This weekend we attended a church wedding. I know, right? A wedding in a church! Maybe it's because I spend my time with a bunch of hooligans and heathens, but this was actually the first church wedding (or even indoor wedding) I had been to since my own in 2001. And since it was held in fancy schmancy Newport Beach (of The OC fame), I had to dress all of my guys up in formal attire.
Now we's simple folk and we don't really go for them fancy clothes, and I don't like spending big money on clothes I know will only be worn once or twice. So I hit up some consignment shops and overstock stores like Ross and Marshall's and managed to throw together two formal outfits for my kids for under $30. The one thing I couldn't find was a cute tie for Milo to match his hand-me-down navy pinstripe trousers. So I did what any crafty momma would do--found a $3 tie on clearance in the men's section and made a few cuts and and stitches and managed to make a very cute boy's tie.
This is how I done it:
You will need:
A cheap men's tie
piece of elastic cut to the size of the child's collar
needle & thread
sewing machine (optional--all stitching can be done by hand)
Flip it over and remove all of the elements on the back, including labels and the little stitch that holds the back flaps together.
From the widest part of the tie, cut the tie to the desired finished length (you want the full length of the entire tie from the top of the "knot" portion to the tip, not just the length of the "tail" pieces). My tie was about 8" long for a size 18-month outfit.
Place the narrow end of the tie against the back of your cut piece and cut it off to the desired length.
Cut off an additional piece from the narrow end to make your "knot" piece. It should be about 1/2 the length of the first piece you cut. For a fatter knot, cut it longer, for a skinnier knot, cut a bit shorter. The pictured knot piece is 4" long.
To make the knot:
Set a steam iron to the "silk" setting.
Turn the knot piece over so that the back flaps are facing up. Fold the left side towards the center at a slight angle and press flat with the steam iron.
Do the same to the right side. The left and right sides should slightly overlap each other.
When you flip the knot over it should look like the second picture above--a trapezoid that is longer on the top than on the bottom.
Still working from the back, tuck the overhanging pieces down to make a little pocket and press with the iron.
When you flip it over, the finished knot piece should look like the last picture in the series above.
Place the large tail piece right side down and open it up.
Fold the bottom side up and at a slight angle to the desired width of your finished tie. Press with the iron and cut off the excess material in a straight line across the back of the tie.
Flip the tie over, folding the other side under at a matching angle. When the tie is the desired width and the angles are correct, press with the iron.
Flip the tie back over and cut the excess material off in a straight line that slightly overlaps the bottom flap. Make a small stitch by hand, stitching these two flaps together. This small stitch is very important, as it will keep the tie from opening up and falling apart on you!
Place the second, smaller tail piece right-side down onto the larger tail piece (also right-side down). Line the tops of the tail pieces together and either machine or hand stitch them together. Trim the top so that the raw edge is even and straight.
Also, make sure that the small tail piece has a small stitch keeping it's flaps together, too. If it does not, make one small stitch to hold the two flaps together the same way you did with the large tail piece.
Make a dimple in the tail by curving the top as shown above and running a piece of thread through to hold the shape. Tie off the thread.
It should look like this.
Place the knot piece right-side down and open up the top flap. Place the tail pieces right side down and re-close the flap. Hand stitch the top flap to the tails.
Re-fold and re-tuck the knot so that it closes over the tail and hand stitch the back. Make sure your thread goes through the tail and stitches everything together, but doesn't show through the front of the tie.
Run a piece of thread through the bottom of the knot piece and tie a knot in the thread to cinch it together.
It should be pinched like the above picture. Secure with a double knot.
Sew a piece of elastic to the back of your new tie. The elastic piece should be just slightly smaller than the collar of the child's shirt. It should fit just a little bit snugly, but be very careful not to make it too tight! You could also use a piece of matching ribbon that closes with velcro in the back.
Finally, find a super cute baby and put your new tie on him. Now every girl's crazy 'bout a sharp dressed man!
By the way, I think it would be really cute to have a matching tie for Daddy. It would make a great Father's Day gift.
Thanks for looking!