|Ben's hair is not getting any shorter, I can't help noticing. But he is rocking the necktie shirt, no?|
Thank you for indulging me in my immodest blog-post titles. I know it's all "The Single Best Thing You Ever Ate!" and "What, Are You Kidding Me? If You Don't Make This Spelt, You're a-Gonna Die!" and "Read This Book
or Drown in a Spreading Puddle of Your Own Regret!" And now this. But seriously? This is one amazing
necktie shirt--not like those lame necktie shirts you've resigned yourself to! And anyway, it wasn't even my idea. We saw one years ago at a craft fair, and I copied it for Ben.
|The Original Necktie Shirt|
I've been planning to post a little how-to ever since. And now seems like the perfect time. It can be the Amazing
Endless Summer Necktie Shirt!
You'll start with a simple trip to your closet or thrift shop, where you'll pick out a slightly oversized polo-style shirt and a silk necktie. It does not absolutely need to be silk--but the silk gets so soft and faded and lovely in the laundry that you'll be glad you bothered! Have your child put on the polo shirt, and knot the tie loosely around the collar. Make sure that your child will be able to remove the shirt and tie once it's sewn on! (Amazing as the shirt is, wearing it forever
could still be kind of a drag.)
|Why don't we just keep the shirt and tie separate? you are wondering. And I am suddenly not entirely sure. But I will say that Ben wears his necktie shirt all the time, and never once has worn a different polo shirt and tie combo. So.|
The next step is to imagine an attractively stiff breeze. Pin the tie at a jaunty angle, like so.
|Why don't we just leave the tie kind of more normal? Look, do you want to make this Amazing Necktie Shirt or not?|
It's not showing up as well as I'd like, but can you see how the thick part of the tie is kind of folded up near the top? I find this to be an oddly crucial detail, aesthetics-wise. You don't need to go crazy pinning, unless you're meticulous. I am not meticulous.
Now you're going to sew it. It's not a lot of sewing, so you could totally do it by hand. And if you're doing it by machine, you already know what you're doing. (If you don't, I'm probably not the person to help you. But my friend Nicole
|Speaking of Nicole, she made me this pin cushion for my birthday, like, a hundred years ago.|
I find it easiest to start at the bottom of the point and sew up one side of the tie, then stop near the knot, do a little back-stitching to secure, and then start again at the bottom to sew up the other side. Sew, I sew the 2 tie tails in 4 separate events, if you see what I'm saying.
|My main goal here is not to get the shirt bunched up into the sewing machine so that I end up sewing the whole thing together, front to back, screaming the word fuck such that every time Ben puts on the shirt he has a vague, uncomfortable feeling that he can't place. I sewed this one uneventfully and did not curse once.|
|Three or four years ago, I posted a wanted ad on Craigslist that said, "I am looking for a sewing machine that is old and very heavy but not vintage. I'd like it to do as few things as possible and to have been made in Japan, Germany, Switzerland, or the United States. I can spend up to $200." It's been a mad love affair ever since.|
Stop sewing an inch or so from the knot. And just kind of sew around the jauntily folded part so that the fold stays intact, like so.
|This is not a very clarifying photograph.|
Next, secure the back of the tie with two little rows of stitches, just so it doesn't slide around.
| || || |
|I'm not convinced that
this step is entirely necessary. I think the tie on Ben's old tie shirt
was inclined to ride up over the collar in the back, which was why I
originally added this bit of security.|| || || || || || || || || || |
That's it. The entire project, not including rummaging around for the shirt and tie, will take you about half an hour.
If you make one, will you please, please, please send me a photograph?