Sewing Tips

Free Pattern: Simple Fabric Hair Bows

Easiest scrap-buster ever! You’ve seen these in boutiques, or listed for sale at indie online shops, now you can make them too. It’s as simple as:

  • stitching a fabric tube
  • turning it inside out
  • tying a basic bow.


Here is a pattern for a 4″ finished bow, and instructions to make it even easier:

  • cut on the bias
  • stitch from the center outward
  • tie using the loop method


Step 1: download this pattern:


To open it,  you will need the latest version of the Adobe Acrobat Reader program.  If you don’t have it, you can download it for free here:

Then open the pattern:  right-click on this link, then open in new tab:

Hairbow_Pattern_PDF_V4   to open the file in a new window, then you can save the  file to your computer or simply print by clicking this tab in the upper right corner of your screen:

print download


Step 2: Cut out the pattern pieces and tape together, matching the stars:


You may notice that the dotted stitching lines do not extend to the center; the center will be left unstitched for turning the tube inside out. (For now you can disregard the lines marked “Tie Guideline”, you’ll be referring to these later.)


Step 3: Cut out one piece of fabric.  I recommend quilting-weight cottons. You can also use lightweight wovens but they may require interfacing or underlining. I would avoid slippery fabrics as the bow may come untied too easily.


Note that the pattern grainline is  on the true bias; this results in the smoothest “roll” of the fabric, and makes it easier to tie the bow.  You CAN cut the fabric on the straight grain (especially if that works better with your fabric scraps), it just means the bow will be a bit less soft.


Step 4: fold the fabric lengthwise (some people call this “hotdog fold” because it resembles the shape of a hotdog bun) with right sides together:


You can  mark the center with a pin. or if you are a “no pins” sewist like me, just fold the fabric piece in half “hamburger-style” and pinch-press to mark a temporary crease, for a guide in stitching.


Step 5: stitch the fabric  along the dotted stitching lines (1/4″ seam allowance) in two steps, starting from close to the center and going out towards the tail ends, leaving about 1/2″ unstitched at the center for turning the tube inside out. The reason for starting near the center is to avoid having the angled “tails” of the bow get stuck under the feed-dogs, which can happen if you begin stitching at a narrow end.

First stitching:



Second stitching:




Step 6: trim the excess seam allowance from both tail ends to eliminate bulk after turning the tube inside out:



Step 7: turn inside out by pushing the tail ends towards the center and out through the unstitched opening in the middle of the tube…using a chopstick helps here:



Repeat for other end.


Step 8: press tube flat, using a pin to pull out the edges  completely:



Note that it’s not necessary to stitch  the center opening closed, as it will be tucked inside the middle of the bow knot.


Step 9: tie a bow. Here is where the tie guidelines on the paper pattern come into play.  Place your fabric tube back over the pattern and pinch up each side at the placement of the tie guides, to create two loops:




Now create the bow: overlap the right loop over left loop, creating a hole:


Tuck the upper loop over the lower loop and down through the hole:


..and push the loop through the hole and towards you:


…now using your left hand, grab the loop and pull:


As your left hand pulls on the under loop, your right hand  pulls on the upper loop:


With a gentle tug on both loops, your bow takes shape:




It may take a bit of adjusting and twisting to get the bow the way you like it. The more you practice, the faster and easier it gets to tie your bows.

Step 10: slip a barrette through the back of the knot:


Clips are available on Amazon:

If you’d prefer your bow on a headband, it’s easy to make a stretchy one-size-fits-all band from a section of pantyhose (alternatively you can purchase these bands ready-made from many Etsy shops):

To make your own bands, buy a pair of pantyhose or knee-highs:


Cut a 1 1/2″ section:


Stretch lightly, and like any knit fabric, the edges will curl towards the inside:


Then tie the bow directly onto the band:



So there you have it! Easy-peasy way to make sweet little hair accessories to match your sewing projects.

Happy Sewing!


Save to your Pinterest boards!


HairBowPattern copy


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