I have to say that I have the best husband in the world. There are many reasons, but I’ll only go into one of them: he’s always on the lookout for cool things, for little ol’ me. In this case, he was at a March Fourth concert (at the Southgate House, RIP) with some friends when he noticed the tie skirts that some of their dancers were wearing. The skirts were literally made of men’s ties, sewn vertically together to create a skirt. Super cool.
We tucked this idea into the backs of our minds, and thought it would be the perfect costume piece for the duet that my friend Andi and I were choreographing for our doll piece, as openers for the recent Accidental Circus show. I took photos throughout the skirt-making process so that I could share the instructions on how to make a skirt out of men’s ties for you here. 🙂
1. Gather Your Men’s Ties for the Skirt
I went to the local Goodwill store, but you can ask around to see if any men you know have old ties that they don’t wear anymore. I chose navy blues and dark reds, all with some sort of dot pattern on them. A tie is about two inches wide, so measure your waist or hips (wherever you prefer your skirts to “sit”), and divide that in half. That’s about how many ties you’ll need.
2. Measure the First Tie for Length
You can make the skirt as short as you dare, but I went with one that’s about 16 inches long. Choose your length, and measure from the bottom tip of the tie up. Mark the top of the tie skirt with a pin so that you know where to stop sewing.
3. Measure the Tie for Movement, and Sew
If you leave about two inches from the bottom corners of each tie, your skirt will have a little movement; you can sew the entire length, but it’ll be more stiff. Line up the second tie next to the first, and start sewing from the bottom point you choose. Work your way up to the pin that marks the top of your skirt. You’ll repeat this for each tie (measure, sew).
4. Sew, Repeat
Continue lining up the ties and sewing them side by side. Check the size as you add ties/width to the skirt; you can do this by wrapping it around your waist.
5. Loop the Top of the Ties
After you’ve added enough ties for the skirt to go completely around your waist and hips, use the extra length from the top of the tie to fold the material back over (toward the “inside” of the skirt) and create a belt loop effect. In this picture, you can see how I sewed the tie to make the loop. I like wide belts, so I measured about four inches total for each loop; after it was sewn, I had enough room to run a two-inch belt through the entire skirt.
By this time in the process, you can sew the first tie to the last tie, to make it a complete skirt. If you make it the right size, you can slip it over your head, so that it falls to your hips. Run a belt through the loops to tighten it as needed.
6. Wear Your Tie Skirt With Love
Here’s a picture of the tie skirt in action. That’s me, stapling a $5 bill to Darbuka Dave, of the Accidental Circus. Good times! For this particular show, my friend Britney also made a little apron to go over the skirt.
I spent about four or five hours total to make the tie skirt, sewing by hand. If you have and can use a sewing machine, go for it. Either way, have fun, and make sure you let me know how your skirt turns out! I think my next one will be made of the ugliest ties I can find, just for fun. 🙂