The Remains of 2014 – Bow Ties and Eye Masks


When you’re in the middle of knitting a jumper that was meant to be for a birthday in the summer, worrying about a jumper that was given as a present but turned out far too big and trying to plan Christmas presents, you want something fairly quick and simple to be going on with. I landed on a bow tie for The Boy and (with a helpful suggestion from a little bird) an eye mask for my father.

After not-too-long on the internet I came up with this super free pattern / tutorial for a bow tie. I printed out the pattern sneakily at work, and ordered a small piece of fabric that I have saved in my bookmarks of pretty fabrics list. It’s the sort of pattern I love but can’t really imagine myself wearing in any great quantity, like most small patterns. But for something small, an accent (I believe it’s called,) it’ll do just fine.


It was really easy, the most difficult part of the pattern was getting The Boy’s neck measurement without him realising. Heh. After that it was easy: cut out 4 pieces of fabric, 2 of interfacing, and stick it all together. I had a couple of goes at turning it to the right side, I turned it back inside out once and re-clipped the seam allowances on the curved part (technical term, that.) But in the end it didn’t come out too lumpy.

P1180355 P1180359I finished it off with a little bar tack over the middle join in thread to match the flower centres. Not structurally useful, but I like a wee bit of contrasting thread in most things I make.

And here just to prove that it works it is on me.

P1180717Oops, the flowers are upside-down, but I was too worried about the knot to notice at the time…


The eye mask was only marginally more complicated. I managed to get the measurements (end to end and elastic length) from the same little bird. Then I drafted a pattern and cut it out. The most difficult bit was deciding which fabric to use. I went with some of the corduroy left over from the Kelly skirt on one side, and some soft flannel from my mending scraps on the other, with the elastic covered by the flannel too. I also cut a piece of felt to go in between the sides for more light-blocking qualities.

P1180341I made the elastic casing first, just a tube, and threaded the elastic through and stitched it at both ends. Then I put the two fabrics right-sides together and the felt against the wrong side of the corduroy, and stitched the ends of the elastic at the sides with the elastic between the right sides of the fabrics (matching up the stripes!) Then I stitched all the way round, leaving a gap at the bottom to turn it right-way-out, and clipped the seams. When I’d turned it inside-in, I tried it on. Then I turned it back inside out and tried to shorten the elastic. This happened several times until I was happy with the fit, and then I sewed up the gap by hand and top-stitched all the way round.

P1180346 P1180347Please, if you’d be so kind, don’t look too closely at the top-stitching. It’s extreeemely wonky, not facilitated by the machine foot being slightly guided by the seam allowances inside.

Anyway. Look at my stripe matching!



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