Thursday, December 15, 2011

Guest Post: Family Ever After

Today, I'm excited to share with you Rachel from Family Ever After! Rachel has the sweetest blog with lots of great sewing tutorials, but I think what most catches my eye, is all of her great Christmas projects. It makes me want to try harder to get into the Christmas spirit!

Like this awesome tree advent calendar....

Or her beautiful pinecone wreath

She also recently hosted this darling "Ugly Christmas Sweater Party". What a cute idea!

So, Let's hear from Rachel!


Hello Sweet Verbena fans! My name is Rachel, and I am so excited that Katy is letting me guest post on her amazing blog. Isn't she the cutest? I think she comes up with the neatest sewing projects, and I love her vintage sewing machine! I blog over at Family Ever After. I am a "retired" middle school sewing teacher (haha, actually... I only taught for one *fun* year, before I started having babies and moved away). I love sewing and creating, and my blog is sorta my excuse for continuing education.

Before we get started with my tutorial, I have some news that I haven't even announced on my blog yet.... I want you Sweet Verbena readers to be the first to find out.... I'll be starting a sewing competition on my blog... a spin off the show "Survivor," called "Sew-vivor." The fun will begin after the holidays... please feel free to stop by for details coming soon!

Today I'm sharing a tutorial on how to make a tie skirt, or skirt out of ties. This one is special to me because I made it out of ties that my husband used to wear when he lived in Hungary for two years. So, the colors don't coordinate perfectly, but for sentimental reasons, I'm okay with that! If you don't have a lot ties laying around, you could certainly thrift some- but I would caution you to get them cleaned really well before using them. Most men don't regularly wash their ties, and you just never know where they have been. If you don't want to spend the $$ to have them professionally cleaned, try asking your dad/grandpa/husband/brother/etc if they have any ties that you could have. I used 14 men's ties in my skirt, and I'm about a size 3 or 5, so you can estimate the number of ties you'd need to make this.

Ok, let's get started!


*12-20ish ties 
(depending on your size. I used 14 ties, and I'm a size 3 or 5)
*Hook and eye 
*Possible materials for waitsband
*Thread, needle, sewing maching, etc

1. Start by holding a tie up to your body to decide how long you want your skirt to be. (I did knee length, but I think to the ankles could be fun too)! Then decide the pattern you'd like your ties to be in. I pinned sticky notes to each tie to remember the order I wanted them in.

2. The fun part-- cut all the ties at your desired length! Measure each tie starting at the outer angle, where the ties will meet up, and NOT from the tip/point of the tie.
This is what I mean:

3. Here's where you have to decide if you're going to make this the easy way or the hard way. I chose the hard way, but I'll give you tips for both. Basically....
The Hard Way: you'll unpick the factory stitching on the back of every single tie, then machine sew them each together, then hand sew them back up.
The Easy Way: you'll put ties right sides together and sew.

The Hard Way How-To:
Unpick the stitching from the back of each tie.

Unfold every tie, and line up, right sides together, with another tie.
Sew directly where the fold used to be in the tie. 
Do this step for all the ties, but don't sew your skirt into a circle yet.
Now you have to hand sew each tie back together! This took me quite a while!
The Easy Way:
Place the ties right sides together, and sew a straight line, with a small seam allowance (about 1/4).
This will change the appearance of each tie,making them look thinner, but it will save you a lot of work!

4. It's time to connect your row of ties into a skirt.
But first, measure the skirt around your body. 
Do you need to add or remove any ties to make it fit properly?
If not, you're ready to connect the first and last tie, sewing right sides together, a straight line.
*Important: Leave about 2 inches at the top of the skirt open for a zipper or eye and hook.
Then, hand sew the last 2 ties back together.

5. Once you have the skirt together, you have to decide how to make a waist band.
You could edge finish the top of the ties before doing anything else.
For my waist band, I hand sewed it all. I used the skinny remnant of one of the ties, and basically binded it, like you would on a quilt.
I'm sure there are several other ways you could create a waistband, but this seemed the easiest way for me.
A picture of the 2 inch opening.

6. Once the wait band is all set, you're ready to make it shut. You could do a zipper, but I chose the easy way this time, and hand sewed 2 hooks and eyes.

And there you have it!

Remember to stop by Family Ever After for further details on "Sew-vivor," coming soon!
Katy, you are so sweet for having me today, thank you!
okbye everyone!
xoxo, Rach H {familyeverafter at gmail}



katie said...

awesome tutorial!

Janny said...

What a great idea! This skirt is darling

Anonymous said...

Ohmygosh!!! This is incredible! I've seen a lot of tie projects but this one is really chic. :)

Unknown said...

Thank you for your great post. This blog is great.

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