Saturday, May 18, 2013

Upcycling Neckties to clothes

I have always wanted to make a quilt or a skirt out of old neckties; but, I seem to never have enough of them.  Probably what I will have to do is go to Goodwill and purchase enough to do the above.

Years ago, I did a similar necklace with beads as shown below with bandits.

Necktie Refashion into Necklace

Materials for Necklace:  Old Necktie,   Wooden Beads (8, 1-inch round), and Sewing machine & thread or needle

Start by removing the wide end of the tie. I cut off about 8 inches. Make sure that it's tall enough to fold the pointed flap down over your phone, plus another 1/4 inch for a bottom seam. Set aside.
Take the tie apart and remove the inner lining. Press your tie to remove wrinkles. If your tie is silk, use extra caution, especially if you haven't had practice ironing silk before. It's safest to put a pressing cloth or dishtowel over the tie, then to iron it with steam.
Now we'll cut the tie into a rectangle. Measure the narrowest part of the tie, and then trim off the wider portions to that measurement.
Use narrowest section is 3 inches, so folding the tie in half and cutting 1.5 inches in. This should give you a rectangle with even sides.
With the tie folded in half, trim the ends at an angle to form a point.
Fold the tie in half lengthwise, with right sides together. Sew one short end shut, and sew the long side with a 1/4 inch seam. I found it's easiest to leave a 3 inch hole for turning in the MIDDLE of the long side. Because it's a narrow tube, this makes turning right side out much easier. Leave the other short end open so you can insert the beads.
Turn right side out through the middle hole. Then sew the hole shut with a 1/8 inch topstitch. If you're hand sewing, use a blind stitch or ladder stitch.
Make a knot in the tie, about 10 inches from the sewn end. This will keep your beads in place.
Now it's time to add the beads. I'm using 8 1-inch wooden beads. They cost about $1 per package, but you can experiment and buy whatever is on sale at your craft store, because they won't show.
Insert a bead in the tube, and slide it down to the knot. Tie a knot to keep the bead in place, and continue adding beads. Try to keep the front free of seams.
Stop when you have about 10 inches of tie left after the last knot. Fold in the raw edges of the tie and topstitch with a 1/8 inch seam. To wear, tie a loose knot at the back of your neck.

Necktie Wallet

Materials:  Old Necktie, Snap, Ribbon (5 inches), and   Sewing machine & thread or needle

Now it's time to put the other portion of our tie to good use. This little wallet features a ribbon loop so you can attach it to your keychain.
Begin by ironing the tie. Protect it with a cloth and use steam.
Trim the bottom edge so that it's straight. Fold tie tie right sides together, and sew along the short side with a 1/4 inch seam. Rotate the fabric so that the seam is now in the middle.
Next sew along the bottom. Use a zig-zag stitch to encase the raw edge. If you're hand-sewing, use a blanket stitch to minimize fraying. Turn right side out.
Now we'll add a snap. Hand sew one piece on the interior of the point. Sew the other snap piece where the fabrics meet. Make sure that when you fold the flap down, the two pieces match up.
Finally, we'll add the ribbon loop. Cut 5 inches of ribbon and fold in half to make a loop. You can save yourself step 6 by folding this ribbon loop in half lengthwise, making it very skinny. Place in the left corner of your wallet. Sew in place with a zig-zag stitch.
Because I didn't think to fold my ribbon in half lengthwise before sewing, I'm doing it now, but sewing a couple of stitches to pinch the ribbon together. This makes the wallet close more securely.

If you'd like, you can add a lanyard hook to make it easier to take the wallet on and off your keychain.

Tie Notebook and Pen Holder

Materials:  two ties, a 3cm (1.5") piece of sew-in Velcro, sewing machine, needle and thread!

First take your two ties:
Now you need to cut them, measuring 20cm (8") down, from the widest part of the tie:
Then unpick any labels and the stitching down the centre and open both ties up like this:

Then cut the central white padding part 1cm (0.5") in from the edge, then turn the edge over and pin, then stitch down. Now lay the ties down as you want the finished folder to be – the front part will be the tie on the left.  Hold the edges next to each other together like this:

Then put the ties flat, with right sides together and pin and stitch them together along the fold:
Now you need to take the remaining part of the tie you are using for the back of the folder – to make the ‘tie’ at the front.
Turn the tie over, and snip the back part a little longer than the front.

Tuck the end into the front, and secure with a needle and thread.
Now, slip your mini ‘tie’ over the folder you just made, with the front part sitting as you want it when finished.

Turn the folder over, and pin it in place at the back.
Then open the folder out, and repin, making sure you’re only pinning through one layer of the folder tie.  You need to cut the strap, a little past the front part of the folder like this.


Then take one side of your Velcro, and pin to the back of your strap, folding the raw edge under it.
Now turn the folder back over and close it with the mini tie at the front. 
Cut around 3.5cm (1.5") past the edge.

Then fold the raw edge under and pin the other half of the Velcro to it, then stitch in place where you have the 3 pins
(2 on the Velcro, and 1 on the tie strap at the back of the folder) Open the folder up looking at the inside.  Pin the bottom edges closed and the back part of the folder up the centre. Now machine stitch where you have the pins and then two more lines on either side of the centre of the back of the folder to make your pencil slots.
The last part is to hand stitch the opening on the front folder closed.  It’s important to hand and not machine stitch this, as you need to be able to slip your notebook in here, so DON’T stitch it to the front of the tie!

Then a little of the top fabric, then pull the thread through and repeat as you stitch up the seam.
Now add your pencils/pens and notebook!

Share your ideas on this or anything here on the blog either here or e-mail me at  I look forward to hearing from you!

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