Few men wear ties regularly, but for some reason they seem to be a frequent birthday, Christmas, and Father’s Day gift. A lot have pretty cool prints on them, so it seems sad that all those great silk ties are fated to clutter the closet. This is a great way to turn an old tie into a whole set of stylish accessories for either gender: see the results on our lovely model.
My boyfriend attended an Episcopal high school, but it clearly didn’t do him much good because now he is an artist. Undiciplined free-spirit that he is, he let me have my pick from the ties he hasn’t worn in years.
First you must decide where to cut.
Measure the point of the tie, which will become a purse, against your phone. Put the leading edge of the phone on the blue dotted line. Cut on the white dotted line (note that I left some space for the seam). Make sure that the point–which will become your button hole–can reach the front, where your button will go (as in the picture below):
If you plan to make a more masculine accessory set, the point will become a pencil case. Measure it against a pencil and cut it at the bottom, with a bit of seam allowance.
The small tip will become a bracelet (or a watch strap, if you prefer), so measure it against your wrist. After I cut my tie, it looked like this (ruler for scale)
All of these pieces will need their ragged cut-ends polished up before they can be worn. To do this, cut off a bit of the stiff canvas inside the tie:
Then fold the outsides edges in, like wrapping a present
Sew along the blue lines. On the bottom edge, hem. In the middle, sew the sides together, On the side edges, sew the top flap to the bottom. Finally, cut and sew a button hole on the point, along the white dotted-line (a picture for this later in the post).
Now to attach the strap: hide as many lose edges as possible behind a single leading-edge.
Fold over the leading edge to keep it from fraying, and sew the strap onto the back. You are now done with the purse (or pencil case). Moving on to the bracelet:
Cut a buttonhole along the white line (above). Sew along the middle and hem up the edge (purple lines).
Stitch around the button hole so it doesn’t rip open or fray. If you’ve never done it before, it should look something like this:
Sew on the button (make sure to get it in exactly the right spot!) and your bracelet is finished.
To make your bow tie, take the widest piece of fabric you have left, and open it up to separate out the stiff canvas. The canvas gives shape to the necktie, and it will do the same for your bow or bow tie. Cut the canvas into a rectangle with about the same aspect-ratio as below. It helps to measure it against a store-bought bow tie if you have one lying around. Once you have it cut, sew the silk onto the canvas once more. Make sure that one side looks perfect, including the edges:
The other side can be pretty gnarly, since no one will see it.
Pinch the tie with two pleats, the same as a store-bought bow tie. Sew it into that position, and wrap the center with a spare scrap of the tie or a scrap of matching color.
Finally, mount the tie on a black ribbon or (in my case) a black elastic head-band. This has the added benefit of making the bow work on the head or neck.
The headband is the simplest project of all. Hem the edges–I hemmed them with points, to match the point on the bracelet and purse, but square edges are nice too. Then attach it to a stiff or elastic headband, either with hot-glue or by sewing it down. The set looks fantastic against classy black, and makes for a perfect gift.