Here’s something I forgot: Making neckties is horseshit.
If you can imagine, I sewed three neckties as part of Jordan’s Hanukkah gifts this year. I suspect each holiday, he’s now going to get some boxers and some neckties. He’s been wearing these ties for almost two weeks now, but only let me snap a photo last night when he got home. I think his stint as a male model is coming to a close.
I’ve gathered that most men don’t wear ties often anymore. Somehow, 85 percent of the guys I’ve dated wear ties daily. As a lawyer Jordan wears them every day. Even on casual Friday he wears a tie (he’s just like that). He has a bunch from his father (retired attorney) and a few I took from my dad (church going black man). He has more ties than I have shoes. Despite rolling in ties, he asked if I could / knew how to make them. And, oh, do I. Long time readers will remember my irrational anger at sewing ties and breaking up with the gift recipient less than a month later. I figured it was time to break the Boyfriend Sweater/ Boyfriend Neckwear curse.
Instead of the seven-fold ties I did last time, I used Vogue’s three-fold tie pattern with interlining. For interlining, I used drapery interlining from Haberman’s at $7 per yard (and 54 inches wide). Their website said it was a good approximation for tie interfacing (like $25 a yard and 23 inches wide) and it was way way cheaper. Tie interfacing is usually made from wool. This is cotton but has that same light weft look to it. Tie interlining looks to be two layers of the weft.
Ultimately, Jordan thought it felt not as hefty as the wool interlining in his RTW ties. I have since bought a few yards of wool tie interfacing from The Sewing Place to use on my next go round. I also changed the interlining/ interfacing pattern. Vogue 7104 doesn’t have the interlining going all the way to the tip of the tie. All the ties I looked at do. So, I just traced the interlining pattern to mimic the finished tie.
Ties are pretty simple in concept. It’s all bias cut, 1/4 inch seam allowances and nice fabric. Yet, the tie point is a real PITA. I don’t think my tie points (the tip) ever look as good as RTW. I sewed two muslins before I decided these were good enough. The next time I make these, I will follow my own advice for sewing the tips of the tie. The lining and main fabric should be offset to create a good mitre. The Vogue instructions so not account / note that. Another good visual resource for sewing the tie tip is Sam Hober’s site.
I did add a 1/4 inch in width to the pattern as drafted. And, I think I’m going to add another 1/4 for 1/2 inch more total for a 4 inch wide tie vs 3.25. Jordan’s favorite tie from his father is 3.75 inches wide.
I think, like boxers, I should make these a couple times a year so I don’t forget how they go together. It really is a fast project with most of it hand sewing to close it up. That, I could easily do while watching a movie or TV.
Last bit about fabric. I think I’m a total purist when it comes to neckties. I like them made out of a thick silk twill. That fabric can can be really pricey. I’ve been lucky to get bits and pieces here and there. I try to snatch them up whenever I can. Belraff Fabrics has a lot well-priced necktie fabric right now. But, fair warning, most of the prints are of the lighter silk variety (the cream and green print at the top is from them). I’d stick with the preppy striped ones, they are a heavier silk and luscious.
So, why do I say they are horseshit? Just loads of fiddly bits. You just have to be precise, work with small seam allowances, cut silk fabric on the bias, loads of handsewing and work with with fabric that frays easily. Of course, he loves his ties. LOVES them.
If you’re interested in making ties, I would also recommend checking out David Paige Coffin’s download on making ties at home.
Jordan made out like a handsewn bandit this year, didn’t he? He gotten a jacket, boxers, a sweater, workout gear, cummerbund, suit alterations and ties. If this keeps up, I’m going to have to rename my blog “Mister’s Emporium”.