I recently purchased some new bow ties. The problem is that they only go to a 18-1/2 neck size. I can usually wear 18-1/2 to 19-1/2 but these ties length’s varied by up to ½”. So I decided to extend them. The bottom tie is "as purchased" and the upper tie is ready for my fat neck.
1. Bow tie
2. 5/8” Twill Tape or whatever you choose to use
4. Sewing machine or needle and thread
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Step 1: Harvest the Clip
The first thing to do is harvest the clip off the end. Cut it as close to clip as possible
(Note: It isn’t worth using a seam ripper to take out the stitching. What you are left is a pretty mangled end.)
Put the clip to the side you will need it shortly.
Step 2: Prep End for Extension
First I tucked about ¼” to 3/8” of the strap back into itself. Next, I cut a 12” piece of twill tape. The width of the tie strap is ¾” and the closest strap material I could find at the fabric store was 5/8”. Then insert about ½” of the tape into the prepared end of the strap.
Finally sew the tape into the end of the strap. I used a sewing machine and set the stich length as small as possible. There is no reason you couldn’t hand sew it if you don’t have access to a sewing machine.
Step 3: Reattach the Clip to the Extension
Once the tape is sewed in you need to thread the tape through the clip on the other end of the tie. You need to make sure that the two sides are facing the same direction, i.e. “good” side down. Next you need to slide the clip you cut off onto the tape. With the “good” side down the clip should be facing up, see picture.
I then slide the clip to the middle of the adjustment area and cut off the tape 1" beyond the clip. Next fold about ½” of the tape over itself so the end is no longer exposed. Finally you need to sew the tape together.
The numbers in the adjustment area will no longer correspond to the true length so keep that in mind later when you are tying it.
Step 4: Done, Now Tie It Up
Now you are ready to tie your tie.
If you are looking to keep a lot of adjustment you might need to cut the strap back on the tie because once you sew the tape to the strap it will no longer fit through the clip. Also, I only wear full collared shirts so I don't have to worry about seeing that the extension doesn't match the rest of the tie.
I assume you already can tie a bow tie but for those who don't know how or need a refresher here is a link: http://youtu.be/VJv4Qh7zR3E