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2005-01-27

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How to ... make a skirt from neckties

BY ALEXANDRA JONES
Daily Weekend Editor
Published January 27, 2005

1. Pick out at least 16 ties. Consider color and texture, and make sure they’re all approximately the same width and length. You’ll need more or less depending on your waist size. The number of ties you’ll use also depends on how long you want your skirt to be: if you want a longer one, the ties will be skinnier at the top, so you’ll need to use more.

Beth Dykstra
The finished necktie skirt. (Trevor campbell/Daily)
Beth Dykstra
Step 1 -- Pin the ties together along the edges (Trevor campbell/Daily)
Beth Dykstra
Step 5 -- Fit the elastic band around your waist to create the proper sized waistband. (Trevor campbell/Daily)

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To determine exactly how many ties you need, pin your ties together along the edges, with the front, or “right,” sides together. After you’ve pinned about a dozen together, fold down the top of the skirt (where the ties get skinny) so that the skirt is the length you want. Hold it up around your waist where you want the waistband to sit and estimate how many more ties you’ll need to go all the way around. Add more until you’ve got your waist measurement plus about one inch (a little more than that is OK, since the skirt will have an elastic waist, but less than that won’t fit). You can also pin the skirts further in to shrink a skirt, or further out to stretch the width of each tie.

If you’re machine sewing, pin your ties together by positioning the pins perpendicular to the ties. Simply place the ties next to each other; don’t overlap. You can also use safety pins for this method of fitting.

 

2. Sew the ties together (not the points at the bottom, just the sides). Using a sewing machine is easiest and will make your skirt more durable, but you can sew by hand as well. If you have a sewing machine, you can simply remove the pins and place the ties next to each other, using a wide zigzag stitch to sew them together, but you can also keep the right sides together and sew on the wrong side near the very edge.

If you’re sewing by hand, it’s best to keep the two right sides together and sew through both ties with a backstitch.

 

3. Once all the ties are sewn together, you should have one big piece of fabric that wraps around you to form the skirt. Pin the two end ties together and try the skirt on with the waist folded down to the length you want, just to make sure it looks and fits right. (Try it on after pretty much any adjustment in size). Unfold and sew the two end ties together.

 

4. All that’s left to finish is the waistband. Fold over the top of the skirt to create the waist size you want plus one inch. Pin one inch down from the top of the waistband all around the skirt. The one-inch space will be where the elastic goes. Using a seam ripper, remove the seam in between just two ties. You’ll insert the elastic waistband here. Sew where you marked with pins one inch down from the top of the skirt.

 

5. Take your elastic band and fit it around your waist where you want the waistband to sit. Cut the elastic to fit that measurement, then mark one inch smaller. (Otherwise the elastic won’t fit snugly enough.) That’s where you’ll sew once you’ve inserted the elastic into the waistband.

 

6. Thread the elastic through the waistband and bring both ends through the hole you made in the waistband. Sew the two elastic ends together, making sure to take in that one inch that will make the skirt fit well. Sew up the opening in the waistband by hand.

 

7. Cut off the excess (all the skinny ends of the ties) that got folded inside the skirt to form the waistband.

 

8. Put it on to show off your crafty hotness.