Tutorial: Sew an Anime-Style Bow With Ribbon

sewing the perfect bow

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This is not a tutorial for how to tie a bow, instead it’s for how to sew one in place so you can reuse it. It will create a bow with a visible looping effect, rather than the flat look of many other types of faux bows. This method works great for ribbons and narrower strips of fabric. The thicker your ribbon and fabric, the less this will work and you’ll want to use a different method instead.

All you need to get started with this type of (fake) bow is some ribbon and thread.

sewing the center
Pinch the ribbon in the center and loop your ribbon around. Instead of placing the end behind the center point, stack both ends of the ribbon on top.
add the center knot
Add ribbon to the center of the ribbon. Twist the ribbon as you wrap it around to create a knot-like effect.
adding ribbon tails
Insert the tails through the center knot.
  1. Cut a length of ribbon that is twice as long as you want your final bow to be. Place your finger in the very center of the ribbon and bend it a bit to create a small gather.
  2. Take one end of the ribbon and stack it on top of the center. Create a small gather in this end of the ribbon too. Then sew it in place.
  3. Take the other end of the ribbon and repeat step 2.
  4. Add the center ribbon or fabric. Cut a small piece of ribbon and wrap it around the center, creating a little twist for a more realistic look. Sew it in place.
  5. Sew the bow tails if desired. If you would like to add tails to your bow, slide a length of ribbon through the center tie.
  6. Add a hair clip or pin. Sew your clip or pin to the back of the bow and attach it to your hair or clothing.
ribbon bows
Use this method if you want to see the two loops of ribbon when making your bow.

Emily Joice

My name is Emily, and I have been cosplaying since my very first convention in 2008. Over the years, I've experimented with all different kinds of cosplay costumes, especially loving the process of creating props and styling wigs. I also delved into cosplay photography, and love exploring how to optimize costumes so they look excellent in photos. Most of the photos you find on this site were taken by me over my years at anime conventions.

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