Forget the Butterfly Bow Tie. Here's the Luna Moth Bow Tie!

Forget the Butterfly Bow Tie. Here's the Luna Moth Bow Tie!

I have an artist friend, Michael Boardman, who does spectacular nature art. Under the business name Coyotees, Mike puts his art on really high quality tee shirts. He has a great business, and I love his tee shirts. Mike and I are also Facebook friends, and he recently posted on FB some pictures of his tee shirts, and I clicked on the link of my favorite women's shirt, one I have often admired.
Luna Moth Tee Shirt from

It's a Luna Moth on a beautiful blue background. I have had a thing for luna moths ever since I read Barbara Kingsolver's book Prodigal Summer, which I loved. The luna moth and the study of it plays a significant role in the book. What I was admiring about the tee shirt is the beautiful art of the moth, and also the fact that the graphic is not huge on the tee (which I really like), and it sits a little higher on the shirt than more run-of-the-mill graphic tee shirts. I really like that about the shirt. Of course, being the bow tie designer and maker that I am, as I was admiring the shirt, I started to see the moth on it as a bow tie. It's even sitting in the vicinity of where a bow tie would sit! I had an artisitc  'ah ha!' moment and proceeded to design a bow tie of a luna moth. I hadn't planned to be designing a bow tie at that time. Actually, I was on a tight schedule that included several pressing items. But I just couldn't help myself. The urge to design was so overwhelming, I completely lost track of time. When I looked up and checked the clock I found that I had completely missed an important doctor's appointment!

Once I get into the flow of designing, it's almost impossible for me to stop. If I'm in the midst of a design and have to go to bed, the draw of the design work often wakes me up and deprives me of sleep until I answer its call. I love that feeling. It happens when I'm designing a bow tie that has struck as something that I MUST do, and it happens when I am designing a CoordinateCoordinate piece for a customer.

I found the perfect illustration of a luna moth in an antique book plate. I don't like to use photos to create prints on fabric because I find the look of a photo on fabric to look like a bad tee shirt design. It doesn't feel artistic to me at all. Once I found the illustration and did the background work I needed to do with it, I wanted to make sure that the body of the moth would form the center of the bow tie, because that's the component that would make the design really special. This is a freestyle/self tie bow tie, so placement of the design on the fabric is very important. Here's the digital image of what I designed.
Digital image of bow tie. It looks flat because it
is flat, but it gives a good idea of what the final
bow tie will look like. 

The fabric arrived at the house, I immediately tore into the package. I was so excited; it's a good thing I didn't have another doctor's appointment! I HAD to make the bow tie. Here's the final bow tie. I'm so happy with it!
Luna Moth Freestyle Bow Tie

Now that I've made the Luna Moth bow tie, I want to do other butterfly/moth designs. I want to do one that ties up as a monarch butterfly similar to the luna moth design, but with an added bonus. I want to design it so that if you tie it another way, it will be the caterpillar that becomes the monarch. I may even figure a way to include the chrysalis in the design, but I haven't yet been bit by THAT design bug (caterpillar?). I imagine it will unexpectedly bite me one day soon, probably around 2 a.m.

So thanks to Mike Boardman for his inspiration for this very cool new bow tie! If I were to design a custom bow tie for you, what would it look like? Is there a specific butterfly or some other entity you would like to see on a bow tie?

For more than 25 years Lisa Eaton has been designing and making men's bow ties, suspenders and neckties from silk and cotton. She is the owner of the Maine based company