 pieces)
  • Interfacing (Iron on)( 28″ long by 2 1/2″ wide x 2 pieces)
  • Elastic 3/4 Inch (I only had 1 Inch but I managed to wiggle it in)

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Step 1: Cut two strips of fabric and two strips of interfacing, 28″ long by 2 1/2 inches wide. You can measure your child for a more precise fit, I like the way the Vest Buckles show half way up the front of the suspenders so was going for overlap on my length.

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Step 2: Iron on the interfacing to the wrong side of both strips of fabric.

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Step 3: Fold the strips lengthwise, right sides together and sew the edges together, leaving a 1/4 inch seam allowance. Making an inside out tube.

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Step 4: Turn the strips the right way out. This is by far the only time consuming part of the process, be patient, it can take a little while. I found some online tips. You can use a knitting needle, if you don’t have a turning tool, but I went for the simple safety pin. See my picture above. Attach the safety pin, then you invert it into the tube and work it down like a sausage skin. See below.

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Give them a quick iron if you can.

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Step 5: Then you need to slide the Vest Buckles on and connect them. With the right side showing (the side you want to be seen), weave the strap through one of the buckles with approx an inch of overhang. Fold half an inch over (you can zig zag the end first if you prefer). Then stitch the fold down, that will hold the buckle in place. You can move your needle to the right or left on your machine to make this easier. I just left enough overhang for it to fit on my normal setting.

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Step 6: Once this is done on both strips of the suspenders. You need to thread one of the suspender or vest clips on to each of the strips and then weave the fabric through the back side of the buckle. This completes the front section and allows you to adjust the suspenders. If you don’t want to adjust the suspenders but like the look of the vest buckles on the front, you can stitch just above the buckle to hold it in place. This does provide a neater flatter finish, but my boy is growing like a weed and I want to be able to adjust them.

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Step 7: Then with the back ends of the fabric you can place them on your child and cross them over to gauge the finished length. Or if you have measured earlier, you can gauge how long the back length has to be including the addition of the elastic. Then with the raw end of the fabric, I simply tucked  the raw edges up and in and wiggled the elastic in, until it was approx an inch in. Pinned and then sewed a rectangle shape to hold it in on both pieces. Then making sure they are correct way up for the back, I sewed the suspender clips onto the elastic. Overlapping the fabric again an inch and sewing a rectangle shape to hold it in place and adding some back stitch to make it secure.

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Step 8: Lastly, I pinned the suspenders overlapping in the back, try and aim for the lower half of the back. Then sewed the 2 pieces together, making a diamond shape. Hey presto! a pair of Valentines or any day you fancy suspenders! That really was the hard bit, the bow tie was so simple and fast. You could make a tie if you prefer. I’m glad I made the bow tie, my little man was so happy with the combo.

Bow Tie Tutorial 

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What you will need:

  • Fabric of choice
  • Interfacing /or felt (will make your bow tie ‘fuller’)
  • Velcro 1/2 Inch wide

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Step 1:

  • Cut Two 3″ x 10″ pieces of patterned fabric
  • Cut One 3″ x 10″ piece of interfacing (you can use felt instead if you want a fuller bow tie)
  • Cut One 3″ x 15″ long piece (this can be as long or short as needed depending on your child’s neck size)
  • Cut One 2.5″ x 4″ piece 
  • Cut two 1″ x 1/2″ pieces of velcro

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Step 2: Place fabric right sides together and iron interfacing on one side.

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Step 3: Sew around the edge with a 1/4 ” seam. Leaving a 1 ” gap on one end to turn the fabric right way out. Clip the corners before turning out.

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Step 4: Turn right way out and press. Don’t bother closing the gap you left to turn the fabric right way out as in the next step, you sew the ends together anyway.

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Step 5: Folding the strip in half, meeting together at the back at the middle point. You will zig zag the ends together. This does not need to look perfect as will be covered later by the fabric that wraps around. I zig zagged on the machine for extra strength. Wasn’t tricky i just held the rest of the fabric out of the way. You can do this by hand if you prefer.

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Step 6: Now fold the front side of the bow tie in half on itself. Like above, showing the seam you just stitched at the back. Now sew a 1″ seam across the back seam (at a 90% angle, it is hard to see in the image above as the stitching is white), half an inch from the edge. This will hold the bow tie in the centre gather or pucker when completed.

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Fold open.

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Step 7: Now take the small 2.5″ x 4″ scrap of fabric and sew 1/4″ seam, wrong sides together and  turn right side out.

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Step 8: Sew your long strap together. You can sew right sides together into another tube shape and turn right way out, or cheat like me and fold the fabric in on itself and stitch along the edge as below.

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Step 9: Push this strap through the back of the bow tie using your scissors and pull out the other side till it is even in length.

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Step 10: Stitch your velcro on each end, and your done.

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I used a lot of images to show step by step but in fact the bow tie was very fast and easy to make. Being a newbie to suspenders, these took me longer and stopping to take a shot of each step added to the timing, I hope to be able to whip some of these up for class mate birthday’s coming up in under an hour each! let’s see..

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