Here’s One We Made Earlier

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.

Scarf by William *unt of 'Savile Row'

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.

To speed things along, we folded the paper twice and cut out a quarter of the pattern, like the paper snowflakes you make in school

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…

The silk was infuriatingly flimsy and had a lot of lateral movement to eliminate

and then the three layers of fabric were basted with a basic tacking stitch…

This part can be quite tricky, be careful the cloth remains lined up as you stitch it.

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:

Simon irons a combination of linen and silk, but which temperature setting to choose!!??

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.

Using a stick to push the thick bit through the thin bit. Sorry to any readers baffled by the technical jargon.

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.

Sealing the deal

Finally, it was all ironed again, and ready to go.

Ace of Base (yes, I always thought it was 'Bass')

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.

Very pleased with the finished article. Everyone should try this themselves.

All credit to the original guide-writer Charles Rupert Domeki. Oh, and Pusspartout…




Filed under Morning Dress

8 responses to “Here’s One We Made Earlier

  1. Nico

    Very impressive.

    A more appropriate analogy may have been a slow worm, as they give birth to live young, albeit in birth sacs.

  2. I’m very sorry if I gave the impression that I was searching for an appropriate analogy.

  3. Charles Henry Wolfenbloode

    Very well done Simon!

  4. Pingback: How to make an Ascot tie « 《秘雲舘》 Into the Hidden Clouds

  5. I see there’s no coaster under that cup of tea on my antique dining table.

  6. Would bit be possible to make an identical cravat to this but with a 3/4″ width to the collar band? If so, I am interested…

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