How To Tie The Perfect Bow

The perfect finishing touch for your lingerie sewing projects and more, knowing how to tie the perfect bow by hand is a satisfying crafty skill and will finish off your Iris knickers beautifully.

Taken from our Learn to Sew Knickers’ online workshop, in this extract Hannah from Evie La Lùve (our Iris collaborator and workshop teacher) will take you through how to hand-tie a gorgeous satin ribbon bow and how to attach it to your Iris knickers. Watch how in the video below, or alternatively follow our step-by-step instructions…

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The width of the ribbon you want to use is really up to you. Satin ribbon comes in a wide variety of widths so whether you want a big statement bow or a dainty mini bow, this tutorial will work for all. 

For this tutorial you will need:

  • your finished Iris knickers (or your Fifi camisole, Jaimie PJs or whatever you’re sewing your bow on to)
  • a length of ribbon approximately 50cm (20in), whilst you’re practising your bows this is a great length to start with, but you can use less or more once you’re happy with your technique and chosen bow style. We’re using a satin ribbon here but other types (like velvet or cotton) will work too.
  • scissors to trim the ribbon and threads
  • a hand sewing needle and thread to match your project

Let’s make some bows… 

Take a length of your ribbon, here I’m using approximately 50cm (20in). Create a loop with your ribbon by pinching the ribbon between your finger and thumb, leaving a decent length for your ribbon tails.


Take the ribbon from the back and wrap it over and around your thumb. Bring it back around to the right side.

With the same piece, create another loop and pass it through the loop where your thumb is.
If your ribbon has a right side and a wrong side like this polka dot ribbon, you may need to twist the ribbon so you know the right side will show on top. But don’t worry, have a few attempts at tying your bow all the way through first so you can understand the steps.

Pull the loop through to create your bow. Adjust the loops and loose ends until it’s the size you want and the bow feels tight and secure.

Place your loose ribbon tail ends together (wrong or right sides together if your ribbon has a visible right side like this polka dot one), and at your desired length, trim diagonally across making sure the two ends match. Whether you have the long edge or the short edge of your ribbon on the inside or outside is up to you!

Tada! You’ve hand-tied a perfect bow, ready to stitch onto your Iris knickers or whatever else you fancy.

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Author: Abi Dyson with video content by Hannah Bullivant from the ‘Learn to Sew Knickers’ online workshop.

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