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Molly's Sketchbook: Father's Day Tie

As you may remember we posted a Little Boy's Tie around Easter and it got a great response. Many of you were interested in making a larger version and what better occasion to do so than Father's Day which is on June 21st this year!

When I was growing up my dad wore a tie almost every day. But not the kind of ties you might expect. As an example; he had one, handmade by my mom, with flying eyeballs embroidered all over it. So when we decided to do a man's tie for Father's Day I knew I had to make it special, and not boring for my dad.

Liberty of London Tana Lawn seemed like the perfect fabric for the job. In addition to all of its amazing prints the Tana Lawn has a silk like feel that is perfect for a tie. But when I went to pick out the prints to use I couldn't decide which ones seemed manly but not dull so I enlisted my dad's help. He helped to pick out the three prints.

I think the end product is a perfect Father's Day present. It's so easy and fun to make that you might find yourself making one for all the men in your life, and then maybe making one for yourself. This is also a great present for recent grads who might need a tie for job hunting. And it could certainly come in handy if you're planning a wedding as well.

Perhaps, now that I've mastered the basic shape, I will embroider some flying eyeballs on them but that might be a bit much? Happy Father's Day!-- Molly


The Materials

To make one 55 1/2-inch long by 3-inch wide (at it's widest point) tie. (You could actually make two if you cut carefully. If you're planning on making more than two there is no need to get more interfacing- the amount of interfacing should suffice for at least four ties.):


Please note that this tie is slightly shorter than a standard 57-inch long tie. To make it longer you can add the desired additional length between the M1 and M2 neck pieces, and the Interfacing pieces #14 and #15 before you tape the pattern together.

Cut out the Front, Back and Middle Pieces on the bias. Below is an easy, fool proof method of cutting on the bias (but please keep in mind that your pattern shape will be slightly different than the one in the pictures below.)

Cut the 27-inch x 54-inch piece of Tana Lawn in half length-wise to create two 27-inch squares.

Take one of these squares and fold it in half diagonally as shown above and press it. This diagonal line is the bias fold.

Pin the pattern piece down to the fabric matching the side of the pattern that says "fold" to the fold of the fabric. Cut out your piece.

After you have cut out your front, middle and back pieces unfold them. The front and middle pieces will have two points, like an M shape on one end, while the middle piece will have this M shape at both ends.

You will need to cut these points in a specific way. Start with the front piece. Place it right side facing up. You will be cutting off the right hand point. Place a ruler along the inside edge of the left hand point and across the right side of the piece, extending the angle of the left point, as shown above.

Cut off the right hand point along this angle. You will have a roughly 45-degree angled edge that points to the left.

In this same manner cut the other two pieces with the following orientations. (It is very important that the points face in the correct direction.):

  • For the middle piece cut the first end with the point facing to the left. Then rotate the piece 180-degrees and cut the other end so the point is pointing to the right. You will end up with a trapezoid shape as pictured above on the far left.
  • For the end piece cut the M shaped end so the point is pointing to the right as pictured above on the far right.

Then cut out the Tie Interfacing piece from the heavy sew in interfacing and the front and back lining pieces from the muslin. All together here are the piece you will have:

  • 1- Tana Lawn Tie Front
  • 1- Tana Lawn Tie Middle
  • 1- Tana Lawn Tie End
  • 1- Tie Interfacing Piece
  • 1- Front Tie Lining
  • 1- Back Tie Lining

Sewing the Front, Middle and Back

Iron the middle crease out of the front back and middle pieces. Place them wrong side up and close together, but not overlapping, on the ironing board. Lay the light weight fusible interfacing right side up (fusible side down) on top of the pieces. Set your iron to the synthetic setting and iron the interfacing to the fabric. You will probably iron the interfacing on to your ironing board too at this point but it's easy to peel it off and you can use a press cloth if you're worried about damaging your ironing board cover.

Cut the interfacing around the front, middle, and back pieces. The pieces will now be much stiffer.

Using a water soluble pen or a regular pencil draw a line 1/4-inch in from each of the angled edges of all three pieces. Mark it on both the front of the piece and the back. Orient your pieces as shown above: the front piece at the bottom, the middle piece with its points facing to the right and the back piece at the top with its point facing down and to the left.

With the right sides together match up the marked lines ad pin the pieces together as shown above. This marked line will be your sew line.

Sew across both marked lines and then press the tie flat. You can trim the edges a bit if it didn't line up perfectly.

Adding the Front and Back Lining

Iron the tie and both lining pieces in half lengthwise to get a crease. This will help to line everything up properly.

From the Front Tie Lining, fold the bottom tip up 1/4-inch and press it.

