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Thread: Using old neckties - advice please!!

  1. #1
    Super Member KenmoreGal2's Avatar
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    Using old neckties - advice please!!

    I've been asked to make a pillow from the neckties of a man who has passed. I've looked at some tutes online and it does not seem too complicated. IDK yet if I will be asked to keep the ties intact (which would mean sewing them on the edges with a 1/4" seam??) or cut them and piece them.

    I'd love any advice though!! I've never done this. I'm guessing I keep my iron way lower when I press. Do I use a pressing cloth too? IDK yet what fabric the ties will be made from. It's all up in the air right now but I'm planning in my head. This sounds like an interesting project.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
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    I wash my ties before working with them. It will depend on what ties you get. They can be opened up to have quite a nice bit of fabric to piece with but usually need a light fusible interfacing ironed to the backs to stabilize them. I might be tempted to do a traditional Bow Tie pattern with neck ties for the pillow.

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    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    I recently watched this video... it has some block ideas and how to deconstruct the ties https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qD_CNYuCy3s
    Nancy in western NY
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    Super Member KenmoreGal2's Avatar
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    Thank you for the replies. If I am asked to use the ties deconstructed, I thought I'd use interfacing. Has anyone sewn ties together whole? I saw some tutes about that method too. I wonder if the seams can be ironed flat enough since the iron will have to be on a lower setting.

    I'll watch the video in a few minutes Nancy. Thank again!!

    And more input would be welcomed!! I want to do this project but I want to do it right. The ties are precious to the family.

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    I have never seen anyone sewn ties together whole. Do check pinterest though.

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    Super Member GingerK's Avatar
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    I've made necktie purses and the ties held up very well. You would have to be careful to check the fiber content of the ties. If they are silk, I don't think I would wash them--dry clean maybe. If the person wants the necktie shape preserved, you could still open them (and they usually have some sort of lining/stabilizer already) retain the shape and just add the seam allowance, then sew together as usual.
    Never argue with an idiot. They'll drag you down the their level and beat you with experience.

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    try weaving the ties together - before taking them apart...fuse the whole weaving to a background fabric that coordinates with the ties (like the lattice crust on a pie) then make your pillow with your "new" fabric. Using the narrow part of the ties for this will let you use a variety and you could use the weaving on both front and back if you want. Wash all the ties first, just as the finished product should be treated, and use the ones that turn out the best...may not even need to remove the lining in which case, they will be a little softer. To quilt, either stitch down the centers of the ties with a decorative stitch or straight line diagonally to hold each in place but still have texture.
    Kate

  8. #8
    Super Member KenmoreGal2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ktbb View Post
    try weaving the ties together - before taking them apart...fuse the whole weaving to a background fabric that coordinates with the ties (like the lattice crust on a pie) then make your pillow with your "new" fabric. Using the narrow part of the ties for this will let you use a variety and you could use the weaving on both front and back if you want. Wash all the ties first, just as the finished product should be treated, and use the ones that turn out the best...may not even need to remove the lining in which case, they will be a little softer. To quilt, either stitch down the centers of the ties with a decorative stitch or straight line diagonally to hold each in place but still have texture.
    Wow, that's an interesting idea. I'm not sure I'm brave enough to try it with this particular set of ties since they are irreplaceable, but with some yard sales ones - Yes!! It would probably look really cool.

  9. #9
    Super Member KenmoreGal2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GingerK View Post
    I've made necktie purses and the ties held up very well. You would have to be careful to check the fiber content of the ties. If they are silk, I don't think I would wash them--dry clean maybe. If the person wants the necktie shape preserved, you could still open them (and they usually have some sort of lining/stabilizer already) retain the shape and just add the seam allowance, then sew together as usual.
    Another great idea. Thanks!!

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    It would appear you need info from the customer before proceeding since you say you don't know if they want the ties left intact or you can cut them. Find out that and then you will know how to proceed. They may want you to just sew them on a pillow.

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    Super Member KenmoreGal2's Avatar
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    Actually I have received more info since posting. You're right though, I was just feeling my way around trying to sort through the options. I'd never even heard of necktie pillow before.

    I think I'll be opening them up, adding interfacing and making a strip diagonal pattern. I can handle that!!

    Thank you.

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    Name:  1441914155161_IMG_20150910_141738_900 - Copy.jpg
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Size:  224.6 KBName:  1441914091659_IMG_20150910_141743_666.jpg
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Size:  203.8 KBI took out the "guts" but kept the tie shape and made this for a friend. Her husband had passed, and he loved hot air balloons. I put a tiny teddy bear in the 3D basket, and she loved it! I did echo quilting around the balloon.
    Last edited by linda8450; 07-10-2017 at 08:02 AM.

