Bows

One of the most frequent questions we get asked is how we make our bows! We often refer people to the bow tutorial by Sparkle Pipsi, but we wanted to share how we make ours since the loops utilize a different construction method.

We relied heavily on several tutorials by other cosplayers to come up with our fukus! Check out our Cosplay Resources page as well as the links at the bottom of each tutorial for further information.

We hope you enjoy!

Materials needed:

Note: all seam allowances are 1/2″

A Quick Note on Fitting:

Proportions are key to making a beautiful fuku! If you are large chested or broad in the shoulders, you may wish to use the the butt bow pieces instead of a chest bow. Play with the sizing and figure out what works best for you!

A great way to test sizing before cutting  your fabric is to cut the loops and hold them up to your chest. If you are extra petite, you can always scale down the front bow pieces, or increase the size of the center front seam allowance!

Bow Loops:

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TIP: Not sure which bow loop goes with which tail? Label your pieces! It can help prevent confusion or accidentally swapping out for the wrong sizes. 

To assemble the main bow, cut 4 pieces of fabric and 2 pieces of interfacing. If you’d like an easy guide for stitching, cut your interfacing 1/2″ smaller than your pattern pieces, indicated by the dotted line on the pattern pieces. Iron your interfacing pieces to the wrong side of 2 of your fabric pieces.

Note: Interfacing both loop pieces can lead to some crunchy-looking bows, so we prefer to interface 1 of the loop pieces on the inner side of each loop.

bow-loop-stitching

Make sure to stitch right on the edge of the interfacing. This is key to creating super crisp bows!

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Stitch each half of your bow together along the top and bottom (leave the edges open), following the edge of your interfacing for a super crisp edge. Trim your seam allowance to reduce bulk, then flip the loop inside out and press.

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IMPORTANT TIP: Keep the appropriate bow pieces together! Front loop pieces should stay with the front bow tail, and the same goes for the back bow pieces. You’ll get really weird looking bows if you combine the two!

After pressing your loop pieces, sew them with the non-interfaced sides together along the open edges.

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You now have a giant loop. Finish your raw edges and press the seam. I like to hit mine from the inside and outside.

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Flip your loop inside out so the interfaced side of the loops are on the inside. Center your seams and fold the bow in half.

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Fold the edges of the bow back, as shown. Do this for the top and bottom.

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Hold the center of your bow in place with sewing pins.

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Using matching thread, hand sew the center of the bow in place. Fluff your bows.

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Set your loop pieces aside for now. It’s time to start assembling the tails!

Tails:

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Cut 2 pieces of fabric and 1 piece of interfacing for the tails. Cut the interfacing piece in half and remove 1/2″ seam allowance from the outside edge and bottom of the tail. Iron your interfacing to the wrong sides of the fabric, mirroring the interfacing for each tail.

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Fold the tail piece in half, and stitch from the angled center down to the point, and up to the fold. You’re essentially following the dotted line indicated on the pattern. Make sure to backstitch at the corners! This will make sure they’re nice and sturdy whenever you flip the piece inside out.

Trim your seam allowances and grade the corners, then flip inside out. Using a pencil or chopstick, gently press out the corner and press the whole tail. Once the tail is pressed, sew the pieces together. Press.

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Fold the angled center portion of the tails down in the back and press.

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Set your tail piece aside for now.

Knot:

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Cut a rectangle 3″ wide by 6-8″ long. This piece will be your bow knot. Stitch the piece, right sides together lengthwise. Trim your seam allowance to reduce bulk.

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Make a small cut at one end of your loop. Using a large safety pin, flip the piece inside out and press flat. A quilter’s bar is very helpful here!

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bow-knot

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At this point, you may wish to stitch a piece of Velcro for your brooch to your knot before assembling the bow. Otherwise you will need to glue or hand stitch the Velcro in place.

Assembly:

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Hand stitch the knot to hold the bow together. Hand tack the loops to the tail portion of the bow to prevent it from slipping during wear.

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Voila! You have a lovely bow. Repeat this process for the butt bow.

Credits:

Huge thanks to SparklePipsi for her incredible bow tutorial! Her bow patterns are fantastic and really well proportioned. Her tutorial and patterns are iconic!

Tutorial text by The Geeky Seamstress. Photos by Space Cadet Cosplay and The Geeky Seamstress. Updated bow loop method by Victoria Bane.

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