Wardrobe DIY | Ascot Bow Tutorial


Simple is pretty, and I dig it most of the time. But I’ve got a little thing for big bows, so when I found this simple high-neck dress at the thrift store this week, it seemed to be begging for an ascot addition. I dove into my fabric stash and found some pieces of an old thrifted dress which I had been using for business cards.

Originally I wanted to make one long ribbon to tie into a bow, but since I didn’t have enough fabric length, and didn’t want to piece together the fabric, I thought it might work better to arrange the bow from three parts.


First I cut out two long strips of fabric for the hanging pieces of the bow, and then two more for the top section of the bow. The pieces varied from 2.5-3′ in length and around 3″ in width. For the hanging pieces, I cut the ends in a diagonal, because it looks nice at the end of a bow.



When I stitched them together, I was careful to keep the face side inward (facing each other), ran the edges through the sewing machine, and left about a two-inch gap so that I could flip it right-side-out when I was finished stitching.



After I ironed the two pieces, I began to think about assembling the bow. I needed a small strip to attach the two pieces, so I stitched one up really quickly. Also, where the top part of the bow gathers, I stitched the unfinished edges together so that the bow wouldn’t come apart later.



To connect the top section and the hanging section of the bow, I tied the smaller piece of fabric, trimmed the edges, and stitched it so that it wouldn’t move around as I wore the bow. Then, I grabbed a nice sized safety pin and attached the bow to my dress. Pretty simple!


I’m already planning some small bows made from leftover gingham material that I want to affix on both shoulders of some strappy dresses. It’s a super easy project that I will probably try again and again!


22 Responses

  1. It’s a perfect addition to this dress! I really love how you made it. I am sure you could find a clip to perhaps fabric glue to the bow so you don’t have to pin things all the time though!

  2. I absolutely adoreee this! I’ll definitely be trying it for myself soon.

  3. Katja says:

    oh, love this idea!!!!!

  4. larissa says:

    That is the cutest! I wish I could sew and had a machine!

  5. helene says:

    I love this! Thank you for sharing :).

  6. Oh it is so pretty! I definitely want to have a go – though unfortunately my sewing machine needle broke yesterday! Boo!

  7. Sasha says:

    This is so great! Definitely helpful. :)

  8. Liz Pape says:

    Ahhhh!!! This is such a perfect way to jazz up a dress! I’m already thinking of a so many different ways to use this idea! Adding bows to the dress straps – genius! Thanks so much for the tutorial :)

  9. courtney says:

    I absolutely LOVE the striped dress. It’s adorable. I wish I looked good in yellow :(

  10. michael ann says:

    oh i really like this. i love when such a simple project makes such a big difference! and those stripes and florals just look soo good together :]

  11. Joy says:

    OMG so pretty and creative!

  12. Silvia says:

    I love bows, and the one you made looks just perfect on your dress! By the way, the tutorial for business cards is genius.

  13. allie says:

    I like this a LOT. :)

  14. Theresa says:

    Great Idea, I could see this pinned all over, not just as an ascot. Love your fabric choice!

  15. Laura says:

    the bow’s so cute! :)

  16. Cute!! I love how something simple like just adding a bow, can completely change an outfit! Great tutorial, I think I shall bookmark this one for an outfit for myself! x

  17. Giedre says:

    Ooo, I love it! That bow gives the dress such an entirely different look!
    ps. just found you via the hummingbird girls and am now following, cheers!

  18. Erin Wilson says:

    This is one of my favorite DIY’s lately. Love this idea, so simple but such a great impact. I think this would be cute for little kids outfits too (probably not your thing) but I hate kids clothes these days …I’m going to make something like this to add to my daughters boring dresses. :)

  19. Cool! I love this idea. And the fabric you chose is gorg-a-rama. Thanks for sharing.

  20. Katie says:

    Such a cute idea! It looks very pretty. Definitely going to have to get bow-sewing! x

  21. Andrea says:


    Have pinned this on indulgy. Hope you don’t mind. Will definitely try this. There are so many possibilities with this project.

    Thank you.