The laser-cut acrylic pieces come with a protective paper coating. Peel this paper backing off before use.
Fit Tab A into Slot B
Bow ties are made up of two halves: one short, and one long. The templates are designed with a long removable tail. To cut the long pieces, simply attach the tail to the short piece. (Note: If you made your own templates using my DIY Bow Tie Templates file and a laser-cutting service like Ponoko, then your templates are one piece, with a line etched at the point where you should cut the short pieces.)
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The connection between the long and short template pieces may seem loose to you. This is intentional, as too snug a fit makes them difficult to separate. If it bothers you, simply put a piece of clear sticky tape over the join to secure.[/cryout-pullquote]
Align a line
The clear acrylic makes placing the template on your fabric easy. Be sure to line up the fabric pattern as you wish. If you create bow ties with diagonal stripes, you may wish to draw a 45˙ line onto the template with a permanent marker. That will help you align the fabric accurately every time.
The templates are designed to create adjustable bow ties to fit neck sizes from 14½” to 20” (37 to 51 cm). Add or subtract from the long end if you need more or less length. Templates include a ¼” (.64 cm) seam allowance.
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Cutting fabric on the bias causes too much stretch in the bow tie. However, sometimes it is unavoidable (diagonal stripes for instance). In these cases, stabilize the fabric by ironing a medium weight or lightweight fusible interfacing to the wrong side of the fabric before cutting.[/cryout-pullquote]
Use a 28mm rotary cutter on a large cutting mat for best results. Larger diameter blades (45mm or 60mm) will not work well, because they are too big to get into the inside angles of the template. Smaller blades won’t work either, because the hub of the blade will ride on top of the thick acrylic template and the blade won’t make contact with the fabric. Use a new, sharp blade with no nicks.
If you don’t want to use a rotary cutter or don’t have one, you can trace the outline of the template onto the fabric using a fabric marker or pencil.
Use your dominant hand to hold the cutter, and your non-dominant hand to put downward pressure on the template to keep it from slipping.
Avoiding a Crash
Try to avoid hitting the acrylic template with any blade, especially at inside corners. The blade is sharp enough to chip the plastic, and the plastic is tough enough to dull or nick the blade. Better to leave a tiny spot of fabric uncut, which can then be easily snipped once you remove the template.