How to: Necktie into bowtie

August 16, 2010 at 8:15 am | Posted in crafts | Leave a comment
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My husband doesn’t like ties.  If he has to wear one he wants it to be a bow tie.  He has to wear one once a week, and was delighted to discover that I could turn his old school ties into bow ties.  It only takes about 20 minutes, and costs nothing since we have a huge bag full of old ties.

First, choose a tie that looks ok turned on its side – some patterns don’t work.  I tried making a 4″ tie – as you can see it was way too big!  I am also including measurement for a child’s tie.

First, clip off the pointed end of the tie.

Measure up from the cut end.  Trim the tie off at 13″ for the adults tie, or 9″ for the child’s tie.

Flip the tie over, and rip the stitching off of the back.  Usually, there are a few heavy stitches at the bottom that will require a seam ripper, and the rest can be pulled out by hand.  Open up the tie completely, and remove the lining.

Trim the lining into a 2 3/4 – 3″ wide piece.  I find it helpful to trim a piece of paper to size to use as my pattern.

Iron the tie flat, and center the strip of lining on the opened tie.

Fold both ends over the lining, and iron flat.  I don’t hem the inside, because no one will ever see it.  You could stitch it together by hand if you wanted to.

Fold the tie in half wrong side out, and stitch the ends together.  I use a zig-zag stitch and go over it twice.

Trim about 3.5″ inches off of the other end of the tie, and hem the ends together to form a tube.

You should now have two tubes.

Turn the large tube inside out, and fold it flat so that the hem lies in the center (where my fingers are in the photo.)

Fold the flattened tube in half, and stitch in the center.  It doesn’t need to be much, 1/2″ will do, but it helps the bow keep its shape.

Flip the bow, and fold the outer edges in so that your tube is shaped like a letter “M”.  Slide the bow into the small tube you made earlier.  Center the tube and fluff the bow until it looks right – it shouldn’t need much help.

Cut a length of the leftover tie to make the neck strap – for my husband (who is a plus size) I made it 25″.  For my son, who is a size 8, I made it 15″.  If you are measuring someone’s neck, make sure to add about 5 inches to account for overlap, and the extra width the shirt’s collar will cause.  I just zig-zagged the edges since no one will see it.  You could also fold it over and hem if you want it to look nicer for your peace of mind.

Slide the neck strap through the back of the bow tie’s loop.  Add velcro to both ends – I used 2″ of industrial grade adhesive velcro.  This will never be washed, and the adhesive is strong.  You could also sew on the velcro if you want it washable for a little boy.  I have been told that silk is a dry clean only fabric – but back before I knew any better I washed most of my husbands ties, and only a few suffered for it.

If you want to make a tie from fabric instead of reusing a tie, just cut out a rectangle that is 13″x 7″ for an adult, or 9″x 5″ for a child.  You will also need to cut interfacing to size, and make an appropriately sized strap.

To wear the bow tie, simply put it around your neck and attach the velcro ends.  The overlap allows it to be easily adjusted for different shirt sizes, or even different wearers.

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