Introduction: Old Necktie Apron

About: My husband calls me a Maker. My colleagues and students call me a great Creator from the kitchen. My family calls me Handy. My friends call me a great Innovator using upcyled materials. I call myself Lesa, I e…

Ties...are a looking glass through which you can see the evolution of men’s fashion over the years.

I love upcycling, being creative and making things with my hands so this project was perfect. I am not the best sewer and I make several mistakes. In this instructable I will show you how I made an apron using ties and I will also explain how I corrected the mistakes! I hope this inspires you to create your own project using ties.


Old Neck Ties
Sewing tape measure
Seam ripper
Quilting Needles
Fabric pencil
Sewing Machine

Step 1: Before You Begin

1. For the project I used Quilting needles due to the thickness of the ties.
2. You can use any type of material of tie. On this project I used cotton, silk and polyester.
3. For the dress of the apron you need to use an odd number of ties.

Step 2: The Pattern

1. Before you begin we need to make a pattern.
2. We could just sew the ties together without a backing but it would not be very durable.
3. Instead of trying to buy a pattern I am going to use my current apron.
4. You would use one full piece of muslin however, due to COVID I have not been able to purchase muslin.
5. Instead I used three pieces, and sewed them together.
6. When you make your seams, it is a good idea to fold over twice, then pin.
7. This way you can ensure there will not be any fraying.
8. Once you have pined all the pieces together it is time to sew.

Step 3: Let’s Start to Sew/ Flat Felled Seems

1. Sew a straight stitch.
2. When I sewed the two pieces of muslin together, I did a double seam then I flipped it over and did a top stitch.
3. This is called a Flat Felled seam. You can find them on the outside of jeans down the pant leg.
4. Once the two pieces of muslin are sewn, you need to attach the top piece.

Step 4: Corners

1. I always find corners a little tricky to sew but there is a trick.
2. You need to cut the corners off diagonal
3. Then pin your double hem.
4. Pin the other side and the two edges will come together.
5. Sew.

* When you are coming up to a corner go slow and hand walk the sewing machine meaning, take your foot off the petal and turn the needle with your hand. This will ensure a secure stitch and it will look good too!

Step 5: Iron

1. Now that your base pattern in sewn you need to iron it.
2. Ensure the iron is on the cotton setting, you may also use the steam function if you wish.

Step 6: Choosing Your Ties

1. This is one of the most important steps in this process.
2. When choosing you ties think of the colour wheel and how well colours go well together.
3. According the the colour wheel, Red & Green , Purple &Yellow, and Blue & Orange all compliment each other.
4. You also need to think odd numbers 5,7 or 9 ties. Depending how big you want the skirt.
5. Plus 2 more ties one for each side.
6. For this instructable I am using 9 ties for the skirt.
7. You also need to remember that the two end ties are the ones that tie around your neck. You may not want to choose a tie that has itchy material for this part.

Step 7: Let’s Tie It On!

1.Before you start to sew your ties you will nee to lay them out to find the middle.
2. Once you have found the middle, pin both sides down.
3. I left 3 inches at the bottom.
4. Time to sew the first tie.
5. Use a straight stitch and remember to double stitch at both ends.
6. You can now start sewing more ties on, I alternated from side to side.

Step 8: Extending the Pattern

1. Our base pattern was square at the bottom.
2. We need to adjust our pattern as our apron flares out.
3. Before the muslin runs out, pin the remaining ties on both sides.
4. Flip the apron over, and pin the extra muslin.
5. Sew the muslin.
6. Continue sewing the ties onto the skirt.

Step 9: Sewing the Edges

1. Now that the ties are sewn you need to sew the final edge.
2. Using a straight stitch, sew along the inside muslin as your guide.
3. On the left side of my apron, the muslin was about 1/2 inch too short from the edge.
4. When I tried sewing the edge seam it looked horrible. So I ripped it out using my seam ripper.
5. I sewed a fake seam along the edge.
6. Then I carefully pinned the first layer of the tie and the muslin.
7. I took a photo of the edge flipped over so you can see that it is pinned but invisible to the outside.
8. Then I hand sewed using invisible thread.

Step 10: Fixing My Mistake

1. When I was sewing the one edge, because the muslin is not as wide as the tie, the seam was further in the center.
2. I tried to correct this by sewing several lines but it did not make it look better.
3. There were two problem areas and if I ripped out the stitches are re-sewed them, I would have the same result.
4. So I deceived to sew buttons over top.
5. Same rule of thumb when you add notions, odd numbers.
6. I also tried to choose colours that were in the ties or that would complement the ties.

Step 11: Sewing Off the Top Edge

1. From the top of the apron measure 1 inch.
2. Pin the tie then cut off the excess.
3. Do this to the remaining ties except for the to end ties.
4. They are the ones that you will tie around your neck.
5. For this apron I used 9 ties but I will only cut 7 of them.
6. When you are done pinning, sew a straight stitch across the ties.

Step 12: Adding the Side Ties

1. Each waist tie needs to be 26 inch long.
2. You may need to have two separate ties for this part,
3. For my apron one of my ties left over was long enough so I was able to use that.
4. When measuring the ties, you want the skinny end.
5. From the top of the apron you need to measure 10 inches down the side.
6. Pin one of the ties in place,
7. Sew. You will want to go back and forth about 3-4 times.
8. This will ensure the waist tie will not come undone.
9. Repeat this process for the other side.

Step 13: Completed Apron

1. Your apron is complete...
2. Enjoy this for yourself or as a gift.

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