Thursday, April 26, 2012

Hair Bow How To!

So what felt like a little muscle soreness last night has turned into a raging head cold, sore throat, knock you out, and screw up your GI tract virus.  I am home from work (AGAIN), this time taking care of myself.  I did not do any sewing last night for Elsie Marley's KCWC day 3 (but I did devote some time to buying those snaps) and I am NOT doing any new sewing for KCWC day 4 tonight.  I am however holding to my pledge to spend an hour or so doing something related to kid's clothing.  I may be stretching it a bit, but I have been meaning to post about making hair bows for a while and it took about an hour (from the comfort of my couch) to draw all the directions.  Still not convinced that this qualifies?  
Just LOOK at that sweet face and that darling outfit, that wouldn't be nearly so darling without the hair bow!  Still not convinced that I am not being a total slacker?  Let me show you excuse #2.
Just after I typed up my sub plans and just before I returned to my sick bed, the sky turned black and the wind blew sideways, and I went and sat in the bathroom under the stairwell.  When I came out, I saw this. A really big tree fell exactly between our house and our garage, narrowly missing everything that could have easily been in its path.  Speaking of paths, this giant tree is now blocking my way to my studio and has probably done some minor damage to the stairs that go up to the studio.  Seeing as everything I need to sew is up there, I feel totally feel justified in finding alternate projects.
OK, back to the bows.  These are SO simple and I use pretty basic supplies.  I get any kind of ribbon that I like (I buy the whole spool for less then I would spend buying a finished bow), then I go to a hair products store (I use Sally's) for my other main ingredients.  I only use alligator clips and I buy a box of 100 at Sally's.  Now that Lydia is bigger and has more hair, the alligator clip won't hold it all. I have tried bigger barrettes, but the clips are SO much easier to deal with, I just use a hair band to hold her hair and then clip in the hair bow.  
Here is my other secret weapon.  I buy the clear kind for hair bows and the only other thing I need is some fabric glue and fray check.  Once you have your supplies, it's time to get started.
I don't cut the ribbon off the spool, I just wrap it around my hand as shown in the picture above.  If I want a bigger bow, I spread my fingers out wider.  If I want a smaller bow, I only use two or three fingers but I wrap it the same way, two loops on top and two loops on bottom.  Then I cut the end free from the spool of ribbon.
Next I slide the loops down my hand and begin gathering them in the center.  With my free hand (and sometimes my teeth if they are stuck together) I grab a rubber band and work it around the center as shown bellow.
Now it is time to arrange the loops.  Sometimes they end up lopsided or overlapping in a weird way.  Because the loops are joined by a rubber band, it is easy to adjust them.  Once the loops look good, it is time to deal with the ribbon ends.
This is what I usually do.  I angle the edges as shown above.  The other option is to fold the ribbon ends in half long ways and cut at an angle from the outer edge to the center, where the ribbon is folded, as shown below.  Use some fray check on the ends of the ribbon to keep them looking nice.
Next, we need to attach the alligator clip to the BACK of the bow.  The alligator clip has one flat side and one angled side.  I slide that clip under the rubber band so that the flat part would be against the child's head.
The final step involves covering the rubber band and securing the bow to the clip more permanently. Cut about a 2-3 inch length of ribbon and tie a knot in the center.
The final step involves the fabric glue.  First glue the knot to the middle of the front of the bow.  You may want to wait for the knot to dry to make it easier to handle.  Then, hold the alligator clip open with one hand and wrap one of the knot ends around the bow and glue it to the bottom part of the clip.  If there is extra ribbon, cut it off just outside of the clip.  You may want to wait for the glue to dry before trying the last step.  The good news is, if you let go of the alligator clip, it will clamp down and hold everything together.  When you are ready, repeat the process with the last end.  You might want to add a little fray check after you trim the last ribbon end, or just use enough glue that it covers some of the ribbon edge.
And that is the exact process that I use to make almost all of my bows!  A multi-layered bow like the one Lydia had on at Easter, usually begins with the technique shown above.  In this picture, the gold part is this type of bow.  Some other day, when I am not so wiped out, I will share those other types of bows.
Until then, Happy Hair Bows to you!

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