That's right, a dress made completely out of old neckties! It's the perfect dress to wear on father's day or any other time you just want to wear something unique.
Step 1: Collect Ties
Gather a bunch of ties. I got mine at thrift stores so they are all completely different. Thrift stores are also much cheaper to buy all the ties. You could also ask any friends if they want to donate to your cause. Or if you want to have a uniform look, you could purchase all your ties new, this option just gets a little pricey!
After you have all your ties you will want to sort them based on color or design or whatever theme you are going for with the final product. Maybe you want all random. That's cool too! For the two dresses I made, one is made of yellow ties and the other is made of red and blue ties.
You will need enough ties to completely go around you and one extra tie for the straps of the dress. I typically wear a medium size dress and I used about 14 ties per dress. This number may vary depending on your size and the size of the ties you are using.
Step 2: Take Apart the Ties
This step is really time consuming... I would recommend finding a good movie and making it a date with your seam ripper. It could take more than movie. First you need to take out the seam down the center of the tie and open it up completely so it lies flat. Next remove the insert from the center of each tie. After the insert is removed, then comes the fun job of ironing out the creases from the ties. this also takes quite a bit of time so get comfy while you iron.
Some of the ties are thinner than others and needed some help. I added fusible interfacing to the wrong side of those to make them easier to work with.
Step 3: Arrange the Ties
Next arrange the ties in the order you want. I tried to just put them next to other ties they didn't clash as much with or space them so not all the striped ties ended up on the same side. If this doesn't matter to you then you can skip this step.
After you know which tie is going next to which, you can start sewing them together. Be sure to start your seam at the fat ends of each tie. All the ties will be different lengths so you want to make sure the bottom looks even. Sew all the way around so you end up with a tube of ties. It should be wide enough at the top to pull over your head and then flare out at the bottom.
*The first dress I made, I wasn't sure if it would be able to fit over my head so I didn't sew all the way up with the last two ties. I left space so that I could add a zipper later. After finishing the dress, I realized what a waste of time this was. I never use the zipper when I put the dress on and it was extra time and sewing to add the zipper. If you really want to put one in, you can but I would recommend just leaving it off.
Step 4: Finish the Top
Measure how long you want the dress. I wanted mine to go just below the knee so I measured from my knee to my armpit. I then added two inches to that measurement for a hem and seam allowance at the top. I measured this length along the seams and marked it on each tie. Then I cut the top off so all ties were the same length.
Next you want to try the dress on to make sure it fits. If it is a little big, take in some of the seams so that it fits better. I made mine a little more form fitting by also taking in some of the seams on the sides. I didn't redo the whole seam, just the section near my waist where I wanted the dress to come in a bit.
After you have the fit right, then hem the top. This will leave you with a nice finished edge. (My hem turned out a little funny, probably because there were so many different types of fabrics. I ended up with a pucker right in the front of my dress! I decided to ruche the center tie to hide it. I think it gave it a nice touch too)
Step 5: Add the Straps
You should have one extra tie that you reserved for the straps. Take that tie and trim the sides to the max width (the width of the smaller point). Determine the length you want your straps to be and cut that length from both ends of the tie. You should end up with two pieces that are the same. Each strap piece should have a point at one end.
Fold the strap in half with right sides together. Sew it closed and turn it inside out. Turn the fabric so that the point is in the center of the strap and press. Attach the strap to the dress by sewing them on to the front first. I positioned the points of the straps equally distanced from the center of the dress then sewed them on. I then made sure the straps were the same length and attached them to the back. Finally, I added buttons to the straps. This is an optional step but I thought the front needed something a little extra.
To finish the bottom of the dress, I tacked the lining of each tie at the center to the front. I did this very small so that it wouldn't be noticeable. This was a necessary step though because before I tacked them down, my feet kept getting caught.
Step 6: Show Off Your New Dress
Your dress is now finished! Accessorize how you want and show off your work!