Tutorial: Sew a necktie in time for Christmas dinner
Not all of us have the luxury of time or patience to hand sew a men’s necktie as per tradition.
By following my tutorial you can whip up a tie to smarten up your husband’s outfit for Christmas dinner or make a gift for someone special while still having time to complete your Christmas party preparations.
In this tutorial I use the Blind Hem stitch to give the effect of hand stitching. The slight zigzag of the stitch also allows the fabric to stretch when one ties a knot, without straining the thread.
I made a slim tie (about 7cm at its widest part when finished) as that is the style my brother likes but there is an option for a wider tie (9.5cm, the standard normal tie) in the pattern provided. The length of the tie is roughly 1.45m (the standard length.)
- Pattern: Christmas Tie pattern
- 70cm x 70cm Fabric for the tie
- 25cm x 40cm Fabric to line the tips of the tie
- Iron-on Vilene/ Fusing (preferably for knits/stretch, refer to Tips below)
- Sewing Machine
- Thread to match your fabric
- Blind Hem stitch (#7)
- Straight stitch foot
- Lay your fabric on your cutting surface.
Fold your fabric in half diagonally with the right side facing out.
The fold line is on the bias, this going to be your grainline.
I would recommend pressing this fold.
- Place your Front pattern piece on the fold and pin in place.
- Place the Back pattern piece next to it.
Measure from the bias fold line to the Centre Line on this pattern piece.
The measurements must be the same all the way along the Centre Line to ensure that the piece is also on the bias.
- Do the same for the Middle pattern piece.
- Cut out the 3 pieces of the tie.
When cutting the Back and Middle pieces, try to not cut through both layers of fabric.
You only need one of each piece. But, remember to cut the Front piece on the fold.
- Cut out the Keeper piece on the straight grain (not on the bias.)
- Now that the pieces are cut out you will notice that the front piece has an ‘M’ shape at the one end, using a ruler cut as indicated.
- With the non-fusable side facing down, cut out your iron-on fusing (refer to Tips below if not using knit iron-on fusing.)
- Use only the 3 Tie pieces, the 2 Lining pieces don’t have to be fused.
Iron on to the wrong side of the tie pieces.
- Out of your lining fabric, cut the Front and Back Lining pieces on the bias.
- Pin the Front to the Middle piece and then the Middle to the Back piece.
The points of the seam should overlap about 1cm at each end.
- Straight stitch with a 1cm seam allowance.
- Press the seams.
- Now we are going to line the tips of the tie. Pin the lining with the corresponding ends of the tie.
The point of the lining will end about 1cm away from the point of the tie.
Sew with a 1cm seam allowance until in line with the lining’s point.
- Fold the extra fabric out of the way when sewing the other edge of the tip.
- Fold the tie in half, sandwiching the lining inside. Sew a line that is perpendicular (90 degrees) the fold.
- Turn the tip right-side out. Use a knitting needle or a pointed pair of scissors to help get a nice point.
- If you haven’t already, repeat steps 14-17 for the other end of the tie.
- Sew up the Keeper with a 1cm seam allowance. Turn it right-side out and press with the seam in the middle.
- Pin the Keeper on the right side of the tie (meaning wrong vs right side of the fabric, it doesn’t matter if the Keeper is on the left or right) between the notches.
- Fold the tie in half (right-side inside) and pin along the entire edge.
- Set your stitch to #7 (the Blind Hem stitch).
Sew with the fabric edge in line with your foot edge. Remember to backstitch at the beginning and end of the seam.
- Turn the entire tie right-side out.
Use whatever technique you know best. Put a safety pin on the end and feed it through or carefully use a knitting needle to help feed the fabric through…
Where the tie is narrow it can be a challenge.
- Give the tie a good press, keeping the seam on the centre.
- Press the Keeper flat and pin in place
- Now for the only bit of hand-stitching. Attach the edges of the Keeper to the tie. Be careful not to go through all the layers of fabric.
- Hand stitch a little tack at each end of the centre seam for that extra special touch. It can help strengthen the seam. I chain-stitched around a little loop.
And there you go! If you cut the tie on the true bias, your tie should hang beautifully! (This one was just tied a bit skew.)
- I used iron-on Vilene/ Fusing for knit/stretch fabric as the tie is cut on the bias and needs to be able to have a bit of stretch. Otherwise get 70cm x 70cm of normal iron-on fusing and cut it on the bias.
- Have fun by using some Christmas pattern fabric as the lining and maybe a solid red or cream as the main tie fabric. You can use any lightweight fabric (Cotton, Satin, Silk…) The fabric combinations are endless.
- You could use this pattern for Father’s Day or birthdays.
- You can make a matching Waistcoat, like that one above, with this pattern hack: Waistcoat Blog Post
Happy Sewing and Merry Christmas!