All Tied Up

I know women are generally far more interested in accessories than men, which makes it all the more unfair that so many fun men’s accessories exist: cuff links, ties, tie clips…pocket squares, maybe, if you’re the right sort of person (guys, please keep in mind, most people aren’t the right sort of person). Unfortunately, I’m a girl and I don’t get to use ties or cuff links or any of that fun stuff–luckily, Boyfriend does.

Now, I heartily disapprove of Boyfriend’s (and probably most men’s) very small tie selection, and indeed of most ties in general. Tie designers seem to have fallen into the same trap as office supply producers, in that most ties are either boring or (inexplicably) too feminine. Despite the dual lack of and over-creativity in the tie market, lovely ties can still be found in the world, thanks to the spectacular tie pattern the Purl Bee posted for Father’s Day last year. This project is quick, easy, and incredibly fun; the best part is, you (or the tie recipient) get to choose the fabric, ensuring that no one will ever have to settle for a tie splattered with floral prints, boring stripes, or any other bothersome motif.

Non-silk ties are having a moment right now, opening up a lot of easy (and inexpensive) options for making your own ties. I find I actually prefer the more contemporary look of a cotton tie to traditional silk. While I adore wool and flannel ties, some seem more wearable than others–the sawtooth flannel tie pictured below seems perfectly fine for any occasion, while the very rustic striped tie appears to be designed more for hipsters than anyone attending an event actually requiring a tie.

1. Sawtooth Flannel Tie from J. Crew
2. The Hill-Side Stripe Blanket Lining Tie from J. Crew

My latest tie endeavor (pictured below) was made from an especially magnificent plaid cotton from Britex Fabrics in San Francisco. When I first saw this fabric I mistook it for silk, making it the perfect medium for a more conservative tie: traditional looking, but easier to sew than real silk. I previously made two ties using equally beautiful (but less silky) cotton from Lotta Jansdotter’s Echo line, which includes a number of fun prints that are still masculine enough to be guy-approved.

I made a few changes to the original Purl Bee pattern for my ties. First, I made this tie a bit narrower than the pattern calls for–this is easy to do simply by folding the outer edges of your tie an extra 1/4″ inward on each side when you iron. Additionally, I added a small strip of matching fabric to the backside of the tie to hold the back end in place, as seen in the bottom left photo (reference a store bought tie for how wide to make this stripe and where to place it). A major tip for this project: ironing is key. Follow the instructions (the pictures are the most helpful part), and be meticulous about ironing the ends of your tie in order to achieve a perfect–and professional looking–point, and your results will be at least equal to anything you could buy. Details and instructions can be found on the Purl Bee pattern, which you can find by clicking here.
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Comments
2 Responses to “All Tied Up”
  1. 622press says:

    What a great idea! I love the idea of making ties!

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