Treat your favourite friend to a hand-tailored cravat (ascot)!

Sizing

For the basis of the cravat I custom-scaled down piece 17 of the Burda 3403 pattern. I also revised the fold pleat lines to accommodate a tidier finish for such a smaller version of a men’s cravat. The Cravat-Ascot Pattern that I provide is the result of this custom scaling.  If you use this pattern as it is, it will create a cravat measuring approximately 19″ (48.2cm) in full length and tie neatly around a 7″ (17.8cm) neck.

For the cravat shown in my photos, Floppy Bunny wanted a longer length for his cravat, so I extended the pattern’s length by an extra 2″ (5cm) at the centre seam: this makes a cravat measuring 23.5″ (60cm) in full length, to tie around a 7″ (17.8cm) neck.

You can also make a few modifications to the pattern that I provide:

  • to extend the length, just extend the paper pattern at the centre seam
  • to shorten the length, just reduce the paper pattern at the centre seam

In either of these cases, you may also wish to adjust the lengths of the fold pleat lines accordingly, for the neck.

Fabrics

As recommended by Burda 3403 pattern: Silk, brocade, lightweight wools, moire.

I bought a piece of Liberty of London’s Tana Lawn fabric called ‘Gigi Garland Blues’ via eBay, measuring one large fat quarter 18″ x 26.5″ (45.5cm x 67cm).  For Floppy Bunny’s cravat I cut a piece measuring 18″ x 12″ (45.5cm x 31cm).

Tools

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

  • Optional: dressmaker’s tracing paper (I printed my pattern onto Translucent Vellum Paper so that I could see the fabric’s design very clearly under the pattern, to pick out the colours and shapes I wanted at the front of the cravat.)
  • Optional: rotary cutter, with mat (e.g. Omnigrid) to cut my pattern and fabric with very straight lines!

Sewing guidelines

All seams and edges sewn at 3/8″ (0.95cm).

Pattern instructions

1. Download my Cravat-Ascot pattern. Print out pages 1 and 3 on A4 plain white paper.  Print out page 2 on A4 dressmaker’s tracing paper, if using this, otherwise use A4 plain white paper.

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

2. Fold your fabric in half, with right-sides facing each other. Place the paper pattern onto the fabric.  If the fabric has a design on it, check you have your favourite shapes/colours at the pointed sections of the pattern in the direction you want them.

3. Pin the pattern to the fabric through both layers of fabric, enough to secure the pattern so that when you cut the fabric the pattern stays in place. Or you can chalk around the pattern and then cut; depends on your style I guess!  I used a rotary cutter and mat for all the straight edges and outer points, and scissors for the inner points.

4. I kept the pattern paper attached to the fabric while I basted the centre seam; but you could remove the paper pattern from the fabric, re-pin the 2 pieces back together and then baste the centre seam.

5. Remove pins. Stitch the centre seam (using a sewing machine).

Optional (depending on the fabric) – with the iron on a low setting, press the seam open.

6. Measure and chalk out the fold pleat lines on the fabric. Use the measurements provided on the pattern guide.  Baste along the fold pleat lines.

7. Fold the fabric in half lengthwise, as shown in Figure 1, with right-sides facing each other.  Baste the edges together and then stitch (using a sewing machine), leaving about 2″ (5cm) open, again as shown in Figure 1.  Secure ends of seams.  Trim seam allowances and trim corners diagonally.

Figure 1 (extract image from Burda 3403 with my pleat modification)

8. Remove basting from the edges only.

9. Turn the Ascot right side out. You may need to gently tease out the pointed sections to create a nice finish.

10. Pin around the edges. Baste. Remove pins. Press carefully with an iron on a low setting. (I placed a tea-cloth between the Ascot and the iron to protect the fabric).

11. Hand stitch the open seam section to close it up completely.

12. Next, decide which side of the Ascot will be the ‘inside’ (facing the neck) and the ‘outside’ (this will have the neat pleated finish and may be visible when worn).

Lay the Ascot fully out with the ‘inside’ facing towards you: create the first pleat by bringing the second fold line to the first fold line, as shown on the arrows on the pattern guide. Pin it together;  then create the second pleat by bring the fourth fold line to the third fold line.  Pin it together.

Figure 2 (image extract from Burda 3403) (click to enlarge)

Check the pleats on the ‘outside’ and re-adjust to neaten.  Baste. Remove pins.

13. Press carefully with an iron on a low setting. (I placed a tea-cloth between the Ascot and the iron to protect the fabric.)

14. Lay the Ascot with the ‘outside’ facing towards you. As shown in Figure 2, there are three sections marked as — in the centre back and at the sides, where you stitch along (using a sewing machine) to secure the folds.

Close up of stitching on pleats (click to enlarge)

Close up on pleats and centre seam (click to enlarge)

15. Remove all the basting. Tidy up any thread ends.

16. Now it’s ready to smartly tie up on your favourite friend! I referenced Tom Sawyer Waistcoats for ideas on how to tie the cravat, which I found to be very useful.

Originally published: Sunday, March 21st, 2010 at 03:31 in Atelier, Inspiration

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6 Responses to “Cravat (Ascot) for Teddy: Sewing Pattern”

  1. Interested observer says:

    Nice idea and I *love* the bunny! A smart fellow like him must have been around a bit. What’s his story?

    • Bunny wishes to confirm if you’re suggesting he’s looking rather old??! He does have quite a story but he isn’t open to kiss and tell tales 😉 He is currently busy directing his tailors in the production of one special tie, but thanks you for taking interest in his escapades.

  2. Jude says:

    Awwwwww Mr Floppy Bunny looks so happy with his new cravat – wonderful work 😉

    • Floppy Bunny wants to thank you for your admiring comment; he said the cravat has knocked a few years off his age and he now feels like a new buck wearing it!
      He also wonders how his cousin is getting on in San Francisco’s hottest tailoring studio…!

  3. Eleanor says:

    I love Mir. Bunny’s neckwear.

    I’m contemplating knocking one up for my sheep, Gertrude. She likes to steampunk it up on occasion.

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