Monday, December 5, 2011

Guest Post: Rachel from Maybe Matilda

I'm super excited about today's guest blogger. Rachel is one amazing lady and her blog, "Maybe Matilda" is one of my very favorites! She's always posting great tutorials and witty blog rants (those are my favorite I laugh a LOT). I had the opportunity to hang out with her in September and let me tell you, she's as lovely and as genuine as she seems to be on her blog!

Hey hey! I'm Rachel, from Maybe Matilda, and I'm glad to be a part of Amanda's Top it With a Bow event! She was one of my first bloggy friends . . . and the only one I've met in real life yet! Go ahead and feel jealous of our fun day at Ikea, it's all right. I have a fun little bow project that's so quick to whip up, and would make a great simple Christmas gift (either to give away, or for yourself to wear around the holidays or to a Christmas party!). You can easily substitute any other bow-making instructions for mine if you prefer another look.
This little bow tie necklace is fast and simple, and I think it's pretty dang cute! This style is selling at Urban Outfitters for $28, but my version didn't cost a dime since I used an old necklace chain I already had and leftover fabric scraps. 
You can make your bow whatever size you’d like—I wanted mine to be on the small side, so the measurements I give here will make a bow about 3” wide and 1 1/2” tall, but you can adapt it to whatever size sounds good to you. I think it would be really cute big, like 5 inches across, but I wasn't brave enough to wear something that bold!
Start by cutting a square of fabric 3 ½” by 3 ½” (or change the size by cutting it the width you’d like it to be when finished, plus an additional ½” to allow for ¼” seam allowance on each side, and double the desired height and add ½”). If you’d like your bow to be a little sturdier, apply lightweight interfacing. 
Iron your fabric, then fold it in half with the right sides together. You’ll need to sew around all three open edges, leaving an open space at the top to allow you to turn it inside out. Stitch ¼” from the edge, starting at one short end and sewing up the short end, around the corner, and about 1/3 of the way across the long end—stop sewing here, lift your presser foot and cut the thread, leave about an inch of space unsewn, and continue sewing across the final 1/3rd of the long end, around the corner, and down the other short end.
Trim your threads and cut the corners off of your fabric (make sure not to clip across your stitching!).
 Turn the rectangle right side out through the opening at the top. Make sure the corners are pushed out, nice and pointy. Fold the unsewn, open portion down into the rectangle so it is level with the rest of the fabric, and iron.
Topstitch around all four sides as close to the edge as you can. Start your topstitching halfway through one of the long sides so the center piece of your bow will cover your starting and ending point.
Now you're done with the main bow piece! You should have a nice little rectangle with stitching around all the edges.
Now we need to make the little fabric piece that wraps around the center and keeps it tight in a bow shape.Cut a second rectangle, roughly 2" by 2 1/2" (or, if you're making a different size bow, double the width you want it to be and add 1/2" to that, and make it tall enough to wrap around your bow snugly with at least 1/2" to spare).
I don't know about you, but I hate trying to turn teeny tiny little loops of fabric right side out after sewing them into a tube, so I did this the lazy way . . . just fold in about 1/4" of each long side of the rectangle toward the wrong side of the fabric, like so:
Iron those sides down, if you're feeling ambitious, and fold it in half lengthwise:
Again, you can iron here (I didn't. Lazy.) Sew down the long ends only, close to the edge. 
(As you can see, I probably should have ironed, since it's a little crooked. We'll pretend that's the camera angle. Oh well, it doesn't really matter.)
Fold it in half so the two short ends are touching, check the fit around your bow (it needs to be loose enough to be able to slip onto the short end of the bow, and also loose enough to be able to flip the whole center piece inside out to hide the sewn edge, so leave a little extra wiggle room), and sew the two short ends together. Trim off the extra fabric and flip it inside out so the seam is hidden inside.
Now just scoot it onto your rectangle and you have a sweet little bow!
You could stop here and attach this to hairclips, elastics, or pins to clip onto clothing. To make a necklace out of it, I used a chain from a necklace I made a while ago (and wore once), and just took off the pieces that I didn't want on this necklace, and clipped the whole thing in half--I left the little blue beads on the chain since I kind of liked how they made the necklace asymmetrical and contrasted with the color of the bow. If you want to add beads to your chain, just clip one side of the chain into thirds and place a few beads onto an eye pin and reattach to the chain.
Using a needle and thread, stitch the last link of the chain to the upper outer corner of your bow on each side, making sure that you're only sewing through the back layer of fabric and not all the way through to the front of the bow. Sew through it a few times to make sure it's secure, and trim your threads.
My chain was long enough to just slip over my head without needing a clasp, but if you made yours shorter than this, attach a clasp to the ends and you're good to go!
How easy was that? Thanks for having me over, Amanda, and feel free to stop by and say hi at
Maybe Matilda!

Have a lovely day! Rachel

Thank you so much Rachel for sharing this cute necklace! I'm thinking the girls at my house ALL need one of these. Here's a sneak peek at what Rachel does:

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for having me over! I've been loving your bow projects so far. Would it be wrong if I wore the little girl bow legwarmers . . . with the bow skirt? Because I WANT IT ALL.


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