My dad rarely dresses up enough to wear a tie – mostly only when he’s on a cruise and the dining room dress code requires one. When that happens, he gets a kick out of wearing a (often somewhat silly) tie with something on it that my sister or I enjoy – like a favorite animal. I thought for father’s day/his birthday this year, I’d make him a tie with one of my mom’s favorite animals: hummingbirds. Its surprisingly difficult to find a silky fabric with a hummingbird print (I guess there’s not a huge demand), so I ended up trying out freezer paper stenciling – which I thought turned out pretty well!
I used this pattern/tutorial from the Purl Bee. There’s a free pdf to download for all the pieces, and great pictures and descriptions in the tutorial itself. As great as the tutorial was, there are a few things I’d change if I wanted to make another one.
The tutorial itself had lots of great pictures that explained the processes quite well which I found very useful. There were great descriptions of how to hand sew the linings to the front and back ends of the ties, fold in the front and back ends of the tie and lining to get a nice point, and sew up the back of the tie to get a nice finished look.
I had a couple things I’d change about the pattern itself. While the tie was for my dad, I had my husband try it on before I sent it home to make sure it was OK. My husband isn’t super tall and doesn’t have a particularly large neck, but the tie was still noticeably short on him. This usually wouldn’t be a huge deal – just make the back-side tail really short. However, this pattern had an unusually wide back end, which meant that if you tried making it very short it peeked out from behind the front end of the tie. If I were making the pattern again, I’d add some length to the middle piece of the tie (maybe about 6-10 inches) and narrow the width of the back end of the tie.
The pattern uses a cotton lawn for the main tie fabric, a lightweight fusible interfacing to back the entire main fabric, and then a heavier sew in interfacing to be inserted into the tie (this makes sense if you read the tutorial, I promise). I used what I think of as a more typical tie fabric than cotton lawn – a satin fabric from JoAnn’s. Probably because of this, but maybe due to my fusible interfacing choice, I found that my tie was definitely stiff enough without the heavy weight sew in interfacing – I think adding any additional interfacing would have been too much.
I also used the same fabric as the front of the tie for the liner instead of using a quilter’s muslin because I wanted the silky-shinyness I’m used to in ties. The fabric is much less stiff than cotton, and I had a hard time getting it to lay flat. An helpful thing to remember is that most of the lining is going to be hidden once the sides of the tie are folded in – and the lining is on the back of the tie anyways!
Overall, though, the pattern was helpful in terms of how the pieces of a tie go together (although as mentioned above, if I were making another I’d lengthen the middle section and make the end of the back section narrower). The tutorial was absolutely wonderful as far as techniques, tips, and how to make sure everything came together nicely.
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