Fold the bottom sides of the lining in 1/4-inch each and press them into place. This will form a neat point at the bottom angle of the lining.

Repeat this step for the Back Lining.

Fold the bottom edges of the Front tie in 1/4 and press them into place.

Fold the tip up 1/4-inch press it, and then fold in the sides to a neat point and press it again, as you did above with the lining pieces.

Repeat this step for the back of the tie.

Place the Front Lining on top of the Front Tie end, wrong sides together. Make sure that the lining is contained within the borders of the end of the tie as shown above. It should be a little bit smaller than the tie end.

Pin the Lining in place

Sew the folded edges of the lining onto the tie end with a slip stitch. Sew only through the folded layer of the Tana Lawn and interfacing- Do not sew though to the front of the tie. This is very similar to sewing on the binding of a quilt.

Please click here if you need a more in depth explanation of slip stitch.

It's not necessary to sew the top of the lining, it will get enclosed within in the shaping of the tie.

Repeat the same steps to sew on the Back Lining.

Shaping the Tie

Fold in edges of the long sides 1/4-inch and press into place.

Fold again 1/4-inch and press.

Fold both edges in so they meet at the crease in the center of the tie and press.

Open up the sides and slip your interfacing in as pictured above. It should fit snugly inside the tie. You may have to trim it slightly to get it to fit.

Now it's time to close up the tie. Refold the edges, press them again and pin into place.

Sew Tie

The inside seam of your tie will be sewn by hand.

Please Note: I used red thread for the following steps, but only so the technique would be more visible. At home you should use thread that matches your fabric.

Tack the point where the two edges meet a few times before you start your seam.

The tie is sewn up with a different type of slip stitch than was used for sewing the lining:

  • Start from the tack run your needle through the fold on the left side and come out about 1/2-inch above.
  • Insert your needle directly across from where you came out into the right side and slide it up though the fold for a 1/2-inch.
  • Then enter the left side directly across from where you exited the right side.
  • Repeat

Once you do this a few times you will have a little ladder of stitches as shown above.

  • Pull the stitches taut and they will almost disappear.

  • When you get to the end of your length of thread take a couple of tacking stitches but this time sew though the interfacing as well, while making sure not to sew though to the front of the tie, which will hold the interfacing in place.

Sew the entire inside seam of the tie in this way.

Once you're done, press the tie thoroughly to get rid of the middle seam and you'll be finished! Enjoy! --Molly

Reader Comments (130)

This is so cute! I love it.
May 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJessica
My husband loves skinny ties and it's so hard to find them - now I can make him as many as he needs! Thanks for the info on how to modify the pattern.
May 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTonya
I have made many ties (one husband; two boys!), and I have always used the Vogue men's tie pattern, but your tutorial explains the blind stitching so much more fabulously! I find my hand-made ties turn out much nicer if I use the special interfacing made just for ties.
May 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBunny
thank you so much. i started a tie for my father for christmas and it's still not finished (yikes). I am using a mccall's pattern, but the execution of it is resulting in a very unattractive tie. i am going to be ripping some seams tonight and following this way of assembling it instead.
May 21, 2009 | Unregistered Commenternell
Your pictures and instructions are inspiring and easy to follow. Can't wait to make this tie!
May 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLiz
I love this! And it may just be the fun thing I need to make Father's Day well, Fun!
May 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBeachMama
These are so great! The fabric choices are wonderful. I can't wait to try this!
May 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCerise
Thank you!!! This is great!!!
May 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterStephanie
The instructions are great - but those patterns ... I pity the father!
May 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDavy
Hello Davy-

I just gave one of these to my dad and he loves it! But if these bold prints aren't for you (or your dad) we carry lots of more conservative options:

A subtle yarn dyed Japanese fabric:

Pinstripes (on sale!):

A chambray:

Or even just a plain solid:

Thanks- Molly
May 25, 2009 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hello All-

Just wanted to let you know that the pattern has been corrected and should be mistake free now. If you downloaded this pattern before May 26th, 2009 you should re-download as the earlier version has some mistakes. Thank you all for your understanding!

- Molly
May 26, 2009 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
If we use a 44 wide fabric, how much should we order? Thanks for the great pattern.
May 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMillissa G
This is such a fantastic idea - and I think your choice of fabrics is perfect, both in feel and look. That's the bit that would have completely foxed me! Thank you for a fantastic tutorial. x
May 30, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterFlorence
I adore these ties! But when I worked in a fabric store and a professional tailor spoke about making ties, he said one should never press a man's tie that is cut on the bias. Rather steam lightly, and/or insert a piece of cardboard within the crease and then steam.

