Tie It On

Neckties come in a variety patterns and color, and you can find them at any used clothing store for very little money. This patchwork-style project is great for a beginner or intermediate seamstress. Give it a try!

Step 1


Create a Template

Use brown kraft paper to make a pattern (ours is 12” x 15”). Across the bottom, one of the 15-inch sides, lay a coffee mug and use it to trace rounded edges on your pattern and cut off those edges. This is to give the tie tote curved corners.

Step 2


Lay Ties on Pattern

Lay out the ties so that they cover the paper pattern. Once the pattern of neckties is decided, cut the ties down at the top and the bottom, keeping the ties a bit larger than the pattern. You will need approximately seven ties for the front and seven for the back. The width should end up being a little wider than the pattern. Save two of the discarded tie ends to use as handles.

Step 3


Stitch Together

Sew the ties together using a zigzag stitch. Sew the ties in the order that they were laid on the pattern so that the order doesn't get confused.

Step 4


Cut and Apply Interfacing

Interfacing is fabric on one side and glue bumps on the other. Trace the paper pattern onto the fabric side of the interfacing. Cut the interfacing a 1/2" outside of the drawn line. Repeat for the second side (two are needed, one for each side of the bag). Lay the interfacing glue-side down on the back of each piece of tie fabric. Iron the interfacing so it starts to fuse to the back of the ties. Start from the middle and work outward so that you won't have any bubbling. Pin the tie fabrics together, pretty to pretty, and sew around the two sides and the bottom of the bag. When that's done, turn it inside out.

Step 5

Cut and Sew Lining

Using your pattern as a guide, cut two pieces of the lining fabric. Sew the two pieces of lining together on the bottom and two sides.

Step 6


Sew Lining to the Ties

Use the leftover tie ends to make the handles by pinning each end, pretty to pretty, to the finished sides of the tie purse shell. Slide the whole outer shell into the lining. The right sides should be together, pretty to pretty; make sure the handles are lying flat inside. (They should not be sticking out the top of the bag at this time.)

Step 7


Pin and Sew

Sew the lining, but instead of sewing the entire bottom, leave a 4-inch opening unsewn at the top. Do not turn pretty-side out. Line the top edge of the lining and the top edge of the tie fabric together, then pin it around in a circle. Sew around the meeting edges in a circle (do not sew straight across the top or it won't work).

Step 8


Turn Right-Side Out

Invert the bag by pulling it all through the 3” to 4” hole you left in the lining so that it’s all right-side out. Slipstitch the hole closed in the lining and tuck inside your tote.

Step 9


Add Finishing Touches

Decide whether or not to stitch the lining down at 1” or let lining show as a binding like the finished bags shown. Using your sewing machine, add an edge stitch about an inch from the opening to make it look even more finished. To see more projects by Ariel, check out Custom Catastrophes.