Friday, October 28, 2016

Men's Ties

I am going to start off saying that I have been collecting men's ties for many years from the thrift store and garage sales. I refuse to pay more than $2 for a tie. I have collected these ties with the idea of making garments, but instead of cutting the ties up, interfacing them and using them as fabric, I wanted to use them in the original tie shape. These have been largely unsuccessful. A couple of years ago, I had a men's tie garment challenge. I went on YouTube and from the video I saw, I created this skirt.
 This skirt is cute, but there were two problems with it. One it is shorter than I would like ( my fault of course) and second the wool interfacing in the ties make the skirt heavy and pretty stiff. So I wanted to come up with a solution that left the ties intact, but softer and more flexible. Also, I want to say upfront that another problem using the men's ties for me is that because they are all different sizes, width wise and length wise, it is difficult to piece them together without getting a curved look, which I do not care for.
 I started out with a skirt that I bought at the thrift store that fit me. I measured how long I wanted the ties to be for the length of my skirt and then I cut off the part of the skirt that I didn't need.
 Now for what I figured out on the ties. After I cut the length of the ties, I realized that I could turn them inside out and expose the wool interfacing. Now you can do that with the whole tie, but it is more difficult. Not impossible but more work. Anyway, what I found was that when I turned the tie, I could machine stitch along the hand stitching row of thread holding the tie together.
 After that you can cut away the interfacing on both sides leaving just a thin line of interfacing under the machine stitching. The nice thing about this is that the thin line of interfacing left, along with the line of machine stitching will keep the tie in it's tie shape with minimum distortion. To be honest, I thought I was totally brilliant when I came up with this procedure.

This shows the narrow end of the tie, turned, stitched and trimmed.After trimming, turn the tie back to the right side. Also let me say, that I have a Fast-turn tool that I used to do this. Now you can do it without the Fast-turn but I love how easy my Fast-turn makes it..
 Now I started to lay and pin my ties together to make the skirt. I pinned them until they started to curve. You can see from the above pictures the gaps in the ties that vary in size.
 I then added a gusset, I guess you would call it, to keep the skirt waist even. The brown in the above picture shows this. I used the narrow ends of the leftover ties for this.This is the front of the skirt.
 This is the back of the skirt and the purple are the gussets. I stitched them in the shape of a V. As you can see it is hard to see the gussets in the top of the skirt unless you really look for them.
 I measured the skirt bottom and made the ties the same size and stitched the two pieces together. To help tie the black of the top skirt to the tie bottom, I used the narrow ends of the leftover ties in sections to applique down on the black top skirt. It might be hard to see, but I tired to match up the narrow end of the tie with the same tie in the bottom of the skirt. I used 19 ties for the bottom of this skirt.
 This is my new tie skirt with a vest that I made several years ago, but only wore once or twice. It was too boring for me. I had only put the ties on the vest back seen below. And prairie points along the lapel edge. This time I put bright ties all down the front, mirroring the back of the vest.
 I am now not bored. I love how it turned out. BTW the original vest came from the thrift store.
 Now here is my skirt with a tie jacket (the jacket came from the thrift store) that I made to go with the first skirt, but I didn't wear it much either. I am very happy with how my skirt goes together with all my other pieces. Now that's my men's tie story and I'm sticking to it.


  1. Maggie, the whole outfit is grand! It so suits you, fits like a charm and is a standout in the design arena. Bravo for taking the time to get results that were pleasing to you, and to the viewers like me as well.

  2. LOVE LOVE LOVE IT! This is you to the MAX. I wish I could see it in person. However, I am very happy you posted it. Have FUN in Houston.

  3. This is another winner! I'm sorry that I won't get to see it in Houston since I'm not going this year. You will be sure to turn many heads.

  4. genius. I have never quite jumped on the tie bandwagon but that skirt with the black top! Awesome. I want one like it. You made the silhouette look perfect for your body. LeeAnna

  5. They're all fabulous, and thanks for telling us how you made it all work out so perfectly. XO

  6. I've said it before and I'll say it again - you are awesome! Love this whole journey with
    Your ties