I sewed my first tie today, and for it, I balked all the traditional conventions of tie-making cause they made no sense to me. With my finished product, they still don’t.
I didn’t use silk
- It’s hard to handle, delicate, boring and expensive.
- Slippery I can ignore and manage.
- Delicacy to wash ties properly, I can’t be bothered to care for.
- There’s not nearly enough variety or prints and patterns in silk for my taste.
- Its shininess might be nice, but I’ll take something with more substance in a print than with the shine.
- And for that lack of interesting material, paying the price of silk for it is ridiculous!
I didn’t cut on the bias.
- Supposedly, you do this for the little extra stretch and fluidity.
- Yet, they put interfacing in it to stiffen it up.
- And the thing is supposed to hang straight down from your neck, keeping a stiff shape for many stiff functions you end up attending and having to wear a tie.
- That’s what is called a paradox in English and mathematics.
- It’s also wasteful of a lot of fabric to cut on the bias, even if you made lots of ties from one piece cause you always have that 45 degree isoceles triangle of spare fabrics on both sides that’s hard to use up efficiently.
I didn’t use interfacing
- See statement about paradox above regarding cutting on the bias.
So what DID I do and use?
Just 100% cotton and some serging. Sound crazy? Well, consider these things:
- It’s easy to care for. Machine wash if you need to. Flat ironing job that’s as fast and easy as anything you’ll ever iron.
- It’s got enough structural integrity. Serging all the seams, and serge finishing the edges, helps give it a little more stiffness than just cotton alone. And, of course, it bends around your neck and ties just fine.
- It keeps its shape. Button style stitching, like putting in a button without the button, spaced out like buttons, along the parts not seen when worn, can help the tie keeps its shape when being put on or taken off. The tie part seen retains its shape well, too, though it’s not roughed up that much in tying on or off. I can always insert interfacing through the holes at either end if a material I use in the future is not rigid enough, as long as I do it before putting in those button stitches. I didn’t feel I needed either, though.
- It has a cool pattern. Even if you don’t like it, you can likely find lots more patterns in cotton or on other materials you will like than you will ever find on silk. That includes some other shiny fabrics, with which you may have to use interfacing pending how thin and/or soft it is. You want a tie that starts conversations? This one will! Even if it might be a conversation with someone who doesn’t like it. I’ll take my chances. 🙂
- It’s cheap. Cotton is cheap compared to silk. Even licensed print cotton is cheap compared to silk. And by not cutting on the bias, I was able to use up a strip of left over fabrics I didn’t think I could ever use for much! It’s also cheap to make cause it took me less than an hour of labour on my first one where I had to stop and think about some things!
Overall, it’s a decent product. I wish I had adjusted the pattern to have been a bit wider to start so I could accommodate the full Spock picture and Star Trek letting on the front. I thought I could do a minimalistic enough serged seam to allow for that but I was wrong. In the future, I can alter the pattern a bit to allow for a little more fabric under the tip, and fold a few things a little differently. Origami knowledge definitely will help me here! But the possibilities are endless in being able to make ties, and even wear them in different ways, starting with different knots! I’m going to revolutionize the garment!
The only problem I have is that my current wardrobe look is based on a Mandarin or band collar that doesn’t take ties. That’s because I hated ties, to be honest, for many of the reasons above. My favourite ties have beautiful drawings on them, not like any of that conventional tie crap polluting the fashion industry worse than plastics and greenhouse gases are polluting our planet… combined! However, with what I’m going to do with ties, this tie fighter might yet get converted to a tie guy! 😉
Not bad, but not perfect. Silver rating for this tie.