Reader Question: I think I remember you saying you made your husband's tie for the ceremony. Can you tell me how you did this? I would LOVE to make the ties for my honey and the other guys in the ceremony, but I am a beginner sewer who needs some instruction. Did you follow a pattern? Also, I read you made napkins from sheets! Was this just a project that you came up with yourself or were you following a pattern or instructions somehow? Anything to help jump from "I want to do this" to "I can do this"?
I love that DIYing and crafting and sewing are becoming increasingly popular. I think the move toward the mechanized outsourcing of our products has hurt us in so many ways. Oh, I better not digress on that tirade right now!
But I will say: Good for you! Yes! You can sew! Google will be your friend.
I had never made a tie before I decided to make one for the wedding. I thought it would be more meaningful and memorable (I used the same fabric that I made my dress sash from--fabric that I bought while traveling through India right after I met Matt). I also knew it would be less expensive and more eco-friendly. What a great combination!
You can read about my experience here: http://2000dollarwedding.com/2008/04/quasi-real-tie.html
In the meantime, I will say that I recently made another tie for my friend's birthday present. He collects ties, and he's been wanting a Teach For America tie for a long time. To my knowledge, such things do not exist, so I decided to make one for him out of an old canvas bag with the TFA logo on it.
It was even easier the second time around. I just used a seam ripper to carefully pull apart one of Matt's old ties. I ironed the old tie until the fabric was as flat as possible. I then laid the fabric on top of my new fabric, pinned it down, and cut it out. I then worked on the ends of the tie (following the pattern of the old tie). Finally, I folded the new fabric around the old wool from the previous tie, pinned it, and started sewing it by hand. The trick is to pay attention to how the old tie was constructed as you pull it apart.
As far as napkins go, I had to make 80 of them for the wedding, so I didn't actually sew them (although I originally planned to). Instead, I just cut them out using pinking shears to prevent them from fraying.
For my recent Retro Prom birthday party, I did sew 15 of them. It felt like it took forever! I used the directions that I mention in this post.
In general, I find that crafting is 80% confidence/determination and 20% researching skills. There are so many wonderful tutorials and directions out there. Have fun with it!
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