The dashing tie!

Having finished a project to create a new cravat for Floppy Bunny, I was inspired to create a neck adornment for my larger playmate who wanted to look as charming as Floppy Bunny… so I used the Osman Tie #BS-016 sewing pattern by BurdaStyle as the basis for the project.

Comparing the finished tie with the rest of my playmate’s tie rack, I would say the general tie width is somewhere between a narrow tie and the usual business tie like those of T.M.Lewin.  There is something a bit mischievous about it too… perhaps because it doesn’t look like the shiny flared business tie you often see around and therefore looks a bit more distinctive.

Tie fabric

I created this tie using a very nice silky-feel cotton fabric (I purchased one metre of Liberty Tana Lawn “Camille”, width 1.3 metres, via a reputable seller on eBay). It has excellent quality with a matt sheen to it and the colours are bright. The fabric is also brilliant to work when cutting it, using it with the sewing machine and hand-sewing. It doesn’t fray and get stressed from handling. It irons perfectly if you press it gently, using a clean plain white tea-cloth between the fabric and iron for protection. However, if you want a shiny slippery kind of fabric then choose something else!

For the tie interfacing, I created it from scratch and experimented to find the right ‘feel’ and ‘weighting’ to support the texture of this light fabric; this ended up being a combination of Vilene Ultrasoft Iron-on interfacing in light charcoal with good quality white muslin fabric.

White muslin used in tie interfacing

Vilene iron-on interfacing in light charcoal

Following some wear-ability testing, I have the following suggestions:

  • In our opinion, the pattern’s tie length is about 5cm too short at the narrow end. The narrow end tucks into the Keeper, but it threatens to come out occasionally with certain movements! This is very easily resolved by either: 1. extending the Middle pattern piece by around 5cm, if the neck size of the wearer is large, or 2. extending the Narrow End pattern piece by around 5cm.
    (In both cases this can be done by adding an extension piece of 5cm width and sellotaping it together)
  • The BurdaStyle sewing guide advises you to place the Keeper around 9″ from the wide end of the tie. Perhaps 10″ maybe better if you don’t extend the tie – I suggest before you start sewing in the Keeper that you test the tie around the neck to check ideal placement (be careful of any pins!)
  • Building your own tie-interfacing is very tricky, as the sewing guide states, so if you are experimenting then set aside time for that. For my first tie, it took me 3 hours to achieve my tie-interfacing, and after wear-ability testing my wearer suggested slightly less thickness to give more movement to the fabric. Again, easily resolved by using less layers during the tie-interface building stage (as I explain below). You just have to gauge the weight of the interfacing with the fabric you use as you build it.
    To suit all colours and patterns of tie fabric, I have both white and light charcoal interfacing fabric. With this tie, I use light charcoal as the tie fabric is dark.
  • You might want to use a contrast fabric for the two tie Tipping pieces, like you see on a shop-bought ties.

Tie sewing pattern

The sewing pattern from Burdastyle doesn’t include the usual cutting layout diagrams for with(out) nap instructions (so that you know how to lay out the pattern pieces to suit the grain or design of your fabric) – it only covers a silk bias cut, which is fine if you’re either using plain silk, or, patterned silk and don’t mind if the pattern doesn’t flow in the same direction. Personally, if I have a design going in one direction I like it follow the same direction, so a selection of cutting layouts is always appreciated!  After some sketching I put together a rough cutting layout for a one-directional pattern.

I also made additional notes on the sewing guide too, which you will find below.


Pins (ideally silk pins), scissors, needle, sewing machine, fine thread, marking pencil or tailors chalk

  • Optional: dressmaker’s tracing paper (I printed my pattern onto Translucent Vellum Paper)
  • Optional: rotary cutter, with mat and ruler (e.g. Omnigrid) to cut my pattern and fabric with very straight lines!

My notes to accompany the BurdaStyle sewing pattern guide

1. Preparing the paper pattern

Purchase and download the Osman Tie #BS-016 sewing pattern by BurdaStyle.

Print out pages 2-19  of the sewing pattern pieces on dressmaker’s paper (if using this) and print out page 1 on plain A4 paper. You might want to print page 7 first (the Test Square) on plain A4 paper to make sure the printer is printing to exact size (and not scaling the PDF).

Print out the sewing guide on plain A4 paper.

Then sellotape your pattern pieces together. In my version, I found that the page sections where the Interlining pattern piece is printed doesn’t quite fit together very smoothly – this required a little adjustment to get the best fit.

Sellotaped BurdaStyle PDF pattern pages

click image to enlarge

Cut out the paper pattern pieces.

Optional – make any reductions or extensions to the pattern as you require, as suggested above.

2. Making the tie-interfacing

Using the Interlining pattern piece as a rough guide, cut 2 long rectangle pieces of the muslin fabric and 4 long rectangle pieces of the iron-on interfacing fabric.

Cut lengths of muslin and interfacing

The tie in this article used 3 layers of muslin, but this was very slightly too thick when the tie was worn; based on your tie fabric and the thickness you wish to achieve, I recommend that you experiment with the amount of layers needed for the weight, thickness and feel as you build the tie interfacing.

Pin one layer of interfacing onto one layer of muslin.

Pinned muslin and interface lengths

Then iron the pieces together carefully placing a clean white tea-cloth in-between for protection and removing the pins as you go along. Avoid creases where possible!

Ironing the interface onto the muslin

Repeat this exercise for all the layers.

