Modding 2 conventional neckties into one reversible retro-ascot.
- Two conventional neckties of sufficient width, and almost the same width.
- Sewing machine, seam ripper, steam iron, fabric scissors, matching thread, pins, hand needle.
- Basic machine skills and sewing terminology.
The tie will be reversible, and suitable as a formal ascot, or for retro-fashion like Steam Punk or Victorian. But unlike a genuine cravat, the tail end will be half the width of the visible front. In most applications, this makes no difference.
I've only ever seen one ascot tie in person. This project is patterned after that piece. The ascot is worn formally around the collar for "morning dress" (see Wikipedia), but was also worn inside the collar as casual wear for upper-class Yachtsmen and for other sports like golf. You'll see this in sit-coms of the 60's like Gilligan's Island.
Because conventional neckties are cut on the bias (diagonally from the yardage) you will notice when working that they tend to stretch in their length. Silk cut in rectangles would not behave this way.
Step 1: Choosing neck ties to re-purpose
In the vintage or thrift store, or in your own closet, look for the widest ties. Necktie fashions from the late 60's, the early 70's or recently will be the widest and they will give you enough fabric when opened up. The mid-80's was OK, but there was a brief "skinny tie" period copying the early 60's.
Notice that a necktie is roughly twice as wide when you open up the back. Bonus! For traditional formal wear, the pattern should be gray stripe or textured silk, not printed. The colors of the two ties need not be related because only one side will show at a time. The pieces should be stain-free and snag-free on the wide end.