Thursday, May 14, 2015

Better Balance For Me: Downsizing Bows for My Use

Cute? Yes. Right for me? Nope.
There is a wrongness between me and oversized Lolita bows. They're adorable, but they are very much not for me. So, when I order a dress from Bodyline and it comes with an oversized bow, I’m usually left with a bow that I will not use.

This winter, I decided to change that by taking apart the bows and creating something that I will use with the materials. As a result, I collected rather a lot of tutorials. These would also work with waist ties, if you’re so inclined.

Start With Your Fabric

I thoroughly recommend taking the bows apart with a seam ripper because it allows you to keep the most possible fabric.Yes, this takes more time than taking a scissors to it, but I think it's worth it. It also allows you to easily take out the lace without making a huge mess of things (and, with Bodyline lace, you'll really want to take most of it out).

After I rip out the seams, I press every one of the fabric pieces until flat. This always involves a hot iron and sometimes involves steam, depending on whether the fabric has interfacing pressed into it.

This also gives me time to assess what can be done with the fabric. If the fabric has interfacing - a thin white stiffener ironed onto the fabric itself - it will likely not be good for projects that need it to be flexible. Save fabric with interfacing for bows with body or other pieces that can afford to be a touch stiffer.

Bows for the Home

Quilter blogs are a great place to start if you want to make your headbows a part of your d├ęcor. Use the bow fabric to make a scrap quilt for use as lap quilt or a pillow top.

You can also use the bow fabric to make small plushies and pincushions: mice, birds, a fox, bunnies, monsters, and almost anything else you can think of. If you’ve made a mini-sized plushie, you can also add a small ribbon loop to one of the seams and put the plushie on a key ring

Useful Things

If you want to use your fabric for something a little more practical, a coin purse might be just the trick. There are a ton of tutorials out there for coin purses, but there are a couple that are a little extra cute and I wanted to share those with you. This tutorial or this one are good ways to make macaron-shaped coin purses. If you’re in a mood for fruit, try this pear coin purse.

Bitty Bows and Charming Rosettes

If you want to keep wearing your fabric bits – and who wouldn’t? – then there are a wide variety of different ways you can do just that. I like smaller bows, so using the bow fabric to make a smaller bow like this one is the best possible way for me to use the fabric. Other options include rosettes or taking the flat fabric and using Mod Podge to make a pendant. You can even create kanzashi-esque pieces.

So, how can you use these little trinkets? So many different ways!

Stitch them to pin backs to pin a touch of matching fabric to blouses. Add them to barrettes, elastic bands, or alligator hair clips to add them to your hairstyle. Glue them to blank shoe clips to add a bit of branded detail head-to-toe. If you want to create jewelry, you can do that, too. Add your bow or rosette to a string of elastic and pearls to create a cute bracelet, or add a chain to make it a necklace.

Use your imagination, and you can create something wonderful for yourself out of the excess fabric!


  1. Wonderful post! I too can not wear the larger bows, and it's a shame since some of them have really lovely fabric I'd rather not simply get rid of! I love these ideas and I think I'm going to go explore my little stash now to see if there's anything creative and pretty I might be able to do with them!

    1. The problem I always run into is that I have too many choices. Happy crafting!

  2. Really inspired by these great ideas - it makes me want to get some bodyline bows just to cut them up haha

    1. Hey, the next time they have a decent sale that might not be a bad idea. It could also be a good use for the stuff in a Bodyline lucky pack (especially those weird ones with random sleeves...)