It’s easy to find things to sew for the girls. Skirt and dress patterns abound, plus hats, capes, coats, tunics, pants, leggings, blouses… you get the gist. Finding things to make for boys tends to be more challenging and the options not as interesting. Unless the boy is going to a disco or has a predilection for Rococo, ruffles and flounces are out. Embellishments and trims also look out of place on boys’ clothing today. Fabrics tend to be more somber, style lines more plain. I was feeling a little bad for Konik as I was planning to make fancy skirts for the girls to wear at Christmastime. Sew a new button-up shirt? Or pair of slacks? Big whoop. That’s not exciting for the maker or the wearer. But, I found a way to inject a little fun!
Konik enjoys dressing up. He especially loves himself some clip-on ties. He is always the dapperest little dude at church and he chooses his clothes himself. (Did I mention that he’s only 5?) So there was my ticket! A new winter-themed tie.
There are several little boy tie tutorials with slight variations among them. I ended up choosing the one by Vanilla Joy. I chose hers because I preferred the ways she suggested for fastening the tie around the neck. One change I will make
if when I make another tie is to make it a tad narrower overall and taper it more severely about halfway up to make tying it easier (and so the knot doesn’t come out so big). It takes a miniscule amount of fabric and it’s a very fast project.
Konik was with me when I went to the fabric store, so I let him choose his own fabric. He found a small snowman print in several different colorways and settled on the blue one. Fine choice, my son. I did have to steer him clear of other, larger prints because the scale never would have translated to something as small and narrow as a necktie, and a little boy’s necktie at that.
For the lining fabric, I had a scrap of dark blue apparel lining that I had used in a cape for myself (oh man, I still haven’t written about that?!). You can just see a bit of it peeking out at the tips. Using actual slippery lining fabric makes it look pretty legit, I think! I was pleased with that.
For the tie closure, I decided to go with Velcro, mainly because that’s what I had and I figured it was easy enough for Konik to manage himself, which would not have been the case with button elastic. After measuring around his neck, I made a little strip out of the snowman fabric and put Velcro on the ends. Next time, I need to make the strip just a touch narrower to be fully hidden under his shirt collar. It’s not hugely apparent right now, but it could be better.
Here’s where things got interesting: you have to tie the tie around the little strip of fabric, which is not the same as tying it around one’s neck. I already knew that the latter skill eluded me, but it turns out the former does as well. I called in Mr. Gren for reinforcements. He got the tie tied appropriately and, with a little fiddling, we got the tail piece to mostly stay in the back. What I need to do at this point is just lightly tack it together so that it won’t accidentally come untied.
Konik was happy with his new little snowman tie and wore it proudly to church. He probably needs one for every season now…
A well-tied tie is the first serious step in life.
— Oscar Wilde