Every once in a while a friend or customer will ask me if I can make something that isn’t in my current product offering. There are plenty of new projects that I want to try all the time, but sometimes people simply asking gives me that extra push to get me started on something new. I sincerely enjoy taking on challenges and trying new projects – I just can’t always find the time to fit them in right away. In April, a long-time friend of mine asked if I did adult items, to which I responded, ‘no, I haven’t advanced to adult-sized-sewing, yet.’ He replied that he was interested in having some custom ties made and I figured that was something I could actually handle. My first step, was of course to see if there were any patterns/tutorials available online for free. Luckily, in this day and age, if you look hard enough you can find anything on the Internet. I was able to locate not one, but two patterns (with tutorials, bonus!) pretty quickly. My friend let me know that he would be most interested in the skinny tie – so that’s the version I went with. He also gave me ‘creative freedom’ in picking the patterns and colors for the ties.
I went to my favorite local specialty fabric store and with the help of the owner picked out some awesome prints! The quality of material at a specialty store is far better than most of what you’d get a JoAnn, but you do pay a premium for it. Since I was making ties, I knew they had to be a soft material and I wanted them to look like a nicer quality as well. Plus when you only need half a yard the price tag doesn’t hurt quite as much. Another thing worth noting is to pay attention to the way that the pattern is laid out. I had bought half a yard of fabric with cassette tapes on it to use for these but when I went to cut it I realized that the cassettes would have been running up and down rather than left to right. Had I got an entire yard of fabric, this could have been remedied. For the fusible interfacing I used Pellon 906F, and basic muslin for the back lining material.
After quickly looking over the tutorial, I thought to myself, ‘I've got this,’ and went straight to work cutting out all of the pieces I needed to make four total ties. After completing all four, I had my boyfriend tie one to see how it looked and discovered that the tie was more of a boys’ size, not an adult male size. I’m wondering if this was perhaps a sizing issue that occurred when printing the pattern. Sometimes when you print a pattern from online, it has a test square that you can measure to make sure that our pattern printed to scale. This pattern did not have that feature, so I think I just assumed that whatever printed was correct. You can see in the photos below that from the front they both looked the same, but from the back the one on the right was significantly shorter. Needless to say, I had to start over on all four of the ties :( super bummed!
Lesson learned, always try a sample of a new project before going all out on it! The second time around, I used one of my boyfriend’s ties to make sure I had the length that I needed. I ended up adding 2” to the “fat” side of the tie and about 7” to the “skinny” side.
Once all of the sizing issues were resolved – this project was a breeze! Even a sewing novice could tackle this one. What I loved most about making these ties is that all of your ‘flaws’ get hidden by the time you have completed your tie. For example, I had some wrinkles in the fabric on the back of the ties that I just couldn’t get out – but you don’t see that part when it’s all done!
The hand sewing portion of the ties was the ‘worst’ part in my opinion, but that’s just because I avoid sewing anything by hand at all costs, hashtag lazy :) Then I (of course) had to make a tie with a t-shirt, because you know t-shirts are my thing – and it turned out fantastic!
This is the perfect addition to the wardrobe of any dapper fella! I could also see this becoming some sort of Father’s Day tradition, where you can make dad a different tie every year. If you decide to take on this project, let me know! I would love to see photos of your completed project. Thanks again to See Kate Sew for the awesome pattern and tutorial!
P.S. I made another t-shirt tie featuring Corona beer that I’m giving away in the 614 Handmade Giveaway on June 6th. Follow along on Instagram now for some great takeovers before the giveaway begins!