However-- The pressing doesn't seem to have hurt these beauties!
June 1, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDeb
Thank you so much for doing this!! My 14 year old son is graduating from Middle School next week and wants a 'cool tie' and by gosh, now he will have a one of a kind!!
June 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer
I really like your how to. I was wondering if I could translate it in French and add it to my list of how to as explained in my french post (
Of course, your website would be quoted and there would be a link!
Thank you,
June 8, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterperrine
Help! My Tie front piece does not match the middle piece by about an inch. Should I center it and trim down both sides? Do I trim down the entire middle and back? Or start with a new front piece? It looks to me the pattern piece is smaller.
June 16, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTracy
hi! i am attempting to make this tie for my husband for father's day. i have 3/4 yard of 44 inch fabric but i am having a very difficult time figuring out how to be able to cut everything on the bias fold! is it possible? or did i need to buy more fabric? i was hoping to be able to get a baby tie out of this amount of fabric as well.

if you could help, i would so appreciate it! i am just really confused! (ps thank you so much for the pattern/instructions...they are wonderful...i am just not great at using patterns!).
June 16, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterkami
Hi Tracy-
You are right that they aren't matching up quite right- I'm so sorry for the inconvenience.

I think the easiest thing to do would be to center and trim the middle piece. Honestly the middle piece could stand to be a bit thinner over all so it might actually improve the tie. Thanks for pointing this out. I will work on getting it corrected.

- Molly
June 16, 2009 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi Kami-
The fabric I used for this project is 54-inches wide which makes two 27-inch by 27-inch squares to cut from. However, I believe that you could do this with 45-inch wide fabric as well (I'm not sure you'll have enough for the boys tie too but you might). After you cut your first longest piece along the bias fold (as shown in the cutting picture above) just fold your remaining fabric on the bias again and cut from that. Please let us know if you need any more help and thanks for your question.

- Molly
June 16, 2009 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
This tie looks fabulous, and I can't wait to make it! However, I can't seem to find the right type of interfacing anywhere. I already had the lightweight fusible, but I can't find the heavyweight sew-in interfacing. Could you please tell me what brand you used? Thank you!
June 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterEmily

Thanks so much! I have almost finished the "big boy" tie and your instructions about cutting on the bias helped me so much! I'll see if I can get a baby boy tie out of it as well, but I'm not sure there's enough.

Anyways, thanks again for this tutorial. It was easy to follow and well explained! I'll leave a link with a picture of my finished tie soon.
June 17, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterkami
Hi Emily-
You could use the Pelltex Fusible Stabilizer available here:

...but just tread it as if it was not fusible. You could also just use your lightweight interfacing in the same manner. The tie will be a bit more lightweight but still very nice.

Thanks so much for your question- Molly
June 19, 2009 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Great tutorial!
June 29, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterpascale
Should I prewash/shrink the interfacing as well as the fabric?
July 22, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBrandy
Hi Brandy,
No, there is no need to do that, it won't shrink or change shape when you wash it.
July 22, 2009 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi Molly,
Thanks so much for a great tutorial! I used it to make matching father and son ties for my son and husband and they came out great! The pattern was easy and the directions were easy to follow even for a beginner like me! Thanks again!
October 24, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterbev
I am using 45" fabric, but when I fold on the bias it's not long enough for the tie front. Should I make it in two pieces?
November 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBonnie
Wow! That is a great tutorial! Thanks for all the work that you put into posting this. I'm a big fan of ties and you do a really great job.
December 1, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRob
Just completed the tie. Didn't trust myself to get it done in time for Christmas but took me just about 3 hours. The pattern was well written and easy to follow.
December 22, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterClaire
I finished the tie, not quite in time for Dec. 25th, but in time for holiday drinks with a few friends who get these nifty ties. You can see my version on my site at
December 30, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterdanette
re: the Ties

One thing that bothered me about the finished tie was the weight. Today I bought real tie interfacing which is more like a canvas and I think that should do the trick. I'll let you know how it turns out.
December 31, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterdanette
This pattern was super fun to make. One thing I didn't understand and changed was cutting the M point at about a 45 degree angle. I didn't have a ruler as shown so maybe that was the problem that I was doing a wrong angle. After a couple of tries I found it easier to just make straight seams not angles.

Anyhow......Wonderful pattern I've always wanted to make a men's tie thanks for the inspiration and motavation to do it! My first one came out really great...I think :)
March 16, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterhazelhoney
Lovely patterns to those ties you made!!!
And thanks for the tutorial filled with photos!

