1 How to Make a Necktie Skirt C a Somewhat Different Approach My

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					How to Make a Necktie Skirt – a Somewhat Different Approach

My 13-year old daughter was watching the fashion design show “Project Runway” and
saw that a couple of the contestants had made various garments out of neckties. She
liked the idea of a necktie skirt so we set about the task of collecting as many colorful
neckties as possible so we’d have lots to choose from. The end result was quite
beautiful, so I thought I’d write a tutorial and share this idea.

I have recently searched online and found a number of necktie skirt tutorials, but none
of them used the same method I used. The main difference is that I disassembled the
ties before reassembling them into a skirt – as well, I added a simple lining. Other
tutorials I have found left the ties intact before stitching them together. The two methods
produce an altogether different look.




         My skirts use the “opened tie” method – the result is a soft draped look




               This skirt uses the “closed tie” method. Also quite beautiful!
                                 photo courtesy of Laura K.
       http://rickrackruby.blogspot.com/2004_10_01_rickrackruby_archive.html)


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If you don’t already have a good collection of neckties, try garage sales, flea markets
and thrift shops. Another useful source is freecycle.org, where you can join a group that
freely exchanges used items, rather than clogging up landfills (I strongly recommend
this – it is not only environmentally friendly, but also just plain friendly).

The following directions assume a good knowledge of sewing

What you’ll need:
  • About 6-12 neckties, of varying colors and patterns
  • 7-inch or 9-inch skirt zipper
  • Hook and eye, button, or snap
  • 1/2-inch or 3/4-inch wide elastic (optional)
  • A few yards of lining fabric
  • Thread, pins, sewing machine, etc.

Start by choosing the neckties you want to use – lay them side-by-side and see what
colors and arrangements you find most pleasing. Try to choose ties of similar weight
and texture, so that the skirt will drape evenly.

If you’re making a short skirt, you will need fewer ties – I used 6 for the short version, 12
for the long.

Neckties are usually basted together at the back seam with a loose stitch of heavy
thread. This is really easy to pull out. Be careful, however, when pulling out the secure
stitching at each end of the tie – use a fine thread scissor or a seam ripper so you won’t
mar the fabric – those beautiful silk ties are often very delicate. You’ll need to remove
the stiff tie inserts, but you might want to save them for another project.

Once all the ties are opened out, press them flat, using a bit of steam and as low an
ironing temperature as possible, especially for the silk ties.

Decide what skirt length you want, and cut the ties, plus about 3 extra inches for safety
– you’ll trim them later. Use the wide ends for the skirt, but save the thin ends because
one or two will be used later for the waistband.

The bottoms of the ties will be nicely lined – keep that lining intact, because that will be
your finished hem.




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Begin stitching the ties to each other along the seam line (see above figure) with right
sides together, making about a 1/2” or 5/8” seam (narrower, by necessity, along the
finished edge at bottom).

Just keep adding ties and check the fit by wrapping it around your waist, until you have
a good fit, slightly bigger than your waist. (As the ties do taper toward your the top edge
of the skirt, a longer skirt will require more ties, as mentioned earlier.)

Leave the last seam open – you’ll need to trim the top before finishing this seam. Lay
the skirt out flat and steam press the seams to one side, all in the same direction, or
press them all open, whichever you prefer.

To get the skirt nice and even all around, use a tape measure or long ruler to measure
an even length and some chalk or straight pins to mark it before cutting, then carefully
trim the tops of the neckties.




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Once the top of the skirt is evenly trimmed, stitch up the final seam, leaving a 7-9”
opening at the top to allow for the zipper

Making a lining for the skirt is optional, but I do recommend it. With all those seams, the
lining makes the skirt more comfortable and it will look more finished and less
translucent.




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For the lining, cut two pieces of fabric (light weight rayon, acetate nylon or similar) in a
shape as shown above, wider at the bottom. The top edge of each piece should be 1/2
your waist measurement plus about 3 inches for gathering and to allow for seams. The
length should be less than the length of the outer skirt, so that the bottom, when
hemmed, falls well above the points of the ties (as shown below). Hem the lining with a
small rolled hem.




Machine-baste the top edge of the outer skirt and the top edge of the lining (separately).
With wrong sides together and matching up zipper openings, stitch the top edge of the
outer skirt to the top edge of the lining, gathering to fit if they don’t match exactly (use
the machine basting to pull the gathers).




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Attach the zipper to the outer skirt (following any basic method you would use for adding
a zipper, e.g. the package directions). Press the edges of the open part of the lining
over the zipper and hand or machine stitch to back side of zipper.




Now you’re ready to make the waistband. Get an exact measurement of your waist. If
you want the skirt to fall a bit below the waist, measure there instead. Using one of the
leftover tie ends, cut a piece about 2 inches wide and the length that matches your waist
measurement plus an additional 2 inches. If one of the tie ends is not long enough,
stitch two together – this makes for a more colorful waistband.




Press under 1/4 inch along one long edge of waistband. With right sides together, stitch
the other long edge of the waistband to the top edge of the skirt (1/4 inch seam), leaving
the zipper open and allowing the extra inch of waistband to extend past each end at the
zipper opening. Gather top edge of skirt as needed to fit the waistband.




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Fold the waistband in half lengthwise (unfolding the pressed edge), right sides together,
and stitch the ends with 1/4 inch seam, as shown below.




Turn the waistband right sides out and fold the pressed edge under again. Then stitch
the waistband closed, staying close to the edge, and leave a small opening at both ends
for the optional elastic to be snaked in.




Sew a hook and eye, a snap, or a button and button hole to the ends of the waistband
to close it. Try it on once more to decide if you want to add the elastic. I like elastic
because the soft fabric of the waistband can tend to stretch a bit while you wear it and
the elastic keeps it in shape.

Cut a length of elastic a bit smaller than your waist measurement and snake it into the
waistband with a safety pin. Remove the safety pin and stitch the elastic to the
waistband with a neat line of stitching across each end, then stitch up the opening.




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When the skirt is all finished, steam press it and wear it with pride! And send me
photos!!

P.S. You’ll need to dry clean this skirt - I use a home dry cleaning product called Dryel,
available at most U.S. supermarkets.




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