Frequently Asked Questions

Shipping Questions

What is Standard Shipping?

For addresses within the United States, Standard Shipping is via USPS First Class Mail, or Priority Mail for large packages. Packages are traceable using the USPS web site, and the tracking number you will receive when the package ships.

Can you ship by UPS?

Yes. For packages shipping to addresses within the United States, you may upgrade your shipping preference at checkout to UPS Ground if you wish. Packages are traceable using the UPS web site, and the tracking number you will receive when the package ships.

Can you send packages internationally?

Yes. For packages shipping to addresses outside the United States (only), please select this method of payment at checkout: Estimate Shipping & Bill Me, and choose International Shipping. When you submit your order, we will calculate the exact shipping amount to your location, using the best/cheapest way (usually USPS First Class International Mail for small packages.) You will receive a PayPal Invoice for the amount of the shipping. When you pay that invoice for the shipping, your order will ship. If you prefer another method of shipping, please indicate your preference in the “notes” field at checkout. (For example, “Send via USPS Priority International with Insurance and tracking number.”)

Bow Tie Patterns & Templates Questions

Are the pattern shapes the same for both the printed paper patterns and the sturdy acrylic templates?

Although the tail lengths differ between the paper patterns and the acrylic templates, they both produce bow ties that are the same shapes.

The DIY Acrylic Templates File (for making your own templates at Ponoko.com) is of a slightly older vintage, and the designs on it differ slightly since they have since been updated elsewhere.

Do you do custom bow tie pattern shapes?

Unfortunately, no. Designing these patterns and templates takes dozens of hours’ work for each design. Not all shapes will work as a bow tie. For instance, some large bow ties may have too much fabric bulk to pass through the long skinny tail when the tie is turned inside-out. The only way to find out is to test it through trial and error.

Sewing Questions

What kind of sewing machine do I need?

Almost any sewing machine suitable for ordinary home-sewing will do. The only stitch required is a straight-stitch, but a zig-zag stitch can be useful when attaching the adjustable hardware.

What kind of sewing machine do you use for ties?

My main sewing machine is a vintage White made in the 1960s. I bought it second-hand very cheaply. Kept in good working order by regular maintenance, this machine is a workhorse that I rarely have problems with.

There must be an easier way to turn ties right-side out. Any ideas?

Well, if there is an easier way, I don’t know about it. Most other bow tie patterns I’ve seen leave the opening for turning on the side of the long strap. I didn’t like that method since it requires a lot of hand sewing to close up the seam after turning.

Perhaps you’re having trouble due to the fabric? I find some fabrics easier to turn than others. Thicker fabrics, and those that produce a lot of friction (cotton vs. silk, for instance) will give you more trouble. If you’re using interfacing, try using a thinner/lighter weight, or perhaps use interfacing on only the front fabric instead of both front and back.

Download Links Questions

I purchased a downloadable file. Where is the link to it?

Links to download your purchase are available to you immediately after checkout is completed successfully, in three places:

  1. The link appears immediately after checkout on the “Thank You” page.
  2. Download link also appears in your order confirmation email.
  3. Links are available from the My Account page, after you’ve logged into the site.

Please note: Download links expire 24 hours after purchase or 5 downloads (whichever occurs first.)

Why do the links expire? That seems dumb to me.

Unfortunately, some unscrupulous people will purchase a link once, and share it with their friends, their family, or even the entire world on the internet. Even some people who wouldn’t share the link might want to download it over and over again, over a long period of time. Limiting access to these links helps prevent unauthorized access.

Since most people who purchase a downloadable file want to download it immediately, 24 hours is ample time to get the file. And since you only need to download the file once, 5 downloads is plenty.

I suggest that if for some reason you need to wait more than 24 hours to download a file after purchase that you simply delay purchasing until you’re ready to download.

My link expired. Can you send it to me again?

Sorry, but as explained in lots of places on this site (including the product descriptions and order confirmation emails), expired links will not be re-sent. If for some reason you need to re-download the file you purchased, you must purchase it again to get a new link.

I downloaded my file, but I can't find it. Where is it?

The answer to that depends entirely on your computer, the operating system you’re using, and also its user preferences. Usually files will download to either the Desktop or Downloads folder. Please note that not all tablets and mobile devices are able to download PDF files. Even if your device can download the file, it may not be able to open it or print it. Please download the free test file prior to purchase to test your setup.

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