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taeliac's avatar

Tutorial: Pre-Tied Obi

Since I was making one for my newly remade Kotoko cosplay, I thought I'd take pictures as I go, because I've heard from a few people that they don't know how to make these pre-tied obi's, like you can purchase to wear with yukata and komon in Japan.

All of this is my own experimentation on how to do it, I do not know if it is the same as how they do it in Japan. I looked at as many pictures as I could find of one's you can purchase, and built this idea from that.

:star: You don't need to wire this bow! If you do, it will usually turn out looking like poop!

If you're having problems with getting it stiff enough, you're not using heavy enough interfacing! Add another layer on the other side, or go get yourself some heavier, collar weight interfacing.

Again, wiring this bow will make it look like poo ~ I developed this method so that you don't need wire (except in very rare circumstances, like bat-wing shaped bows) to get this to keep it's shape...


I do not have the information on how to make the sash in this, so I'll summarize them here:

- Take two strips of fabric, 2x the width you'd like the finished sash to be (I choose a 5" wide sash, so I cut two strips 10" wide). Add 1" seam allowance.
-- Ex: So, I cut 2 strips 11" by the width of the fabric (usually 45" or 60")
- Sew up the ends, making one really long sash
- Sew it into a tube, with right sides together
- Turn the tube right-side out
- Press
- Finish the edges of the sash, usually by tucking in the raw edges and pressing

You then take that sash and wrap it around your body usually 2-3 times, tucking the end in where you want the bow to be (this may take a few tries to get it placed right - I had to redo mine 3 times before I wound up with the edge in the front, to tuck in).


Let me know if this helps you out! I hope it does, because it's a lot easier to do than I had expected it would be!

Please do not redistribute this without asking me first! I want to know what sites these appear on!
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ThatOneFemaleGamer's avatar
OOooooooooooooh I could have TOTALLY used this when i was making Maya Fey! I think I'll redo it soon then...
MattsyKun's avatar
Thank you so much for this! I hasd to make a bow for this weekend and this totally saved my life <3
taeliac's avatar
Woo! I'm very glad to hear it!
Avette's avatar
Excellent & helpful tutorial! Thank you!
Zichee's avatar
This may be a silly question to ask, (but I don't see it listed here) what kind of wire is this? It looks very strong and I needed a strong wire to hold the bow.
Ty for sharing this tutorial btw. =)
Anathiell's avatar
I'd like to say THANK YOU!!! You made my life so much easier!…
Perfect Tutorial!
xRIKKAx's avatar
thank you for this tutorial! you helped me a lot! <3
What is interfacing? where do you get it? can I use a double layer of heavy cotton? :(
taeliac's avatar
Interfacing is a stiff fabric that usually has a glue on it that allows you to iron it down and have it fuse to the fancy fabric permanently. The down side to a double layer of heavy cotton is that it's heavy, and can cause the bow to flop down, especially if it's not glued (like interfacing) to support the outer fabric. I really recommend picking some up - it's usually really cheap, and helps for a lot of different sewing projects!
This is going to be very useful to me! Thank you :D
JJNeeps's avatar
Thanks so much for this tutorial, my sister and I tackled it and it came out wonderful.

I love my little red bow. (A red bow by coincidence). A last minute design to my kimono, and your efforts helped my efforts.


hallyuvian's avatar
I know this was posted years ago XD, but I just found it and I wanted to thank you for making it!
I'm just starting on my Kotoko cosplay, and I'm still pretty new to sewing, so I wasn't sure how to go about some parts of it, but this will help a lot! Thank you!
taeliac's avatar
Hooray! I'm very happy that this helps you out!! If you get stuck with any sewing bits, let me know and I'll see what I can do to help - I have pages and pages of bookmarks for just about anything you may get caught up on ;P
hallyuvian's avatar
Thank you so much! ^^
jennifafa's avatar
This is a fantastic tutorial! Thanks I'm making a yukata (following your kimono tutorial) and both are perfect help for the noob in me. :)
taeliac's avatar
Hooray!! That is exactly what I was hoping for, because with sewing, you just gotta start somewhere and dive in ;P
EveningDreemer's avatar
awesome but what about the part that goes around your stomch area (The thing that the obi tucks into.) lol I'm trying to make that and an obi for a kimono I got from epcot in disney. (The obi and such that I could have gotten with it were too expensive lol)
pixiepearl's avatar
MalteseLizzieMcGee's avatar
Great tutorial: it will come in very handy in the future :) (and now I know how to stop my apron straps being pulled down by the weight of the fake bow). I've been using an old plastic table cloth instead of interfacing: it actually works quite well. It makes such a difference: I used to use light weight inerfacing, but the bows were never stiff enough
Bisko-chan's avatar
Awesome tutorial! Will use it on a kimono that I'm making. The obi was giving me some trouble when tying it the raditional way, so I decided to do a pre tied obi instead.
The only thing missing from yours that I saw on some obis online is that you "clip" in the bow like you have it here, but it has 2 additional strings/ ribbons on the back of the bow that you bring around and tie around your waist, then hide it by tucking under the main obi on the front [link] . I think that gives it a lot more sturdiness and it prevents it from falling out or flopping down. For yours, I see it's on the front and it's less likely to fall out, but if you're wearing it on the back, you might want to secure it a little more.
kiichigochan's avatar
Thank you for your tutorial!!! I was searching for one that helps me do a proper bow & your idea of wire was perfect!
Syjana's avatar
nice i like it
Kuuraddo's avatar
I'm so gonna try to make one :D
Sakura2189's avatar
Really a brilliant tutorial! :love:
do you happen to have a tutorial for that yukata? :D
I wanna make a Wa-Loli so bad TT_TT
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