Tailoring ties to skinny

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by office drone, May 27, 2007.

  1. Jared

    Jared Senior member

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  2. Jared

    Jared Senior member

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    So I gave this a try on a thrift store tie. I'm afraid I don't have photos, but I can share some notes on the experience:

    The tie I used had a wool interlining, which was pretty easy to work with but I didn't bother with basting stitches so I had to be careful that it was stretched to the right length. YMMV with other interlinings?

    Pressing the existing creases out, as j noted, does take some time.

    I made a paper template of the existing interlining, cut the paper down to the shape I wanted, then pinned it on the interlining and trimmed around it. One of the surprising things is just how far from straight the existing shape is, so I didn't worry about using straightedges and chalk when making my modifications.

    I only took 0.75" off, but there was so much fabric on the back that I had to add another fold, and even then it ends in some places at the right edge (so to go any skinnier I'd have to cut fabric).

    Press before sewing, of course.

    Getting the stitches right is, of course, the tricky part. It took me three tries until I'm satisfied that they're at least approximately right, and the tie seems to work even though my stitching technique is unrefined (so don't worry about getting it perfect, just keep doing it until it works). I read somewhere to use cotton thread in the hopes that it will break before the silk tears.
     


  3. j

    j (stands for Jerk) Admin

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    Nice. How did it come out?

    Yeah, my process was similar to that site, I guess - lots of words, I skimmed it. [​IMG] I noticed that they didn't mention a bar tack, which I did like it originally was. To do the shape I just laid a crappy tie of the size I wanted out over the interlining and traced along the edges with a sharpie.

    One thing to also note is that the showing edges of the tie silk should not be pressed hard - at most you could do a light steam and a bit of pressure with a cloth over them. The edge(s) you sew down on the back can be pressed more than that.

    I didn't baste mine either, but I think I did pin it to the back side fabric at a couple of points so that it would stay in place. It should be pretty much floating in there until you do the keeper, which I sewed through the back silk and the interlining for strength. (Mine had a self keeper).

    Also in the process of doing this, if there's enough, you can use some of the extra silk to make a self keeper. That way you can take off the keeper label, because it's not really their tie anymore, is it?
     


  4. Jared

    Jared Senior member

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    One thing to also note is that the showing edges of the tie silk should not be pressed hard - at most you could do a light steam and a bit of pressure with a cloth over them. The edge(s) you sew down on the back can be pressed more than that. I didn't baste mine either, but I think I did pin it to the back side fabric at a couple of points so that it would stay in place. It should be pretty much floating in there until you do the keeper, which I sewed through the back silk and the interlining for strength. (Mine had a self keeper). Also in the process of doing this, if there's enough, you can use some of the extra silk to make a self keeper. That way you can take off the keeper label, because it's not really their tie anymore, is it?
    I think I cut quite a few more corners than you, j, as I bought the tie to experiment rather than try and salvage something I'd like to wear.
    • I pressed the edges. I think it would be significantly trickier without the folds staying in place. The tie is a little flat compared to a professional done model, but I don't think it's very noticeable.
    • I sewed through the interlining all the way: I swear this is how it appeared to be constructed as I took it apart. Time will tell whether I need to restitch it floating...
    • I still haven't figured out what to do about the keeper. [​IMG]
     


  5. JChance

    JChance Senior member

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    Do you know if there is any tailor/tiecrafter in San Francisco/LA/Orange County that does this kind of work?
     


  6. Cheweh

    Cheweh Well-Known Member

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    has anyone had a regular tailor do this? if so, could they comment on their experience?
     


  7. office drone

    office drone Senior member

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    OP here! I have not bothered to have my old ties narrowed...I just ended up buying new ones. But around where I live, tailors are charging $20-$25 to narrow ties. From their website, Tie Crafters is charging $19.50 per tie excluding shipping. It might be worth it to send them to Tie Crafters and having it professionally done, imo.
     


  8. IBJanky

    IBJanky Senior member

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    I'm actually thinking of sending some ties into TieCrafters myself to get narrowed. Will post results when i do end up doing it.

    myke
     


  9. Cheweh

    Cheweh Well-Known Member

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    I just dropped off a couple ties at ny local dry cleaner/tailor. She charged $12 per tie. I'll post results when I get them back on Tuesday
     


  10. deandbn

    deandbn Senior member

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    You guys will be sorry when the fashion changes, and it will, sooner than you might think. Rather stick to style than try follow fashion. IMHO.
     


  11. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I had it done a really long time ago by a regular tailor. My cousin with one arm could have done a better job.
     


  12. Gdot

    Gdot Senior member

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    I just went through my ties - donated all that were both tired/worn/less than immaculate AND too wide to Goodwill. Put all of those that I liked and are still in good shape but are a bit wide for my current taste up in storage. They'll come back soon enough - probably in just a year or so more.

    But I don't vary tie widths by a lot these days. I've settled on a margin of no narrower than 2-3/4" and no wider than 3-1/2" as this is what works best for my build/body type. So we're not talking a lot of difference here.

    I have bought a few that were as narrow as 2-1/2" recently but I'm just not 'feelin' the love' for them and they are going up for sale now that the experiment in narrow is over.

    The main thing about ties is that various widths will come and go with the fashion - and this isn't ALL bad to a degree - as ties are also fairly fragile and if worn frequently will need to be replaced soon enough. I can't stand a tie that doesn't look 'fresh' so for me they are pretty disposable after 3-4 years of steady wear.
     


  13. Master-Classter

    Master-Classter Senior member

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    IMO the super skinny tie (with collars) thing is a fad, but a variation from 2.75-3.5 is a normal range that should be explored depending on what's appropriate for your body shape/width.

    4 was the 70's-90's, 2.5 was the 50's-60's and current revival.3.75 is a little dated but still common for classic companies. IMO 3.25 is slim without being skinny and works for most fellas.
     


  14. Cheweh

    Cheweh Well-Known Member

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    I asked the tailor to slim the ties from 3 inches to 2.75 inches. As a shorter asian gentleman, I need my ties to be around that width. Anything wider just looks ridiculous on me.
     


  15. Jay Gatsby

    Jay Gatsby Senior member

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    Search function would have revealed a plethora of threads about tie crafters.

    Taking all your ties down to 2.5 is going to look really good -- if you weigh less than 85 lbs. Otherwise it's going to look very fashion forward. Are you 21 years old? Then you might get away with it. Are you normal weight or heavier? Are you an adult? Then it will look like shit.
     


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