There may be one layer of interfacing left over, which can be ironed onto the other side of one of the interfaced-muslin pieces. But you may find that its not needed if you’ve achieved the thickness, weight and feel that you want for your tie interfacing.  As I said in the beginning, this really is about experimentation!

Then pin all these paired-up layers together across the whole length.

Joined paired lengths of muslin and interfacing with pins

Using the dressmakers chalk or pencil, and a ruler, carefully draw around the Interlining pattern piece.

Then, to secure the pieces together before you cut out the pattern piece, machine sew 16mm (5/8″)  inside from the outer edge of the chalk lines.

Machine stitching on the inside of the chalk line

This also helps to keep the interfacing intact when you start wearing and washing the tie!

Now you can cut the Interlining pattern piece carefully around the chalk edges.

Cut out Interlining pattern piece

Voilà, you can now move onto making the tie!

2. Making up the tie

Here’s a few extra notes to accompany the steps in the BurdaStyle sewing guide:

Cutting layout ideas for a one-way direction design on the fabric (part of step 1)

If your fabric has a one-way direction design on it and you want it to be going in the same direction along the whole length of the tie, as I did with this tie, then the cutting layout sketch below may help.  This is the sketch I used for the tie in this article; the chair pattern runs in the same direction for the whole length of the tie.

Sketch of cutting layout for a one-way direction design

click image to enlarge

I also tried to match up the coloured chairs where the seams would be, as best as I could, but this can be tricky if the pattern repetition forces you off the cloth! I was happy to have the chair pattern aligned in neat columns and didn’t worry about the colour matching. Again, this kind of decision is part of the personal touch!

I then chalked out the pattern pieces one-by-one using a ruler and chalk pencil.

Chalking out the pattern pieces

Then I cut out the pattern pieces using the rotary blade, mat and ruler.

Follow step 2 of the BurdaStyle sewing guide. Here are a few photos for reference.

Wide End and Wide Tipping pattern pieces, machine sewn together

Close-up of machine sewn wide end of tie, still inside out

Trimming the tie tips (part of step 3)

Follow step 3 of the BurdaStyle sewing guide. I trimmed the tips slightly before turning the tie tippings inside out, to reduce bulk fabric on the tips, and I never use a pin to create a point… I’ve done this before and not with good results!  Just try carefully teasing and shaping the point with a sharp edge of a fingernail if you can. Sometimes the point appears effortlessly and beautifully pointed without any messing, and other times it takes several attempts to create a slightly rounded point! I’m sure practice makes perfect, perhaps!

Narrow (shown on left) and Wide ends, pulled right side out with their tippings

Follow step 4 of the BurdaStyle sewing guide.

Follow step 5 of the BurdaStyle sewing guide. Here is a photo for reference so you can see the result of the cutting layout sketch I explained earlier. I think you can appreciate how careful consideration to the bias and design is important here.

Sewing the Middle piece to narrow and wide tie ends

Follow step 6 of the BurdaStyle sewing guide.

Folding the tie, and the width/placement of the Keeer (from steps 7 to 11)

In step 7, after turning the Keeper right side out, I only pinned the short ends together at this stage – I machine sewed these short ends after step 10 but before step 11.

Step 8 requires careful placement of the tie interfacing into the wide and narrow ends of the tie; I made sure the tie interfacing didn’t force the seams to bunch up in the ends, and that the point ends were tidy.

Steps 9 and 10 requires some artistic patience and precision to attain the result of the double folding with a nice slight overlap at the finish. After several folding attempts, using ceramic coasters to hold the tie in place as I did this, the construction eventually shapes up superbly before your very eyes!  Then you carefully pin your work into place, only pinning the seams layers together.

Pinned tie after double folding, with slight overlap

Before performing Step 11, you might wish to check the placement of Keeper before pinning it into the wide end of the tie, to make sure the narrow end will tuck into the Keeper.

Keeper pinned in towards the wide end of the tie

[If you also followed my advice on the Keeper in step 7 above, then you have an opportunity here to adjust the width of the Keeper too. Once you’re happy with the Keeper width and placement, remove the Keeper (marking its place with a few pins) and machine sew the short ends of the Keeper together as explained in step 7 of the BurdaStyle sewing guide. Put the Keeper back into the tie, as marked by your placement pins.]

Refer to step 11 of the BurdaStyle sewing guide for step completion.

Follow step 12 of the BurdaStyle sewing guide.

Finally, follow step 13 of the BurdaStyle sewing guide to complete the dashing tie! I won’t comment on step 14!

The finished tie!

Originally published: Wednesday, September 8th, 2010 at 21:04 in Atelier, Inspiration


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8 Responses to “A dashing tie for any occasion!”

  1. Hypersext says:

    Lovely tie. What an adventure!

  2. Thanks Hypersext. Me, as the sewing-sous-chef, did my best to tailor this dashing tie… but Floppy Bunny art directed the whole creative process and I will pass on the compliment.

  3. Jude says:

    Lovely product development – those ties look wonderful 😉

    • Thanks for your gracious comment 🙂 Floppy Bunny is a great art director so credit goes to him and his team for pulling off the tie creation! The tie-interfacing was the most challenging – after further wearer testing, the tie-interfacing is still in great shape and bounces back from the day’s twists and knots, so we will continue with our tie creations and keep perfecting where we can!
      Vive les lapins!

  4. Lauren says:

    Hi there can you tell me whether you used light, heavy or medium interfacing? Thanks!

  5. Lindsey Piereder says:

    Can you tell me the finished width of the tie at the widest point? Thanks


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