Monday, May 12, 2008

A Few Words on the Tie Front

A few of you asked in the comments for more details about the tie front top. It will be hard to show you without photos and I didn't take any along the way. But I'll try to explain it with just words.

I cut two strips selvedge-t0-selvedge, each 3" wide. I then sewed them with RS together at one short end and pinned the strip together with the seam allowance open. I didn't press with an iron only due to the pleats in the fabric. If there had been no pleating, I would've pressed the SA open.

Next, I folded the long strip in half lengthwise, WS together. (Again, I would've pressed it if this wasn't pleated fabric.)

I placed the joining seam of the strip at the CB of the top. I then pinned the strip around the neckline, stretching it as I went around so that the neckband would not flop over when finished. I don't have an exact method for this. I just do it by feel. It's between a 2/3 and 3/4 ratio of neckband to neckline.

I stopped pinning about 1" before the vee of the neckline.

I turned the unpinned tie strip sections (one for each side of the neckline) RS together and sewed them together along the bottom and long sides, stopping about 1" before where they'd meet the neckline. I sewed along the bottom edge diagonally so the ties would end in a point. I trimmed the corner seam allowances and used a tube turner to turn these parts of the ties RS out. I did it this way (with the neckband already pinned in place) because I was doing this "on the fly," not taking the time to take measurements, etc. I know one could do this in a less haphazard manner, but I was winging it.

Next, I clipped the vee of the neckline just up to the seam allowance. If you feel more comfortable with stay-stitching in this area, you should do that *before* you pin the tie to the neckline. I didn't staystitch.

I sewed the tie onto the neckline as I had it pinned, stretching as I sewed so that neckline and tie met up flat. (Remember, I left ease in the neckline when I was pinning.)

I stopped 1" before the vee on either side. You don't sew all the way to the point of the vee because you need some room for the knot you'll make when tying the ties.

The last step was to "finger press" the seam allowance toward the bodice and coverstitch around. (You can edgestitch with a single or double needle if you do not have a CS machine.) The seam allowances at the point were also "finger pressed" down and coverstitched. I just opened and sorta slid/folded the vee until it was in a straight line going under the foot as I used my CS machine, because you can't really pivot with twin needles. (Very much like you see here.)

The end result is that there is about 1" of the tie section below the vee of the neckline that isn't sewn together. This is OK because (1) it's a knit and does't ravel, and (2) tying the strips into a bow takes up that length and hides the opening. If this was a woven, I'd use Steam-a-Seam to close the opening.

* * * * *

From recent comments:
Mrs. Moos mentioned finding lime slinky at Joann's. Just thought I'd mention that mine came from Nancy's Notions and it's still in stock. Along with a bunch of other colors.

Carolyn was still plugging a navy or black suit. I don't wear either color. I *would* wear a brown suit but they're hard to find in RTW and I just don't have the fabric right now to make one. Really, if I had had enough of the either jacket fabric to make a skirt, I'd have a suit. But I didn't, so I'm going to just dazzle them with my well-coordinated outfits, resume/skills, and shining personality. LOL! Yeah, you can wipe off the keyboard now. But seriously, if this was NYC or Washington, D.C., I'd be more diligent about a suit. But it's Tampa, Florida. We're a bit less uptight here. ;-) Even on interviews. In fact, I'm guessing I'll actually be overdressed compared to most other interviewees.


  1. Your blouse is GORGEOUS! Your entire wardrobe is but this blouse is my FAVORITE and I will be making one! LOL

  2. I think your work wardrobe is great looking, and if I didn't have a sister working in the Tampa area and singing the same song as you, I might be tempted to back up Carolyn on that suit idea. As it is, I know that you not only don't *need* suits, but that you would look a tad overdone in a black or navy suit.

  3. I'm in coastal Southern California - people in suits really scare us. I trained as a color consultant/personal shopper back with Wilma have 7 seconds for people to decide if they like you, and it's based on if what you have on makes sense for what you're doing and where you are. A nice smile, a firm handshake and not overaccessorizing/weird nails goes a long way when I'm interviewing applicants. IMHO it's about if you'll fit in with the company culture. NY Bank = scary suit; Small Beach Town = clean jeans, even for management.
    PS: Please reconsider this entire idea...need tutorials with breakfast :)

  4. This is BRILLIANT! I'm totally doing this tie thing on my Ottobre v-neck tee. Right after I do the BWOF wrap top/Ottobre wrap top morph you did last month (or was it the month before???)

    You gotta go to work because my to-do list keeps getting longer and longer. :P

  5. Yup, you'd be overdressed (at least I assume, since I'm really NOT in the workforce) here (Phoenix) too, if you wore a black or navy suite. Having moved here from the Chicago area, I was quite shocked to see how casual people dressed here. DH went from wearing a suit and tie, to now wearing BLUE JEANS TO WORK!!!! (and that's not just on Fridays!)

    Love your new wardrobe!
    I'm trying that serger trick next time I have an inside corner too! Thanks so much for that tip!

  6. When I left the workforce in Jan 07, the dress in Dallas was much more casual. I worked in building with an oil company, bank, government office, accounting office, etc. Generally it was only the bank folks we saw in suits.

  7. Just got back from Denver, and checked in to see your progress. I'm in awe! Your new wardrobe is simply stunning! I'm impressed with the colors and style. Tampa's not Big Northern City; I'm certain you'll be the best dressed woman around.

  8. There has to be something wrong here - I think I actually understand what you are saying you did. At least I hope that's the case. I think these are the most ingenious tops - not stuffy like the big bows of the eighties on the blouses but very wearable and feminine. There seems to be nothing on the market like these pattern wise-I had a blouse from Petite plus and when I looked at the guide sheet it involved a facing and a couple of loops to hold a scarf or strip of fabric which was nothing like you and Carolyn are doing. Thanks for the help - know you are mucho busy.
    Btw a couple here who liked Florida so much moved there and the wife sold all his long pants and expensive suits as she said he did not need that stuff down there and he would look strange. My sil is from California and he would get some funny looks sometimes in his shorts and athletic gear that he considers about town wear. I think the climate/attitude really does dictate some colors and apparel in California and Florida in business and casual wear more so than other places. mssewcrazy

  9. Okay, okay, I give!!!! *holding hands up in the air in surrender* LOL! You know your area best and so I believe you.

  10. Debbie, thanks for the instructions. I'd love to see a shot from the inside at the V-neck.

  11. Beautiful top! I love that print, you can really dress this up or down and and so many color possibilities to wear it with...

  12. Beautiful top! Great instructions :)

  13. oldsewandsew68@yahoo.com5:25 PM, May 13, 2008

    Debbie - I have this same fabric that I'm going to make a bouse out of - yours is wonderful! Is it hard to sew with? How did you keep the pleats from flattening when you were sewing it? Did you do it all on the serger? Can you give me any hints, tips, tricks for sewing this fabric? Does it stretch very much, etc., etc., etc.
    Thanks in advance -
    Clairee (

  14. Lovely work wardrobe. Pretty but professional. I love that paisley fabric. The colors are really perfect for you. I love what you did with remaking the walmart shirt. It is so much more becoming.

  15. Love the top. The tie is a wonderful touch--soft and feminine. I haven't been in HR for awhile, but even at the time I left, the "interview suit" was no longer necessary, even here in the conservative Midwest. I'd wear any of the outfits you've made to an interview with confidence.


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