I wanted to make a dress out of silk ties that was beautiful in its own right- sure, it's cool that it's made of ties. Yes, thrift store ties are a fun/cheap way to get silk. But even if you don't care for dresses made of ties, I hope that you like this dress because it's beautiful and has a compelling design.
Please comment and let me know what you think- I'd love to see different versions of this type of dress!
Step 1: Gather Ties
Try to get the 100% silk ones.
Alternately, have someone with a lot of ties purge their closet.
I used eight ties. You may need more or less depending on your dimensions. You should be able to estimate this by measuring the width of each tie about 1/3 of the way up from the bottom, doubling it, and making sure that all of them added together is bigger than your hip measurement (assuming that is your maximum dimension).
Step 2: Pick Apart
Step 3: Dye (optional)
They were pretty resistant, but I was using screen printing ink; real fabric dye might give you better jet-black results.
Note: I left one highly contrasted tie undyed for contrast.
- Get screen printing dye
- Bathe in very slightly water-diluted dye (I used the whole jar)
- Let dry outside for a weekend
- Heat treat with a heat gun
- Wash them out
Step 4: Iron
Step 5: Lay Out
Step 6: Sew Together
- In the center back, only sew it up 18" from the hemline (the outside corners of the ties).
- One tie to the side of the center front, leave 18" open from the top corners of the tie. (In the case of my dress, the pink tie is sewn in on both sides.)
- Leave part of the tops unsewn, uneven amounts.
Step 7: Shaping
Pin a dart for each breast- shorten the edge until it fits, then form a triangle inward from the edge approximately 2 ties inward from the edge.
Collapse the shape of the skirt around the butt as (approximately) shown in the diagrams. At the hemline, each of the ties should be reduced an even amount.
Step 8: Niceties
Sew a bar across the top of the center back seam to secure it.
Step 9: Wear!
The ends of the ties should fan out behind your neck.