Bow Shirt Tutorial

Materials needed:
- plain scoop neck t-shirt
- old/stained or unwanted t-shirt or jersey fabric
- sewing machine
- needle and thread
- fabric scissors
- rotary cutter, ruler, and cutting board
1. Start with 2 scoop neck ts, or one t-shirt and some jersey fabric. I had 2 old scoop neck t's. The grey one used to have large flowers on it that I removed, but this caused some holes in the shirt so I couldn't wear it any more. The striped shirt used to be a favorite of mine, but over the years has gotten too thin and stretched out to wear. The large bow now covers the holes in my grey shirt!

2. Measure the width across the chest of the shirt where the bow will be placed. My shirt was 11 inches across.

3. Cut your old t-shirt along the seams to separate the front and back pieces.
4. Cut a rectangle of fabric to be twice as tall the finished bow will be plus one inch for seam allowance, and as wide as the bow will be, plus one inch for seam allowance. My shirt was 11 inches wide across the chest so I wanted my bow to be 10 inches wide and 6 inches tall. I cut my large rectangle for the bow from my striped shirt 13in by 11in (6in * 2+ 1 and 10in + 1). Cut the piece for the center part of the bow to be about 5in by 4 in.

5. With rights sides together fold the large rectangle in half length wise. When I folded mine it was 11 inches in length and 6.5 inches tall. Sew all three open sides together leaving a one inch space to turn it right side out. After it has been turned right side out top stitch the hole closed as close to the edge as possible so it's not noticeable.

6. Fold the small piece of fabric in half length wise with right sides together. I folded mine so it was 5 inches long and 2 inches wide. Sew the long sides together making a 2 in tube of fabric and turn it right side out. Turn the tube so the seam is in the middle instead of along the edge. Fold it in half width wise hiding the seam in the inside of the loop and sew it closed. This will create a ugly seam at the back of the loop, but it will be hidden between the bow and the shirt in the final product.

7. Slide the loop to the center of the rectangle hiding the seam of the loop in the back making a bow.

8. Stitch the bow onto the t-shirt. I recommend trying the shirt on and pinning the bow to the exact spot you want it to sit. I sewed my bow on without doing that and it ended up being a little too high. Using a needle and thread stitch all four corners of the bow until it is secure and stitch the center of the bow onto the shirt. For the center, only go through the first few layers of fabric so the stitches are not visible.

I love the way it turned out! Jensen, who is not a fan of bows and ruffles said to me when he was taking my pictures "way to ruin a perfectly good shirt". ha! I don't care. It think it's great!


  1. I love it! You can never trust a guy's take on fashion. It's such a cute idea.

  2. Thanks for showing how to make a bow! You have no idea how many poor bows live in my scrap pile with frayed edges and stuffing sticking out....