Ties! Spoonflower and Purl Soho

I wanted to make a tie as a gift suitable for a corporate setting that had a sneaky personality in the lining. Scouting out my recipient’s existing tie collection showed only conservative patterns and colours. BORING.

I’d already enlisted help to get photos of his children’s artwork, which I had printed on Spoonflower’s Cotton Poplin Ultra. I only needed a test swatch size (US$3), score. I used a free editing tool called Paint.NET to fit the pictures on an 8×8 inch square, aligned on the diagonal to fit the pattern.



The hitch. I could not find any tie-suitable silk in a plain-ish pattern AND colour that would ship to Australia with enough time to actually make the thing. Hack solution- I bought a ready-to-wear tie and dismantled it. I was going to leave the ‘spine’ done up, but I thought the stitches looked poorly done, so I just took the whole thing apart. I hand stitched the new artwork lining in, sewed up the spine and added my label. Ta da!

I think it looks great, business at the front and kid’s party at the back.


Business at the front, party at the back.

My other foray into ties used Purl Soho’s Father’s Day Tie pattern. I wanted to use up what was left of my Liberty cotton lawn from my Fifi Pyjamas and thought a tie out the fabric would be tre cool.

I had just enough with judicious pattern placement, to get everything on the bias. Instead of going to the copy shop I traced the pattern pieces from the computer screen, which undoubtedly led to some small misalignment nothing major but in a tie, small asymmetry is very obvious. Luckily, all the hand-sewing means you can recalibrate a lot of this without much bother. I used a plain black cotton for the lining, which is sewn in by hand, and then the two edges are folded over and joined together using a ladder stitch.


Rhubarb and Co approve

The heavy-weight sew-in interfacing I found seemed comically thick once I put in the tie, so I just left it out and the sponginess of the tie seems comparable to ready-to-wear ones. The best part of the pattern is the instructions, clear pictures and easy to follow. The pattern itself is a little fat for my taste, maybe this is an American fashion? There’s also no strip of fabric to tuck the back tie strand into, if that’s important to you. Named also has a free tie pattern that comes in a narrow and regular width and a blog post to accompany it.

While the sewing of ties is not difficult, it does require precision. And quite a bit of patience with all that hand sewing. It also requires a lot more ironing than I’m generally OK with.


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