Good, you’re still here! I was a little worried that after yesterday’s post, I’d scared you off. I’m happy that you’re back. Today is a good day. Yesterday I had to take my youngest in for a CT scan. It was hard and scary and I was all worked up in a tizzy over it. It was not a fun experience, but fortunately, all is well. We were able to meet with the neurosurgeon shortly after the scan and his head and brain growth are fine (he was being evaluated for craniosynostosis). That is a big relief. Next month we are taking him to see a developmental specialist, something else that has me all worked up, too. But I know we’ll get through it.
I’m not sharing these things to try and get people to feel sorry for me or to get reinforcement or anything like that. In a way, it helps me to just write it all out. But mainly I just want to put myself out there in a genuine way. Everyone has their own struggles in life and I feel very strongly that we help each other when we share these struggles, not when we put on our prettiest face all the time.
Anyhow, one of the things I LOVE about sewing is that it takes away all my worry and stress while I’m doing it. I remember when I was working on my very first real sewing project. I was actually having anxiety at that time as well, but while I was sewing, I remember having this complete sense of relief from it. And that’s when I knew for sure that I was hooked. Sewing still helps me in that way. It is very therapeutic.
So, after that long introduction, let me skip straight to the point. I give you:
For Easter I made my daughter’s dress, a debacle adventure worthy of its own post. Because I made her a dress, it seemed fitting that I make some ties for the boys as well. This was my first time making ties and, as it turns out, it was fun and easy! Much, much easier than the aforementioned dress.
I looked around a a few tutorials on-line, as well as consulted some patterns and I kind of came up with my own way of doing it. It was simple, required less ironing than some other methods (a big plus in my book) and gave the tie a lining. I have really grown to love lining things. I sometimes loathe doing them. But I always love the way a lining looks.
First, let’s talk about fabric. I chose some cotton fabric because I wanted something with a cute print. I got a 1/2 yard of each print and it was way more than I needed. I also used fusible interfacing for this project as well.
I decided the patterns I had at home weren’t quite satisfactory, so I just made my own. I made a mock-tie with some scrap fabric to get the size just right.
I used my draft as the pattern. Now, when you make ties, you generally cut the fabric on the bias. That means the piece is cut at an angle (see above) instead of straight up and down. Woven fabrics (like cottons) don’t have “give” in them. When you pull on it, it doesn’t really stretch, unless it is cut on the bias. Cutting it on the bias gives it just a tiny bit of stretchiness to it. And, I found, that that stretchiness helps when it comes to the actual tying part. You don’t absolutely have to cut it at an angle, if you have a print that goes up and down (like the frogs). It just makes it easier if it is cut that way.
I cut a piece out for the tie front, a piece for the lining, a piece of interfacing (all these were cut on the bias) and then a piece for the neck loop (that wasn’t cut on the bias).
Just to give you a size reference, my one-year-old’s tie was about 20 inches long, 3.5 inches wide at the bottom, and it tapered to about 2.25 inches wide at the top. The neck strap was about 14 inches by 2.5 inches. That made it pretty loose, which is the only way I can get him to wear a tie. My five-year-old’s tie was about 29 inches long, 5.5 inches wide at the bottom, and about 3.25 inches at the top. His neck strap was about 18 inches by 2.5 inches.
I ironed the interfacing onto the wrong side of the printed fabric.
Then I pinned the lining fabric so that it was on top of the right side of the printed piece (the right sides were together).
Then I sewed along the tips of each end. I just sewed from where it started tapering off on one side to the same place on the other side (I had a little more than a quarter-inch seam).
After I had sewed the ends, I ironed the seams open and trimmed the seams. You really want to make sure the tip is trimmed off so that the point will come out nicely.
This is how it looked at that point.
Next I ironed the raw, long edges of the tie in about a quarter inch.
Then I folded the edges over again so that they met in the middle and I pressed again.
Then, I slip-stitched the two edges together.
And that’s how it looked on the back side.
To make the neck strap, I folded and pressed the raw edges of the short side in.
Then I folded the piece in half lengthwise and pressed
and then opened it up, folded the raw edges so they were both touching in the middle,
and then folded it in half again lengthwise, so that the raw edges were tucked in the center. I then sewed around the edges.
Once the edges were sewn, it was time to put the snaps on! I chose snaps because I have this nifty snap-doer set that I never use and also, I didn’t have any Velcro handy. But you can sew some Velcro on in place of the snap and it will work just as well!
Okay, this next part was probably the most difficult of the entire project: actually tying the tie. I had to enlist my husband for help, and even he struggled. We used this YouTube video to get us started and then went from there. Now, I’m going to explain it the best I can, but you might want to consult the video for help as well. Also, just know that it takes practice to get it just right! There was definitely some angst in our household while figuring this out.
First, take your tie and loop it over the neck strap like you see above. Pull the front of the tie down to get it the length you want. It will be significantly longer on the front end, I think at least 2/3 of the tie was on the one side and only 1/3 was on the other side. Keep the short end of the tie to the right.
Flip the long end of the tie under the neck loop so that it is wrapped completely around it
and bring it down at an angle and off to the right side. You’re looking at the back side of the tie right now.
Your knot will look like this. Loop the long end all the way around the front side of the tie.
Once you’ve wrapped the long end around the front of the tie, bring it back toward the back, flip it up and over the left side of the knot
and then bring it down through the front of the knot
Pull it all the way through by holding onto the long tie piece with one and the neck strap with the other hand. Tighten and adjust the knot to your liking.
And that’s it!
Okay, so remember how I was telling you earlier about cutting your fabric on the bias? Let’s talk about if you don’t do it like that.
I bought this cute froggy fabric for my one year old. There was just something about it that made me smile. But I wanted the frogs to be straight up and down on the tie, not at an angle. So I laid my pattern piece and cut it straight up and down.
And this was the result. The tie turned out just fine, but it was definitely harder to tie and to make the knot look just right. So, just know that you can make a tie without cutting the fabric on the bias, it just makes it trickier at the end.
And there you have it! A sweet little tie for your sweet little man. Or men. My husband kept asking if I was going to make him one, but he was joking. I think.
A tie is just the thing to turn your little man into a dapper gent!
Looking for an actual pattern? Hang in there while I work on it and it will (hopefully) be up soon!
I’m sharing this at a link party over at Make It and Love It! Head on over to see all the great links this week!