|My $0.99 eBay purchase for The Tie Project..|
consisting of a tie with matching cuff links and hanky!
If you'll recall, in my last post about this, I had found two examples of little purses/clutches that could be made out of a single tie (minus the lining and straps, of course). The designers of these little gems only sell their physical creations, not the patterns, so I am left with just looking at pictures to try to figure out a way to make my own. So... what is the first step?
Well, determining basic dimensions is a good place to begin. Luckily this info is readily available. Both versions share the same finished size: roughly 6" x 9", or — for my metric readers — approximately 15cm x 23cm. The pleated version also has a 6" wide (pleated) opening. Not being able to examine these up close, it's a guessing game as to how the bottom seam is finished. But even if I could see them, it's more fun to create an homage to something rather than to "knock it off". What I want to do is capture the essence of these tie purses, not reproduce them exactly.
And in fact, I'm looking to create one pattern that will be an homage to both of these tremendous versions.
Construction-wise, with its rounded corners, the original non-pleated purse looks like it has a gusset. It might not. It could be a simple curved seam or some artfully placed corner darts that give it that look. I am going to go with a gusset because it (the gusset) makes efficient use of the tie's fabric (i.e., the long narrow end of the tie is perfect for that function).
Having established an important construction detail and armed with the overall dimensions, I made myself a pattern piece for the body panel, 9.5" wide x 7" high, with rounded bottom corners. Gusset piece is 1.5" wide; I "measured" the length that I needed by wrapping the fabric around the edge of the body piece.
|Basic body panel and gusset piece for my tie purse project...|
So is it possible to get that much fabric from a tie? Apparently yes. If you pick open a tie, you will find that it yields not a bad amount of fabric. The part that will be used as a flap for the purse is usually about 5.5" long. What's left is variable (i.e., there are no standard widths/lengths for a tie) but in my case, about 54" of usable fabric remained, 6" wide at one end, tapering to 2.5" at the narrowest part.
|Part of the tie that's needed for the gusset...|
|Figuring out how to allocate the fabric...|
|First body panel piece...|
|Second body panel piece...|
Of course, in the quick arithmetic above, I did not account for any seam allowances to sew the three pieces together. So to do that, I'll add 1/2" to each piece to allow for two 1/4" seams. Therefore, to "pad out" the top most body panel, I will need two strips of fabric measuring 1.75" (1.25" + 0.5" seam allowance) x 7". To complete the second body panel, I will need two strips measuring 2.5" (2" + 0.5" seam allowance) x 7". And of course, this is all an approximation because as you can see, the "strips" required are not rectangular in shape (in fact, they're oddly tapered). Bottom line, however, is that they can be harvested out of the remainder of the tie.
What to do next?
A couple things. I need to sew up my muslin pieces to see if my basic pattern works. If yes, then I need to cut exact replicas of the tie "pieces", patch them together and see if that concept works.
I'll be back with Pt 3 after I do just that...