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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)

Curious about the 2 types of interfacing and instructions. Am I missing something? You remark both sew-in and fusible in the materials section, but don't really (clearly, I guess) demonstrate construction using BOTH types.
Is it me?
March 4, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGail
This was so helpful, thank you! I just finished school here in Germany and i made a tie for my boyfriend out of the part of my prom dress that was too long. (It was really very, very long.)
March 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKim
Help. I downloaded the pattern that says FINAL. Then I see the one that says Revised. Which is the one I should use? Thanks guys!
April 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAlexandra Alcantara
Hi Alexandra-

You should be using the pattern that says "FINAL"- the "revised" one was up by mistake but it's been taken down now. Thanks for the question!

- Molly
April 7, 2011 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Oh, thank you! it's so adorable! I will try to make it to my husband;)
April 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterApseed
Wonderful free patterns! I have truly enjoyed and appreciated this one and the little boy's tie. The instructions are SO clear!!!

Just wanted to let you know, I printed my updated pattern on April 22, 2011, and had no problems with things lining up. HOWEVER, that tie was no where NEAR 54" long and 3 and 1/4" wide. I am an experienced sewer and followed everything to the T. The finished tie was even skinnier and far too short for a grown man. Good thing I could start over, adjust a few things myself, and finish with a great result. I'll be using my adjusted pattern again and again! (Just thought you might want to update your report on finished dimensions to save someone the waste next time!)
April 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAmy R.
I can't get the PDF to load? Is the link defunct now? These are absolutely lovely!! And I would really like to make one for my husband to match the hat I made for my son. His 2yr bday photo shoot is set up for Father's day & I thought it would be super special! please let me know! Thanks!~
May 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterChevelle S.
Hi Chevelle-

Sorry to hear you're having trouble with the PDF. It seems to be working fine on my end, so I'll just email it to you. You'll be getting an email from Molly(at)purlsoho(dot)com shortly.

Thanks for the comment!- Molly
May 11, 2011 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hello, can I substitute the fusible interfacing with a wool or other sew-in interlining? Thx!
May 30, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAlicia
Hi Alicia-

Sure, you can give other linings a try. or you could sew it without a lining for a thinner more summery tie.

Thanks for your question!
May 31, 2011 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Any plans to make instructions for a 6 fold (with lining) or even 7 fold tie? That would be really great! Thank you for the pattern and instructions!
June 1, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAlicia
Hi Alicia-

There are no plans for any other ties right now but thanks for the suggestions. - Molly
June 1, 2011 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
I love this tutorial! I actually included it in my Father's Day roundup on my blog today :)
June 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMegan Brooke
This was a great pattern and wonderful tutorial, but I tried it out and talked about my experiences with different fabric/a couple things I would do differently if I made another iin the future here:
June 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJulia
How fun!! I was going to buy hubby a new tie for Father's Day... think I'll give your tutorial a go!
June 10, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterfawn
i so have to make my dad one of these. I got some liqcorice alsort fabric cos he loves them and wondered what on earth i could make for him, this would be perfect. just need to interfacing now (shops here i come!)
June 15, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterhelen wright
I have to agree with Amy R.'s posting on April 25th. I just finished the tie and have the following comments:

Thank you for the free pattern first of all. The instructions are fantastic and the pictures are really good, however the tie is much narrower than 3 1/4 inches and several inches shorter than a conventional men's tie. It looks great, but definitely short. I can deal with the narrow width but the length is the greater problem. Thank you so much for the free pattern and I would like to do it again but would really appreciate some directions for making it longer (and wider- I know it says that you can increase it by 3/8 inch but it would be great if I could get more detailed instructions- I am a literal pattern follower!)
Thanks so much
June 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLillian Wan
Just wanted to reiterate a couple of previous comments that this tie is really short. I also followed the pattern exactly and it was several inches shorter than a regular tie. I made it for my dad for father's day and it isn't really wearable, unfortunately. You will need to add several inches to the pattern in order to make a standard tie.
June 20, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterlacey c

I made a tie from your great pattern. Thanks again for sharing this pattern. I had some difficulty, but was in the fabric I bought, not your instructions!! I will definitely make more of these.
June 20, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterfawn
Thanks for this tutorial! It was super easy to follow.
August 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAmy Kirchhoff
Thank you so much for sharing this excellent pattern! I haven't sewn with a pattern for years, and these instructions still felt very straightforward. Like many other commenters' loved ones, my boyfriend is going to be super excited this Christmas :)
December 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKat
i am VERY confused on how to add length on the pattern for the men's tie. don't i have to add length to the F1, F2, F3, and F4 tie front pattern as well??
December 19, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterlorraine
Thank you! This is very useful fo me.
I`m from Ukraine.
February 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSladkoezka
thanks it's a nice idea i'm so excited to begin one like it ; )
I was looking at this pattern via Pinterest. Guess what? I am stuck on this page and it won't let me close. When I go back to the still shows your page. Not a happy camper!!
March 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKathy Cogill
Hi Kathy-

I'm not sure I understand your problem. This page won't close, or it won't let you go back to Pinterest? I'm sorry I'm not getting it. If you're still having the problem please give a few more details and we'll try to figure it out.

Thank you- Molly
March 7, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
This is really fantastic!!! Thank you so much!!! I was trying to find a pattern about a year ago and thanks to pinterest I now have!!!
March 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJenn K.
I am glad I found this pattern!! I can not wait to make a hunting tie for my father for his birthday! He will be EXTREMELY happy!! Thank you very much!! Will post a link to the final product!
May 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSofia
We really love this project and want to share a link with our readers at! We'll be sharing a link to your project here at your blog this coming Friday. Please let me know if you have any questions about being featured at
May 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterErika Sews
This question has been asked twice and never answered so here goes again. Are the measurements for the tie incorrect? I haven't measured the length to see if it matched what you specified or even measured it against a store bought tie but I do know that the width is not what was written. To get my tie wider, instead of folding in the sides 1/4" twice I only folded once. Is it possible that the instructions are wrong for the men's tie? Thank you.

