Silk Ribbon Bow Tutorial


The “Ava” dress designed by Gail Doane and a close-up look at the design’s smocked bodice.

Silk ribbon can be used in so many creative ways on sewing projects, from elegant silk ribbon embroidered flowers to decorative ribbon trims and embellishments. On this beautiful dress – “Ava” designed by Gail Doane – from the book Perfect Party Dresses, silk ribbon is threaded through the wide beading on the yoke and around the skirt while matching silk ribbon bows adorn the gorgeous smocked bodice. Follow the tutorial below as featured in the book to learn how to recreate this pretty silk ribbon bow for any project. Ribbon widths may be chosen according to size of ribbon bow desired. On “Ava,” 1/8-inch-wide silk ribbon, one strand of matching floche and a No. 10 milliner’s needle are used to create the silk ribbon bows.


1. Cut one end of the ribbon at an angle. Place a fine pin through the ribbon, 5mm (1/4 inch) from the tip.

2. Form a loop to the right that extends 5mm (1/4 inch) past the pin. Hold in place with your thumb.

3. Form a second loop to the left of the pin measuring 5mm (1/4 inch). Hold in place.


4. Form two more loops in the same manner. Pin through all layers at the center.

5. Using matching thread, secure the thread at the center.


6. Wrap the thread tightly around the centre of the ribbon to form a bow knot.

7. Secure the thread and trim away excess ribbon.

Interested in making the “Ava” dress for your little one? The pattern and instructions for making the dress in sizes 3, 4 and 5 years are in Perfect Party Dresses from editor Susan O’Connor, available in our store.

Happy Sewing,