Hand Sewn Hairbows for Some Very Sweet Girls

by ilene on January 27, 2015 · 3 comments

in baby, sewing



My cousin recently gave birth to a daughter after having two boys and much to the surprise/delight of our family, her baby girl was born with a full head of thick hair.  This is a rarity in our family as every generation of both boys and girls seem to be born bald.  My twin sister and I were pretty hairless until we were 2 years old and everyone thought that we were a pair of boys.  We still haven’t had to take Zoey in for a haircut yet. Zoey and my niece Rylie are only starting to have enough hair for pigtails and ponytails, which makes dressing them up all the more fun.  Now that we can finally experiment with new hairstyles, I’ve been making grosgrain ribbon hair bows for the little sweet girls in our family.

I used to buy hair bows off of etsy vendors but at $3 or more a pop, they are a bit on the pricey side, especially for something that I could make myself.  We tend to lose hairbows, or “hair clippies” as Zoey calls them, everyday so it was starting to get expensive ordering them.   Whenever Jeff takes Zoey out of the house, she returns hairbowless and usually pantsless, too.  Not sure how every time she leaves the house with her daddy, she comes back without her pants on, but I’m not surprised anymore and I don’t ask questions! I’m just happy whenever the two of them leave the house and I get a few hours to myself!   On one of those rare afternoons, I spent sewing up these hair bows in a rainbow of colors:



I got all the colorful grosgrain ribbon from Britax Fabrics in San Francisco’s Union Square, which is the mecca for fabric and notions for the sewing-obsessed in the city. Their assortment of ribbons is swoon-worthy!hairbows6


For every color, I got ribbon in 2 different widths – ⅜” and 1″.  These were the ribbon parts used to make up one hair bow:


I won’t do a full tutorial on how I put the hair bows together, because its pretty self-explanatory and there are tons of great tutorials on the web, but here are a few tips:

1.) I found it easier to sew the “bow” part of the hair clip by hand first. Then hot glue the pieces to the clip. I’m not too skilled with the hot glue gun and I found it tricky glue the bow into the “pinched” form.  Then I sewed the bow “tails” piece to the bottom of the bow and sewed the center piece around them.  I couldn’t work fast enough for the glue gun and there would be big globs of dried glue everywhere, burns on my fingers and the glue globs added extra weight to each clip.  It was just too messy to do with the glue gun.  Sewing gave me a lot more control and was a lot easier for me.

2.  Since I was making a large amount of hair bows, I did everything in stages. I first cut all the ribbon pieces at once. Then burned all the ends of the ribbon with a lighter to seal the edges.  Then sewed all the pieces together.  Then wrapped all the metal clips with the ⅜” ribbon. Then glued all the hair bows on top of the clips.  This was all best done in front of the television 🙂

3. I bought my metal alligator clips from ebay here. Etsy also sells them.  I used 1 3/8″ Mini Single Prong Alligator Clips without claws which was the perfect size for little girls.

4.  Since most girls’ hair are superfine and slippery, I added little grips to the clips to help them stay in.  I used non-slip drawer liner that I got from the contact paper section of Target  (similar to this) to add to the back of the clips:hairbows4

I’m not going to lie. I understand now why similar hair bows like these sell for $3 or more on Etsy! Each bow was a lot of work.   It takes a lot of precision and patience to churn out a perfect, symmetrical bow!  I estimate spending about half an hour on each one.

Totally worth all the work for my sweet, sweet girls:

I packaged them using card stock, clipping them through holes in the paper:hairbows3
It’s going to be a while before I make any more of these, I’m all bowed out for now. But I love how they turned out!






I’ve made other types of hair clip over the past few years.  Click on the photos below to see posts on these other hair clippies:




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1 Irene January 27, 2015 at 7:54 pm

Rylie lives her hair bows! Thanks!

2 Britt June 12, 2015 at 12:50 pm

Hi Irene,
Love your site, I live in the UK and for some reason bows are a bit boring here, after visiting San Francisco and other area of the USA my eye’s were opened in what was available in terms of bows. I set out creating them just for my little girl and suddenly people start asking me to make them for their girls. You are right it’s a lot of work and I can’t complete with the real cheap bows, but quality and hand made does count! If any of your UK fans want to see what I’ve achieved drop over to my web site http://www.bowunique.co.uk . Just be warned, if you start making them you might just end up starting your own little business by accident!


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