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Old 12-13-2010, 09:34
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ShaNun1 ShaNun1 is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: St. Louis Metro Area
Posts: 505
Default Re: Need cheer bow help

I can not thank you enough for posting this detailed responce! I have made cheer bows for our local high school 2 years now, but just done a boutique bows. I now have a bigger high school outside of my area wanting this type of cheer bow, which I have never tried before. I've seen them and always figured that the sparkle had to be fabric, just wasn't sure how it all came together. I have till Friday to get one of these made for an example, and your direction below are of MUCH NEEDED help. THANKS!!

Originally Posted by Blkhawkfan View Post
Hi there,
I originally followed the NBNG's cheer bow tutorial when I first started making bows, but tweaked my method to fit my schedule and needs. However, I have stuck with the NBNG method for sequins, because after some trial and error, there really is no good way to deal with sequin layers. Your bows will be stiff, but in my experience, as well as some others, cheerleaders/cheer coaches want stiff bows. They don't flop, nor get crushed during stunts, tumbling, and jumps. They stand up to cheering, plus as part of the uniform, show off a little bling to the judges and the crowd.
Sequins normally require bonding to a like-colored ribbon because the fabric itself is semi-sheer. If bonded to ribbon, the color is bright and stands out. If sequin fabric is does not have a like-colored ribbon behind it, then the layer looks bad, as if you skipped a step or cut corners when fabricating the bow because you will see less of the sequin color when the lights hit it, or even the pattern of ribbon behind the sequin layer.
I usually measure out exactly how much heat and bond (HnB) lite I will need to complete the full order. (I use lite for sequins because it will already be super stiff, lite is less stiff than ultra. I use ultra for bonding fabric to ribbon) For example: 10 bows=1.5" red sequin x 10 bows=15" of HnB x however long of ribbon I need. Next, I iron that rectangle of HnB lite to the sequin material. I then cut out the new rectangle of red sequin material from the portion of fabric that doesn't have HnB on it. Using my mat and rotary cutter, I cut strips of the fabric. I decided above that I was using the sequin on my smallest layer of a 3" base cheer bow, which would be 1.5". So the strips that I will cut will be equal to 1 1/2" minus 1/8" which is 1 3/8" (one and three eighths inches), and I will cut 10 of these strips. I also cut 10 strips of 1.5" red grosgrain ribbon, if you are wondering about the length, that depends on the base width, and coach's preference, but usually 26 to 28 inches at the most for a front facing cheer bow.
Next, I peel the paper from the bonded sequin strips, then lay the sequin side down onto your ironing board, carefully lay the red ribbon on top of it, put on a dvr'd Greys Anatomy on, and start ironing to bond the sequin to the ribbon, following the HnB directions. If you cut your sequin slightly thinner than your ribbon, you won't see any threads or fraying at the long edges of the ribbon.
I personally use E6000 to then bond the sequin-bonded-ribbon to the bow, it goes much faster and sticks better than HnB, but some bowmakers stick with the HnB all the way through the bow. It's just a preference.
To sew or not to sew is again another personal preference. I used to sew each and every bow with a darning needle and high quality thick upholstery thread. However, as I enter my 40's, my hands are killing me from the sewing. So now, I (like Ann) use my needle simply for a stabilizing point for centering my tails when I accordion-fold the front of the bow. Sometimes, with sequin layers I have to use needle nosed pliers to pull the needle into the layer. Then I hold the front, fold tails with my left, remove the needle, fold the rear-center, squish it in next to the other folds in my left fingers/thumb, grab a small zip tie and a pony-O or elastic strip, and zip it all together loosely. I then make adjustments as needed, and zip it the rest of the way with this clicky-zip tie-er thingy my husband gave me.
Whew! that was wordy, but I hope it was what you were asking for!!
Good luck, if you have any more questions, keep asking 'em here!!
Get your cheer on!

I forgot to add, this is just what I do for sequin layers only! There are times I use HnB for fabric, but other times, I use iron-on vinyl, it just depends on where the fabric layer is - first, second, or third layer....I can explain that if you want me to, just ask!

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