Big Bow & Sash Sewing Tutorial

by Destri on February 7, 2013

Bow And Sash Tutorial

How was that for a title?  I tell ya, I’m struggling with them these days.  I’ll sit and think about what a fun title will be longer than what it takes to make the actual project.  So today, it’s just that. A big ‘ol bow and sash sewing tutorial.   I have had many requests for a simple how to ever since the Lined Pillowcase Dress Tutorial (used to make the dress shown), I am thinking what you’re really after is measurements, but I do have a few tips to make sure you get a great looking sash and bow.

Sash Tutorial

You can make the sash for pillowcase dresses, or even for a tie on a dress to add a little something fun. Like that dress? Super cute right? It’s made from the Sweetheart Dress Pattern by Shannon at luvinthemommyhood and it has a super cute heart cutout on the back.  You can find my review of the pattern here, plus a giveaway!

Catch me after the jump for the tutorial!

How To Make A Large Bow & Sash

Big bow and Sash Tutorial

I am going to show you a few different ways to go about this, because depending on the result you are looking for and the amount of fabric you plan to use will determine which route you should take for your sash.

For instance, are you going for drama?  Then bigger, longer, and lined is the way to go. Short on fabric? Then a single layer will do the job.  Making it for a baby? Then a detachable, untie-able bow is best. Let’s get started!

Long Lined Sash Instructions:

This type of sash is perfect for tying around a dress at the waist, or for the tie on a pillowcase dress like I used here.  It is folded in half giving each side of the sash a finished look. It also adds to the bulk of the bow, adding a little more drama.  When shopping for fabric, keep in mind this sash takes quite a bit, and you will want it bought off the bolt for one continuous strip.

Fabric Requirements:

For the two sashes shown I used a little less than a half yard cut off the bolt (44″-45″ wide).

Fabric Cuts:

You can cut these any width you want, but keep in mind you will fold the fabric in half and to add the seam allowance. For both the pillowcase dress and the Sweetheart Dress I cut as follows:

  • two 6 x 40″ inch pieces – these are for long sashes, you can always start at this length and adjust later

This would be the perfect width and length for 3 and older – for 2 and under I would cut the width to 5 inches.


Sash step 1

Take and end from each strip of fabric and sew together with the right sides facing each other, using a 1/4 inch seam allowance.  Press the seams open like shown.  Then turn your iron to a low heat setting.

At this time, you can test the length if you need to. Tie it on the little one, string it through the dress…cut any length you need.

sash bow Step 2

Now with the right sides together, fold the strip in half lengthwise, with the raw edges meeting up. Sew with a 1/4 inch seam allowance.

Before you turn out, take the warm iron and press the side seam open down the length of the sash. This makes it so much easier to press flat in the next step. Turn your iron back up when your finished.

Now turn it right side out – it seems like it will take forever, but really just a couple minutes :).

sash step 3

Once you have it turned out, press with the seam up one side and the folded edge on the other. See how simple that was with the seam pressed on the other side?

Then cut the ends at an angle with the folded side being the tip (easiest to start cutting on the seam side, then up), and snip the top corner of the sash about a 1/2 inch.

Sash step 4

Now with one finger, fold the raw edge of the seam side in about a 1/4 inch. Then just fold up to the tip and press. Where this is on the bias, you can get a fun little arch to create a little drama. You can see how there is a little curve to my tips.

Sash step 5

Then just sew along the edge to secure the ends.

Sweetheart Dress

Then just tie it on. Easy peasy. Again, loved this dress and there is more about it here.

Lined Pillowcase Dress Tutorial

If you don’t have that much fabric, let’s say you only have a 4 inch wide strip – just sew together the ends, and then iron all the edges over 1/4 inch twice.  For the bow I made above in the Lined Pillowcase Tutorial I actually only made the sash 44 inches long and three inches wide because it was for a little little one. The bow is fixed with stitching through the center, and I made it detachable. The appearance of the sash comes from just using the elastic neckline technique.

Big Bow Tutorial

Have I mentioned how much I love this little dress?  It’s about the only thing I will sew more than once – it’s just so fun to make. You can find the entire Fat Quarter Pillowcase Dress Collection of tutorials here. Including a cutting chart for sizes 3 months up to 6 years. So many options with this one!

Lined Pillowcase Dress Tutorial

I made a cute little pair of Banded Ruffle Cuff Pants to go with this one, full tutorial for those here.

So there you have it! An easy sash tutorial – I just can’t believe it took me almost a year to get it up for you :)

If you have any questions leave them in the comments!


p.s. the fabric is from the French General collection.

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Kathy February 8, 2013 at 1:50 am

Great tute! Thanks.


Stephanie February 8, 2013 at 8:31 am

Omgoodness! Love this dress! How adorable! Would love to make this for my little Valentine baby:)

I love both milk chocolate and dark:)


Ashley February 8, 2013 at 10:46 am

Milk Chocolate for sure!

I lllooovvveee your little girls haircut – classic and chic!

Now to go beg my MIL to make this for my girls for Easter – how adorable would they be in different fabrics – not too matchy matchy but still matching :)! (They are 1 and 2 so I like to dress them alike, but my husband hates it!)


Carol February 12, 2013 at 8:07 pm

Sweet heart dress!


Cindy prince February 12, 2013 at 8:40 pm

Sweet Heart Dress-love it!


katy February 27, 2013 at 10:09 am

Great tutorial! Would you ever consider using fusible interfacing in your little sashes? How would you go about doing that?


Sandra March 29, 2013 at 12:15 am

As someone new to sewing I was ecstatic to stumble upon this site. I have 4 young children, and just had my first girl, so eager to sew her a dress. I’ve been prepping/cutting to make your fat quarter dress for 2 nights now, as I only get about an hour max alone time in the evenings. I Was excited to start sewing tonight when….boom your webpage will no longer load and is prompting me to subscribe. I of course subscribed but no confirmation email, so looks like I may not have this dress finished on time. I find this to be a poor tactic to earn subscribers as I would have eagerly joined on my own. Now I’m stuck with fabric cut to your pattern but no tutorial, and as someone new to sewing, that is a dead end. Huge bummer.


Destri March 29, 2013 at 9:48 am

Sandra, so sorry for your inconvenience, but this is definitely not something we do to get subscribers! It sounds like the page isn’t loading the images for you? Do you only see the header with the subscribe ribbon at the top? I have had a few emails this week with people having pages not loading, and I can’t get anything specific. Can you tell me what browser you are using- internet explorer, firefox, safari?
I will help you any way I can!
Let me know if it is loading for you this morning.


maizey April 3, 2013 at 11:05 am

these dresses (and bows) are super adorable! i’ve never thought about lining the bows. great idea!


Adrienne April 16, 2013 at 11:57 pm

Thanks for your tutorials. I made my first pillowcase dress using your big bow and sash tutorial. I added a ruffle at the bottom. Love it!!


Merbear April 23, 2013 at 11:17 pm

So are the sleeves sewn in place? or is the sash threaded through and the sleeves adjustable?


Kathie July 14, 2013 at 3:24 pm

Just a quick question… when making the sash with a detachable bow, what do you use to attach it to the sash?


Destri July 15, 2013 at 8:12 pm

Hi Kathie,

I would use a silver alligator jaw hair clip glued to the back that you could just clip on – does that make sense? That or you could try snaps, but I don’t think they would hold as well. What are you using the bow on? That might make a difference!


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