Laura from the office has made this lovely tie for her dad. It’s so tricky to find nice homemade gift ideas for the men in our lives and this is the perfect ‘easy sew’. I asked Laura about the project.
“I wanted to make a present for my amazing Dad but am ashamed to say I usually struggle to sew for men. I just don’t know what small items they want or use that I could also conceivably sew! Women are easy, we use a whole host of accessories for hair, bags and clothing that one can make and give as small gifts, but with men I am at a loss. However, I am pleased to say that I can now add the neck tie to my very very small men’s gift repertoire- yay! If you haven’t sewn a tie before I encourage you to give it a go, it is far less complicated than initially thought and they make amazing handmade gifts. If you prefer to see things up close for understanding rather than simply following a pattern, getting a hold of a charity shop tie to use as a reference is great. Having one to deconstruct and really see how it was made inside helped me so much. You can also re-purpose the inside padding from the charity shop tie to use on your own- bonus!
My Dad works in land and home sales so the London Fields print from Liberty’s SS20 ‘From London With Love’ collection is very appropriate with its map design. The print is a collage of the areas where the 2002 Liberty Fabrics design team lived. It was then recoloured and rescaled for the SS20 collection. I have chosen to use the blue C colourway but we also have the warmer pinky colourway, A. Discussing the project with an experienced sewing colleague I was advised that for a tie, Liberty Tana Lawn is a little too lightweight on its own, so I used a lightweight woven interfacing to bulk it up a little bit (thanks for your wisdom Cath!).”
“I started by opening up the charity shop tie and used the outside fabric as my template to cut out the Liberty fabric. I also saved the navy lining from the charity shop tie as it perfectly matched my Liberty fabric- unintentional double bonus! The only downside to a tie is that it must be cut on the bias which leads to a lot of fabric waste but there is also opportunity in that to make a matching handkerchief (which just so happens to be my only other mens sewing gift idea…). I had cut a yard of Liberty but unfortunately the charity shop tie was 10cm longer than I expected so had to make a bias join in the middle of the tie. A lot of ties have a seam at some point along their lengths so this isn’t a disaster and the London Fields print is so busy it becomes almost invisible anyway.”
“The most fiddly part of sewing the tie was aligning the lining and the main fabric at the end point. Unlike usual seams where fabrics must be aligned perfectly edge to edge, the lining had to finish 5mm (this measurement probably differs depending on the pattern you use) away from the edge of the main fabric and this took a few re-pinning attempts to get right. Once the pointed ends have been sewn the linings are attached on both ends and then the padding is inserted, but not secured in place. Re-using the lining from the charity shop tie meant I had handy creases and pin pricks of stitching lines to follow which was a very reassuring guide.”
“The outside fabric is then wrapped around the padding, top seam folded behind to make a clean edge, and then pinned in place. The tab to feed the narrow tie end through is simply a tube inserted into the middle seam, then ironed flat and hand sewn down onto the back of the tie. I then hand sewed the full length of the middle seam shut using a blind stitch, being sure not to catch any of the fabric from the front of the tie with the needle.”
“For very specific sporting team reasons, Dad’s favourite colour combination is blue, white and red so I used red thread to machine embroider ‘DAD’ onto the white reverse of the charity shop’s tag. Finally I re-attached it to the new tie just below the first feed-through loop.
I hope you feel excited to try out sewing your first tie following this, it really is a great simple project. Now to package and send it off in the post- fingers crossed Dad loves it!”
I love the tie in this print – it’s such fun and is a perfect choice for the project. Thank you Laura! We’ve got lots of new collections coming up over the next few weeks and hope to have lots of ‘sewing inspiration’ ideas using these beautiful new prints.