Posted in sewing

I don’t want to toot my own horn here….

But, as of 22:15, these bloody ties are blessedly done!! Champagne, anyone? Anyone?

I’ve been pinch hitting in our media office this past week while we’re cripplingly short staffed. No time like an economic crisis to remind your bosses of your many talents, eh? So, I’ve had very little time to sew.

Which means I don’t think I’m going to get my MTP dress done. We’re supposed to go by his parents after work tomorrow and again on Thursday. Literally, no time. But, I saved a bundle in this gift.

It took me a long time to finesse these in to the box. Sooo, that’s where they are being photographed from. The ties are beautiful and I’m very proud of them. My friend Andy tried a few one over the weekend and told me they looked and felt as good as an expensive department store tie.

The one thing that is decidedly not RTW is my closing. I had neither the time nor patience to do the invisible slipstitch. In the DPC tie book he suggests using a felling stitch as a closing alternative to beginners — something I learned about at West Coast PR Weekend from Susan Khalje.

I called Marji from Joann Fabric on Sunday when I couldn’t find silk thread (umm, yeah. I saw that in New York City. NOT Parkville, Maryland). She suggested rayon as it would have the same sheen as the silk. Gutterman’s rayon thread was 50 percent off too!

I don’t love my handwork, but it’s barely noticeable and the only people looking at the back will be the ones who don’t believe I made them for him. I would definitely do these again. Just not five at once.

Good grief. I have to wrap this don’t I? CVS better have something fitting 🙂

Posted in sewing

How to sew the point in the tie blade

Good grief! When did Christmas get to be a week away? The plan is to do all my sewing machine work on the ties before the weekend. Saturday will be spent folding and hand sewing. I started this process with my least favorite fabrics. That way, by the time I got to my top fabrics, I would have gotten it all down.

Here’s how I solved my tip problem in the tie blade.

When you go to match your lining up with your facing in the blade section, you want to nestle the fabrics like so

You want to have about a fingers width of distance between the lining and the fashion fabric to create the actual miter. Not right against each other in the fold.

Here’s what it will look like after you sew across the tip of the blade.

You’ll then blunt the edges just like sewing most corners.

When you sew the sides, you’ll stop right where the stitches across the top are. Then, when turned inside out, it will naturally pull the roll of the fashion fabric on to the lining. Below is how it rolled before I even pressed it.

It’s the same process for the skinny part of the tie

Turn it inside out, and you’ll have a perfect point.

And, I solved the thickness issue. Several of you pointed out that I should use a lighter weight fabric for lining. So, I raided the stash for some fun combos.

I’ve got about three of these to this point with two more to go. By Saturday, I should be folding and closing them up at the back with my hand stitches.

** These are abbreviated directions just to show how I made my blade tip

Posted in sewing


After posting yesterday, I met up with some girlfriends to see Caroline or Change at our local theater. Following the show, I took some of the advice from the comments and went to a friends to borrow some of her husband’s $150 ties.

I know they are $150 because three still had price tags on them, including some Zegnas I wasn’t allowed to borrow. I wanted to feel them for stiffness so I could figure out if mine was just too stiff (they are). I then destroyed a tie from a ghost of boyfriends past (I found four ties in my house. I’m not sure what that says).

And, this morning before work, I managed to do this (mine is on the right):

Yep. That’s a pretty proper point, eh?

Ok Mom. I know you may recognize this fabric as material you brought for me from Korea like five years ago to make a slipcover for my old sofa. But, it wasn’t really my style and then you gave me your much nicer old sofa. But, lookit! It’s still going to a good cause.)

This generally solves my first problem of a bad tip (I’ll show how I did it later). But, the material I have is still too thick for the six-fold tie pattern I ordered. I have emailed the tie pattern guy and he said he would send me the seven-fold tie pattern that I meant to order for the cost of shipping.

My last problem is the width. I ordered the 4.25 width vs. 3.75 and it’s looking pretty wide to me. I chose it because I figure he’s got a broad chest and I’ve noticed ties are getting thinner or wider. I’m going to try and figure out how to scale down this pattern a 1/4 inch. I should bring it to work and hold it up against someone.
Or, honestly, I might suck it up and draft a pattern for myself using the DPC directions. Which are excellent and saved my butt on this.
Thanks for the words of wisdom and support!
Posted in sewing

Land of the Sweets

I am so going to be a ballerina for Halloween next year! I went to see the Nutcracker (for the gamillionth time) at our local arts public high school yesterday. It was so good! Even better, there were all these children in the audience watching with rapt attention.

When I got home I started working on my MTP dress since my new Hot Patterns were waiting for me on Friday. The main dress in a grayish purple is cut out, I still need to decide on the contrast and I’m torn. Which do you guys like better?

The first is a pale lavender matte jersey and the other is a poly print.

I wanted the print originally, now I like the solid, or maybe the print. The Cop liked the print. I do too. I think. I’ll figure something out by the end of the week. I saw the Kara Janx version online and got all giddy about the dress!

And, have you gotten a hold of David Page Coffin’s “Custom Making Neckties at Home” ?  I downloaded my copy on Friday and have read it with literal rapt attention.

It shows how to not only make a tie, but make the pattern, discussion of the different fabrics and shapes ties take on. And just the clearest of clear instructions on constructing the tie. Best of all is that there is great historical information sprinkled in and David utilizes a warm and helpful writing voice. It’s also just cool to see actual typewriter font and drawings.

Interested? It’s $8 through PayPal! And, if he releases an updated version in the spring, that $8 will be deductible from the new cost!

So, if you’re interested, you can PayPal your payment to ‘d p coffin at earthlink dot net’ and he’ll send you the easy download. Hand crafted ties make a pretty awesome gift under the tree or next to the menorah (if I do say so myself).

Posted in sewing

What to do, what to do

I don’t consider myself much of a negotiator, but I’m going to need those skills come Thursday night when Trena gets here. Why? Well, we knew we were seeing each other this upcoming weekend so, we did a joint FabricMart order to save on shipping (and she can’t get packages at home).

Here’s the back story. I wanted to make the Cop ties for Christmas. I figure a Saville Row bespoke tie goes for $120. If I make him like five, I’ll be the greatest girlfriend ever. No, seriously, he loves ties and has been harping the last few weeks that he needs to upgrade his wardrobe.

At any rate, I told this to Trena and she said she’d give the silk tie bundle (10 yards for $20!) a go since we could cut it on the bias and make some great bindings, etc. We also decided to each get a button bundle (more on that later). This way, I figured we could mix and match to get the best choice fabrics and we always share our buttons anyway.

Sigh. The fabric came today. Below, are the three bundles we got.

Stripes Assort #1

Stripes Assort #2

One geometric/small print bundle

Above is the bundle I’ve created for myself from the three bundles.

I think I’m going to have to bargain to keep these five. But, I HAVE to keep the plaid. And the purple and white. And the pale blue with stripes. Luckily there are two burgundy with stripes. Darn it. She can have all the rest. Just let me have these five!

Sigh. I’ll let you know Friday what I ended up with.