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    My daughter was involved in a "Trash"ion Show where clothes were made from recycled items. I made her and my granddaughter skirts and vests from old mens ties. I did open them, used a stabilizer, ironed on low with a press cloth, and used elastic in the waists. Turned out cute!

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    I wash ties in the machine on gentle,cool setting to get rid of neck cooties. Then,I take them apart and fuse( a low setting on the iron works)...then just carry on. Dresden plate,grandmothers fan patterns take advantage of the tie concept.
    Life may not be the party we planned for,but while we are here we should dance!

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    I am enjoying reading this topic. It has reminded me of a skirt I made for a preteen G-daughter some time ago. I had a bag of ties and some of the family girls were looking through them. We came up with this idea of a skirt. It wasn't the conventional way to make a skirt but kept them whole and lapped and sewed them up to the waist. can't remember how I finished up at the waist but it was cute. She was very tiny and short. It was more like a vintage look. She is now grown and a school teacher. Fun memories.

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    Super Member GingerK's Avatar
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    I have a dresden Christmas tree hanging that I want to make with Christmas ties. Thanks for reminding me to start haunting the resale stores.
    Never argue with an idiot. They'll drag you down the their level and beat you with experience.

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    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    Ties are Really, Really long! I would think for a pillow you would cut them at least in half, maybe thirds. I deconstructed the silk ties I see for these pillows, laundered them then used a lightweight fusible stabilizer. The ties were cut 14" long for these
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    Super Member KenmoreGal2's Avatar
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    You all made such nice things with neckties!!

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    I have dear friend who made a beautiful throw from old neck ties using a fan shape. It is beautiful. I have a lot of men's ties- some were my dad's that I have saved and were given a few. I want to make something in the future, probably for my son, since some were his granddad's but too many irons in the fire at present. I have a lot of handkerchiefs that were my grandmother's her mother's my g-grandmother, however I don't want to cut the hankies up.
    Be sure to show us what you do.

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    I collected neckties from garage and estate sales a few years ago. I took them apart and washed a few of them (delicate cycle) at a time inside a mesh laundry bag and put them (still inside the mesh bag) into the dryer. I washed them all....silks, polyesters, cottons, etc. They ironed beautifully afterwards. If there were stains or snags, I worked around them. There are some books on working with neckties, and do look at the more recent books. Once a stabilizer (I used Pellon 44) is used, the ties are a dream to use. I did learn that if I wanted to use decorative stitches or FMQ, it was best to use a Teflon sewing foot. Some fabrics are smooth and slippery, so it helped to use a Teflon sewing foot.
    Last edited by quilttiger; 07-11-2017 at 04:58 AM. Reason: misspelled word

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    I really like the lattice pillow. Very unique.

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    Super Member osewme's Avatar
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    If you type in the words neck ties in the white search box at the top right hand of this board you will see quite a lot of posts/threads that have discussed making quilts from ties. Hope this will help you in deciding what to do & how to prepare your ties from others who have done it.

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    I made pillows for my sister, my brother, and me using Dad's ties. I took the ties apart and was amazed at how much fabric there was. Using 5 ties for each pillow, I had enough fabric for the front, the backing, and the cording. I kept the tie ends in tact and used iron-on interfacing to stabilize since the ties were all different fabrics. I was pleased with how they turned out. After I finished them, my sister gave me some of Dad's tie tacks which I wished I would have had when I was putting the pillows together. I have used them at the end of each tie, but they aren't attached as strongly I would like. Even if not attached well, they are a nice addition to my pillow.

  24. #24
    Super Member KenmoreGal2's Avatar
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    Thank you for the continued stream of replies!

    For this project I'm going to go simple since I know the neckties I'll be using are special. I'm going to open them and add interfacing. Unless the woman I'm sewing for changes her mind, I plan to cut them into strips and piece them on a diagonal. For extra strength I think I'll do a 1/2" seam. Then I'll cut the new "fabric" down to cushion size. I plan to put batting behind it and zig zag along each strip edge for even more strength. I'll put a piece of muslin behind that.

    Since I don't have a walking foot I'd better just quilt 2 layers - ties and batting. The backing will get tacked on when I make the pillow.

    I will definitely post a picture but it won't be anything too fancy. I want to do something I have high confidence of success with.

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    Senior Member Clmay's Avatar
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    I love everyone's examples of what they used them for.
    Never put off what you can do today, because tomorrow may never come.

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