Please respond. The tie came out beautifully and I really hope it is wearable for my friend. I used a remnant of his late mother's fabric stash. She died just a year ago and he gave me all her fabric and sewing things. I'm not sure that I have enough to make another but if I do, I want it to be correct and wearable. Thank you.
August 24, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterlsaspacey
Hello Isaspacey,

Our apologies for not responding to this question sooner. Molly (the author), is away on maternity leave, but will be back on September 4th. She has quite a few questions awaiting her, but I will be sure this one goes right to the top.

Thank you so much for writing in.
We will be in touch very soon.
August 27, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hello. Being new to this site and new to sewing I have a question about the copyright to this pattern and maybe copyrights to any FREE pattern that has the (c).

Is the pattern the part than can not be sold and distributed or is it the pattern and the ties I would make using the pattern? I mean basically you are selling the ties for the labor? IDK that's why I am asking. Also it says personal use. If you gift it to Dad that's no strictly personal use. Can you gift it to friends n Family. You can tell I took business law in college? ;0) Just enough to make me crazy.

I have recently had a very large brain tumor removed and have taken up sewing as a part of my recovery. I am making custom embellished hats and kepot, lounge pants and shorts and want to add ties to the mix.
August 28, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMichael Chylinski
I have a quick comment about the size issues others are having. When printing patterns from the computer it is important to be sure you DONOT have the "Shrink to Fit Page" option checked. Sometimes it is the default to shrink.

Also. Average size tie is for average size male. 5'10" maybe 180 0r 190 lbs. If you man is larger you need a longer tie. I am Six foot and weight well over 200 and need an XL Tie whan I buy tham at the store and they are not always available.
August 28, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMichael Chylinski
Hi Michael.
Thank you for asking about this. It's a great question. Neither the pattern nor the ties from the pattern can be sold and distributed. Gifts are totally ok and encouraged!
Thanks again for checking. Best of luck with the new sewing endeavors.
August 29, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi Isaspacey-

The current pattern is correct. Just make sure that your printer is not shrinking the pattern as mentioned in the comment below yours.

Thanks for writing in, your tie sounds lovely!


September 10, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
I am new to sewing and am eager to give this a go! Quick question, on your list of materials, why are we using 2 types of interfacing (heavy & lightweight)? Would it be ok just to use lightweight all the way?
November 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDonald
Hi Donald-

The two interfacings aren't just different in weight, one of them is fusible, which means it is ironed onto the fabric, and one is "sew-in" which does not get ironed on. You cannot use the fusible interfacing in place of the sew-in one because they are serving different purposes. However, you can skip the sew-in interfacing all together and just have a more flexible tie.

Please let us know if you have any more questions!


November 8, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Thank you for posting about how to make ties. I made 9 ties from this for my sister's wedding. It was great to be able to create custom ties for the event. I made a blog post about it in case anyone is interested in making ties for a wedding.
November 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRebecca
Could you please tell me where you got that beautiful Queen Anne's Lace fabric? (First tie on left in 4th photo.)
Thank you!
January 27, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterkos
Hi k-

All of the fabric (and yarn) used in our patterns can be purchased at our webstore:

The Queen Anne's Lace fabric is a Liberty of London Seasonal print but unfortunately it is no longer in print. You can see all of our Liberty of London here:

Thank you!

January 28, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
thanks a lot!
simply and clear instructions, well done!!!
February 6, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterchichi
I so wish I had this awhile back when I made my dad a tie--I searched high and low online for patterns and instructions and found almost nothing, ended up taking an old one of my husbands apart and figuring it out. Just thought I would mention that I found one way to adjust length fairly inconspicuously is by lengthening or shortening the middle piece; my father is very long waisted and insists on a 60" tie!
March 23, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEmily
Thank you so much for this blog and website! I've wanted to make my son a tie and now we can wear them together. Is there anyway to make my own two-sided tie? Should I use similar techniques from the pics? Thanks again for the good instructions.
April 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMarcus
Hi Marcus-

Do you mean a reversible tie? I'm not sure how you would do that because of how a tie is folded. Sorry I can't be of more help. Please let me know if I didn't understand your question!

April 29, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
I suppose that is the correct term to use. Here is a pic for the visual.
April 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMarcus
Hi Marcus-

Thanks for the photo! To make a tie like this you couldn't use the template pieces here because it would end up being too thick with the all the folding. Essentially I think you would have to cut out two tie shapes and sew them right sides together and then turn them rights sides out, like making a pillow case. This would get very tricky though because it might be hard to make it lay flat when you're wearing it.

Anyway, it's an interesting design challenge! Please let us know if you end up making one. I'd love to see the finished results!

Best- Molly
April 30, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
This wonderful idea/pattern is being linked to in our May Newsletter that goes out tomorrow!

Thank you for sharing.>>!!! GREAT!!
lisa of CCC
May 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLisa Ann Toney
Hi, I am excited to sew a tie for my little boy using this pattern. Is is absolutely essential to cut the fabric on the bias? My fabric is a plaid on the diagonal and if I cut it on the bias the plaid will be straight? Thank you for your help!
May 10, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterkatie
Hi Katie-

The pattern will work but it might not lay quite right. But if it's essential to your vision of the tie for the plaid to be diagonal then I say you should just go for it- I think it will be fine!

Good luck and thank you for your question!

May 10, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee

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