Friday, February 10, 2012
I have conquered ties!
Yes! After messing with 2 patterns, crawling around on the floor with a roll of unco-operative paper and a few scrapped attempt, I've created a decent tie. Come on, high fives!
I started with the 2 most popular free patterns out there, the one from the Purl Bee and the one from Puking Pastilles and kind of mashed them together. Both have great features but both have some issues. Purl's pattern style didn't work for me, plus it's a little short. With Puking Pastilles' pattern I couldn't get the pieces to fit together properly, they created a weird jog. But as I said both have great aspects to them, so here's my combo meal:
I decided to go with Purl's pattern, modifying it a bit. It's divided into 3 sections, the tie front, middle, and back. I knew from making this before that the tie ends up a little short so I added an extra 4" to the middle portion. This is really easy to do - the middle prints out in 2 pieces that need to be taped together. Just insert the extra length between these 2 pieces. The hubs is 5'11" and this worked out pretty well for him.
I also had problems with my first attempt at getting the grain line right. Their instructions are to fold the fabric on the bias then line the pattern piece up on the fold. I know it sounds easy but with pieces this long and a small cutting table I was all over the place. So I drew out the pattern full size and added the grain line. The easiest way to do this is to draw a line on a big piece of paper. Put the "place on fold" line of the pattern against the line you drew, then trace around it. Flip the pattern over along that center line and trace again. This results in pattern pieces with Ms at the ends, but the Purl post has a good visual on how to trim them. To mark the grain line, draw a line at a 45 degree angle to the center line. When you go to cut your pieces all you need to do is line a ruler up with either the selvedge or the squared off end of the fabric. Line the grain line marking on the pattern up with the ruler and your pattern pieces is good to go.
One of the things I really like about the Puking Pastilles pattern was the idea of machine stitching the lining. I thought their idea of lining the entire tie resulted in too much bulk, though, so I went with Purl's smaller lining pieces that just cover the ends of the tie.
Once the lining is flipped right side out, you really can't tell that it wasn't hand stitched.
To finish the tie I also found it easiest to use the instructions from Puking Pastilles. On one side of the tie, fold over a ¼" seam allowance. On the other fold the side in so that the ¼" seam allowance lines up with the center of the tie.
Fold the other side over so that the folded edge lines up with the center of the tie. Press well then hand sew the seam down. Yeah, I know. I tried to find a way not to hand sew this but unless you want a raw seam down the inside of the tie, there's no getting around it.
Hope that made even some sense!