Has a beloved friend, brother, husband, or father gifted you with their tie collection?
Maybe you’ve been in possession of quite a few ties for some time now.
Some, might have a very special memory attached to them, such as the tie your loved one wore on a memorable day like a family member’s wedding or maybe they have collected novelty ties since they were young!
Whatever the style, pattern, or length, to you or someone dear to you, they are a treasured keepsake that takes them on a journey down memory lane.
So, you have the ties, a lot of them. Now you just need a way to preserve them and the unique memories attached to each one respectively.
The dusty box under the bed or the tie rack behind the winter coats in the closet just isn’t going to cut it anymore.
Today, here on the blog, we hope to provide you with a simple written tutorial for how to use your abundance of neck ties in a project that will preserve memories from your life or a loved one’s, for generations to come.
A quick tip before we get started. When choosing your ties, the pattern, style, length and width do not matter. The only ties we suggest not using are wool ties.
To prep your ties for the project, we recommend washing them.
Properly washed and dried ties will make seam ripping and sewing a much easier task, not to mention that a clean tie will preserve and look a lot better in your finished project.
When washing your ties, first sort by like-colors.
Red and even blue ties carry the very high risk of bleeding during washing with other colors so better be safe than sorry and sort your ties accordingly.
Do not wash your ties in the washing machine and do not cut the seams on your tie before washing.
We recommend you wash your ties in the sink or a pail with cool water, using a mild soap like a soap you would use to wash a quilt.
Simply get your water sudsy and gently move ties around in the soapy water.
Finally, rinse them well with cool water and lay them flat on a towel to dry.
Now let’s begin!
Most, if not all of your ties probably have a label on the back, some of the labels are sewn and others, are simply tacked on. Either way, a seam ripper will come in very handy here, as you use it to carefully remove the label.
Next, midway up, towards the bottom of your tie, you might see another tack, carefully split that as well.
A little further up the tie, you might have to fold open the two sides of your tie to find it, there is probably a single string.
Gently pull that string and keep pulling until the entire string is in your hand and you now have an open tie!
Another note here, some ties are tacked more than others and to easily pull that thread like we just talked about, some ties require you to cut a few more tacks.
Now, remove the inside stabilizing piece.
There may be a few more tiny tacks towards the top of your tie that are binding the stabilizing piece to the tie, so you must carefully remove those before you move on.
I hope you haven’t put your seam ripper away quite yet, because we still have a couple more seams to rip with it!
At the top and bottom of your tie, if you have the backside face up, you should see what looks like a pocket.
Turn that pocket inside out and gently rip out the serger stitch that is holding the pocket in place on either side of the tie.
On most ties, by simply cutting the serger stitch, you can now pull gently and like the single thread from earlier, the rest will unravel.
So gently pull to see if the pocket will pull out but if not, you may have to do a little extra tedious work here with your seam ripper to remove the pocket.
Before you move on to cutting your blocks, carefully go over the full length of your tie to ensure that all seams have been ripped because the next step is to press your tie.
Having a well pressed tie is going to make the next part of your project not only look nicer but so much easier to work with when creating your blocks!
Make sure to press the tie carefully, not too hard to avoid stretching but press it well so that all of the folds are lying flat.
We recommend a using a wool pressing mat for this step so you can achieve the perfect, wrinkle-less iron you need to make your project come together neatly and wrinkle free!
Finally, the last thing you need to do before you cut pieces for your blocks is lining your tie with a knit fusible interfacing.
We recommend using a knit interfacing since a knit interfacing is most similar to the type of material ties are made out of but a bonded interfacing will work as well.
The concept for using interfacing here is the same as if you were making a t-shirt quilt, stabilizing your tie or t-shirt is a critical step to ensure your block is strong and stable.
We would love to hear your ideas for projects YOU have made from your tie collection. Let us know in the comments about your favorite project and don’t forget to subscribe here on the blog, we have a lot more fun and engaging content coming your way soon!