What’s inside a necktie?

Let’s find out. 

Starting with this old thing from the Everything $20 bag that I wrote about here

I search-engined “Lilly Daché” before I took this tie apart, to confirm that it’s not, like, secretly Hermés or anything. And indeed it is not secretly Hermés. 


I removed the label and opened the hand stitching, exposing the tater tots fabric, lining, and batting. Everything cut on bias. 


Below is the batting layer by itself. Soft fuzzy flannel. There’s a seam, you can see at the right hand side of the photo. Not even sewn, just overlapped and stuck together by its own flannel fuzziness. 


And here below we have what’s left when the flannel is out:


Well, that answers the question of What’s In A Necktie, so now let’s make a new one:

Lay the old tie-parts onto new fabric, trace out a lining and a new face fabric, re-use the batting…


…and make a new tie.

 Just do all the taking-apart steps, but in reverse. 


the fabric:
Under normal circumstances I wouldn’t make a tie out of stretch cotton, but this isn’t normal circumstances, this is Identity Crush at the Sonoma Laugh Fest. If you want to see this tie and this dress together, on stage, in real life, go there. ***

***Exciting update! You can see the tie and the dress Right! Here! in this photo of Identity Crush as seen in the green room before taking the stage/crushing the Sonoma Laugh Festival woooooooooo! 
Sew It or Throw It:
Sew It.
Ties are a total racket. Minimal fabric requirements, minimal skill requirements, minimal labor time.
A four year old could do it.
Ok that’s not true. A four year old maybe shouldn’t be trusted to find and cut true bias. But a four year old could definitely be trusted with a yard of silk and some fabric paints, which an older person could use to make several ties, and Bam, there’s everyone’s Christmas present or an entire wedding party.
Surprises me that ties don’t show up more often in the DIY wedding world.

You really are paying for the label when you buy a tie.
And I actually Don’t have a problem with that.
If you live in a world where people will recognize your tie and judge you for it —and not just judge on the subconscious costume design level on which we are all judged, but actually recognize the designer and value of your tie and judge— then by all means buy accordingly.
Or have your ties custom made. In the game of luxury one-ups, custom made wins.


12 thoughts on “What’s inside a necktie?

  1. I think ties are only expensive because they’re cut on the bias, but then they’d line up one after the other!!!!
    Looking at your 80’s vintage patterns I do believe I have the two of them, never made by me, but given to me by someone tidying out!? What big hair we had back then???


    1. Big hair, big shoulders…big fun?
      The ties are cut on the bias, which does create wasted fabric, but like you say they line them up to get several in the same width of fabric, plus they probably nest them. *Plus* the tie manufacturers aren’t afraid to cut them in pieces and seam them. The Lilly Daché one I took apart had two seams, which seems like a lot of seams!
      I wonder if they use the cutting fall-out to make matching pocket squares. That would be very satisfying if the cutting worked out that way.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. You’re doing standup? In coordinating outfits? Is there anything you can’t do lady? Ties – so unhygienic that they’re forbidden in a lot of Australian hospitals as potential vehicles of multiple-antibiotic resistant bacteria. But I’m sure the Lilly Dache is clean……


    1. Oh no no no it’s not me doing the Sonoma Laugh Fest! It’s Meghan! I made that dress for her a while back, and then recently she asked if I could make a tie for Jason so that Identity Crush can Crush The Audience’s Hearts with their adorable matching.
      Definitely not me noooooooooooooooo.
      Also, ew, now I’m creeped out by ties forever.


  3. If readers Googled Gentleman Jim tie making, they would be taken step by step through the sewing via you tube. Its long winded but he does eventually get there! There is a trick to get that lovely pointy end I believe and he uses the innards of old ties too! Thanks for this Linda.


      1. Oh dear my apologies Sewitorthowit. I used than name in the comment above mine by mistake. FYI your name is nowhere on your blog at all. The drop down that is normally ‘about’ doesn’t drop down for me in Feedly or when searching via Google for you.


        1. Oh no!!!!!! How silly. You know, I’d been thinking the menu bar icon on this layout is too hard to see, little did I know it’s not even working consistently. Thank you for clueing me in on that, off to fix it now.


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