Making our own Ascot Tie, Burgundy White-Spot style
We’ve said in the past we were going to do it. THIS GUIDE by Charles Rupert Domeki has been tempting us for a long time, but you know how hard it is to get going on a project that you lack both the skills and resources to complete. We’ve had this rather garish silk scarf knocking about for ages, which was £5 from T K Maxx, and finally it has met its end and risen from the ashes as something altogether more awesome.
We made a few changes from CRD’s original plan, the principal one being that the scarf is double thickness silk so we decided to make it double-sided instead of using a contrasting backing. The silk is also much finer than a standard tie weight so we opted for a relatively stiff linen lining rather than the recommended interlining.
We started by cutting the pattern from brown parcel paper from the 1950s, usually reserved for wrapping eBay sales.
The deconstructed scarf was laid out with the outside faces of the silk facing each other and the linen lining on the bottom. The pattern was then lined up as neatly as possible with the polka dots and pinned on…
and then the three layers of fabric were basted with a basic tacking stitch…
Once basted up, we drew around the pattern with the remains of millions of minute dead sea creatures, removed the paper, and hit the ironing board like a bat out of hell:
Now came the most exciting bit. Being the hellraisers that we obviously are, we managed to trash two sewing machines before even a stitch was in place. Simon was thus forced to resort to hand stitching it all (that wasn’t so exciting). In light of the resulting rage and frustration, no photographs were taken during this two and a half hour period. Because we were making a double-sided, essentially reversible cravat, we didn’t mitre the ends as per CRD’s guide and simply stitched around the pointed end, obviously leaving one end open. Turning the whole thing inside out was a bit of a nightmare. Partly because the linen lining made the whole thing a little stiff, and partly because Simon’s amateurish hand-stitching was tested to its limits. Thank goodness for bamboo.
It was like a snake giving birth to a baby snake, but the baby snake’s actually bigger than the mother snake, and it’s a snake that gives birth to live young instead of an egg. We then put the right-way-around snake on the ironing board and flattened it out nicely. Finally, the open end was stiched up good and proper with Simon’s best invisible stitches what he learned from his mum.
Finally, it was all ironed again, and ready to go.
All that remained was to master the knot, which actually wasn’t that difficult at all. Just add buff double-breasted waistcoat, stir, and serve it a tie pin garnish.
All credit to the original guide-writer Charles Rupert Domeki. Oh, and Pusspartout…