Hello lovelies!

It’s Emily from Self Assembly Required here again. I can’t believe it’s March already – this year is flying by so fast!

I’ve got my latest Minerva Crafts make for you today. I’ve kept things relatively simple after the over the top embroidery of my last one with a couple of men’s ties!

Why ties? Mostly because the menfolk in my life need gifts too and I don’t think they’d like a pretty dress…

I chose to make a normal tie (like the kind you wear for work) and a bow tie – for parties!

I found quite a few free tutorials online for both type of ties. I chose to use this one from See Kate Sew - and this one from Sweet Shop Sewing - for the normal tie. Both of them come with a free pattern which you can download via Craftsy as well as instructions on their websites.

I used this fab black and white dogtooth Cotton Sateen Fabric for both ties. I loved the graphic print and I thought the sateen would give a nice weight and feel to the ties.

The regular tie pattern came as two pieces and I made some alterations to it before I got started. Firstly, I made it into 3 parts instead of two to help save fabric. To do this, I made a second cut through the long pattern piece at a 45 degree angle at about the same length as the original short piece. Traditionally I think they usually are made of 3 pieces, plus it saves much more fabric when you’re cutting them out! I also chose to interface the outer layer of the tie as the fabric would have been too thin by itself (I like ties which have a bit of body!). I used a medium weight woven iron on interfacing for this.

I used the same fabric for my lining as well. You don’t need to do that – I just really like this fabric – but a fun Coloured Lining FabricColoured Lining Fabric could be really great if you’re making a plain tie!

I managed to get my seams really well pattern matched! It was a complete fluke as I’m fully aware I didn’t try that hard… Check it out! Can you see the seams? There’s 2 in there!

The trickiest part of this was turning the tie inside out. I wanted to make the tie a little skinnier than the original, so I simply used a slightly bigger seam allowance when stitching it together. Of course this meant that it was a bit harder to then turn it out! It was a little frustrating but worth it in the end!

The bow tie was the same in that I kept making alterations that made my life harder! With the bow tie I wanted to make it adjustable – important because I wasn’t sure of the neck size of the recipient and it kind of spoils the surprise if you’re going round asking everyone what size they are… Luckily Minerva Crafts have the perfect thing to help with that – a Bow Tie Fastener! This provided a way to adjust the back neck of tie using the slider.

My problem now was that the slider was a little narrower than the pattern I had on hand. I ended up trimming it down by a ¼ inch on both sides of the neck band – simple enough to do. To make it work with the slider I opted to increase the length of the band on the pattern by about an inch past the biggest size. And instead of cutting it on the fold as suggested, I cut 4 single pieces. This leant I had a “right and left” side and front and back.

For each side, I stitched them together (after interfacing), trimmed and notched the edge before starting to turn it right side out. It turns out turning things through very skinny tubes is not my forte… It took a while for me to do both sides but I got there! Once they were turned and pressed I could add the fastener. On what would be the right side, I added the slider and the hook and on the left, I added the hook. Very simple to use!

I’ll definitely be making more ties in future – I offered to make matching ones for the bridegroom and groomsmen at a friend’s wedding next year!

Who else thinks I should have made a matching pocket square as well? I do! And I think I might have just enough fabric leftover to do it!