|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?
This is so cool!! If you need a smile, read Ben and Birdy. :)ReplyDelete
Dang it, Catherine. First, you made me buy a pressure cooker. Now, I need to buy a sewing machine. You're killing me!ReplyDelete
Um, you really kind of do. I'm a *terrible* sewer, and I still use mine all the time!Delete
Oh man I bet the girls swoon over Ben. Holy hotness (in a non-pedophile mother-of-3-sons sort of way)ReplyDelete
Love you, Dale.Delete
What a cool shirt! I am so not a sewer (the kind that sews, not the kind that carries dirty water and alligators), but I think I have to try making this!ReplyDelete
I love that. (I also love your Craig's. list ad, and I may steal it npbecause I am OVER my sewing machine.)ReplyDelete
Magpie, do it! You'll never look back.Delete
I love my 35 year-old Bernina, too! And not just because it was my Grandmom's. It runs like a dream.ReplyDelete
Love the Necktie Shirt! Think I'll make one for my 10 year-old-to-be for his birthday next month. As always, thank you for the wonderful idea, and instructions that don't require measurements of any sort.
Your grandmother's bernina! That is lovely.Delete
Love you and your blog, but ben needs haircut, seriously.ReplyDelete
No. He. Doesn't.Delete
Oh! Thank you, Oona. I always meant to write back to Joseph about that. Such a strange and mean-spirited comment.Delete
Your grandmother's Bernina is only 35? If I had my grandmother's sewing machine, it would have been a treadle type. Our family's generations are pretty stretched out. I just got my mom's Kenmore, which is itself about 30. I haven't even tried it out, but I taught myself to sew on a dinky starter Singer. It broke, and now that I haven another machine, I think this may be just the quick project to break it in.ReplyDelete
Ben looks adorable! In the Birdy/monchichi post, is that the monkey that had the thumb that fit neatly in his mouth? Why did we all have one of those? I never knew that's what it was called.
I meant to address the Bernina comment to Susan!Delete
I'm going to take my middle son out to shop for that immediately. He loves dressing 'fancy' and that would be a great way for those rushed "Please just put on SOMETHING so we can get in the car!" days.ReplyDelete
Happy Back to school Ben & Birdy!
Love the blog, Catherine.. Both your children are beautiful - it's hard to believe that people would mistake Ben for a girl (any more than they would mistake Birdy for a boy). Have these awkward strangers never seen Fast Times at Ridgemont High?ReplyDelete
He does rock the look! I predict years of heartbreaking in his future.ReplyDelete
I made one, I made one! So fun...want to make more. Here's a photo (or four): http://remainsofday.blogspot.com/2013/08/my-amazing-necktie-shirt-knock-off.html. Also, what a sweet way to get an old-school Bernina...I would try it, but I'm a little scared of Craig's list....ReplyDelete
I love that shot of Ben! Cuuuuuutttttie! And, I am glad the pincushion has not fallen apart (or been eaten by Craney).ReplyDelete
Wow, this is so cool and creative. I really like this idea and the photos included on the post for understanding is really useful. This is the most handsome necktie shirt i have seen before:-)ReplyDelete