I just printed the pattern out, and assembled the pieces together.
I laid the interfacing pattern on the 1.5 yd interfacing, and it does not seem to be enough. Can you let me know what I might be doing wrong here?

April 15, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterhyunjoo

I have made a tie once for my best friend and said it was hard to tie a little loose.
I am just a beginner at sewing but has sewn a few thing. I would like to know is this tie instructions easy to follow or will I have problems? I don't want to use the suggested fabric I like using cotton fabric I get at my local fabric store.
Just wondering please send any advie my way.... Thanks Aaron
May 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAaron
I haven't made ties in a long while and no longer have a pattern. Your pattern and directions are terrific. I can hardly wait to get material and start making ties again. A big thank you.
June 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLorraine
I am completely and totally in LOVE right now!

and I was really needing this.
THANKS SOOOO MUCH for sharing your brilliance!

June 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBrianna
I'm so confused....are these 2 different ties? Or do you just switch fabric in the midddle and change ties? Sorry, I'm a little slow, but as I was reading through the tutorial I'm just really confused on the 2 different ties things....I guess I'm the only one. Help!
June 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMiggy
I just used your pattern it worked great!! my husband loves it!
July 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda
Great article! I'm linking to you from my blog entry about ties.
October 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTheChickadeeFeeder
great tutorial, thanks for sharing. I have added it to me 'Christmas Gifts to Sew' round up post, I just wanted to let you know.
October 28, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterjojoebi
hi, i was so happy to find this pattern, but when i printed out the revised version, my pattern pieces don't match up. for example, at the dotted line where F2 is taped to F3 one piece is significantly wider than the other. same between 11 and 12: 12 is nearly 1/4 inch wider than 11. anybody else have this problem?
November 22, 2010 | Unregistered Commentersandra
hi! thanks for the GREAT tutorial... my Q is, can i use some very stiff / upholstery fabric? (instead of interfacing?) thanks again-- GREAT! kelley
November 23, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkelley
Re: Sandra's comment on 22 November 2010, I'm having trouble with the pattern as well (the revised version) - it looks beautiful and simple and I'd love to make this, is there something I can do to make it right? Thanks heaps for posting this!
November 28, 2010 | Unregistered Commentertinymouse
To Sandra and Tinymouse,

I am so sorry to hear that you are having trouble with this pattern. We have made it a priority to revise and fix it at the beginning of the year. Thank you so much for pointing out these issues and we are so sorry for any inconvenience this has caused.

- Molly
November 28, 2010 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Unfortunately, I found this very difficult. The revised pattern still did not match up very well, and I had to do a lot of adjusting on the edges to be sure that things weren't too wonky. Otherwise, I had a little trouble with the slip stitch, but I think that was just me! I found a video that demonstrated. Thank you for the resource however, my tie came out very nicely, and I made it of satin. Classy!
December 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterStephanie D
thanks so much, my son loves plaid and its impossible to find them. i took out some of his old plaid shorts to make him some ties. he was so surprised, thanks you made the job so much easier.
December 14, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterdebbie
I did have some trouble with the pattern pieces matching up exactly, but nothing i couldn't fix with a little trimming of the fabric edges. The part I found the hardest was getting the front piece pattern to line up properly on the "fold" line with the folded seemed to be a bit curved on the edge that should be straight...which I just worked around without a big problem, but just wanted to let you know.

Thanks for the clear directions, and especially the explanation of the different kinds of slip stitching.

The interfacing made this a great first project for me using a "slippery fabric" as it didn't shift around too much.

I am so happy that I used your pattern (a friend offered me a vogue pattern, which i was keeping on hand as a backup in case i didn't understand yours) really made sense and the pictures were very helpful.

My Dad and brother will be getting this for Christmas and they will be absolutely floored. I showed the finished ties (yep, I made two) to a guy friend and he said " made ties? they look like ties!" (not sarcastic...he was just genuinely blown away that you can make a tie at home that looks like one you'd buy at the store.)

Thanks for a great pattern that even a relatively new seamstress can follow :) I'm sure this took a lot of time to put together and a big thank you to you!
December 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterNora
Hi Molly,

Thanks for the pattern - I can't wait to make this. One question - the supply list calls for sew-in interfacing, but the instructions seem to use fusible. Which is best? Thanks!
December 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSara Turner
I am seconding the comment above about the sew-in interfacing--1.5 yards was too short to fit the entire taped-together pattern for me. I ended up getting a second, 2-yard length to make it work. Was the pdf supposed to be scaled down a little when printed? My ties ultimately came out around 59 inches long instead of 54, and print scaling was the only way I could think of to explain both.

In any case, it was a good learning experience; thanks for sharing!
January 4, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNatalie

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