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Menswear! And yes, I'm wearing it!

I hope everyone had an excellent festive season! I'm a dirty atheist with pagan leanings, so christmas is about spoiling my friends and family and eating too much food, which is basically what I did. New Year was quiet due to everyone else being off doing stuff, but I spent it with a pile of pizza, a pile of books and a pot of tea (I was sadly asleep before midnight due to food allergies, but c'est la vie)

Anyway, you're here for me making stuff, so Christmas present posts! I made most of my gifts this year, and am absolutely not still trying to finish the quilt I started for one friend. It will be a christmas/birthday/house moving gift and all will be well.
But let's start with something small... ties!

I do wear ties occasionally. Once I'd got over the horror of wearing them to school, I used to wear them to the goth club I used to frequent at university, and now I do wear them, very occasionally, at work. It confuses people so I don't do it too often. I'm also currently suffering from a lack of good waistcoats.

Anyway, I have a very tall friend who does wear ties everyday, so I figured he'd like a tie that actually fitted him, rather than one he had to wear tied weirdly to get it to be long enough. But first, I had to make some testers...

(Both photos taken late at night in my bathroom, because it's the only room with a decent mirror for selfies)

(this post is photo heavy and quite sweary; I'm quite sweary, sorry. You have been warned)

 I started with the Sew Over It tie kit. Nice and simple. I made the one with the fabric from the kit in about an hour and a half (most of which was hand stitching, which isn't the neatest). It fits me fine, but I did get my dad to test it

The agreement was that his face wasn't shown

I actually sewed the ends slightly wrong, but no harm done. This is far more pins than I normally use for anything, but umm, bias cut fabric *shudder*

The edges wouldn't match up, so I bodged it (story of my life...)

And here we can see my hand stitching sucks. I've also sewn through to the front in one spot, but it's hidden by a collar so no harm done.

Tall friend tried it and declared it too short, so I took the pattern and elongated it. This took a while, mostly because I don't have a lot of open floor space. There were some photos somewhere, but I can't find them. I ended up adding about 18 inches to it, which means that the narrowing is slightly less drastic. I had to modify all the pattern pieces, then split it into three, rather than two. The lining pieces also had to be modified, but that was an extra faff as when I did it, I did it wrong, so one piece was too sort. Argh!

Second test was made with the remnants of the cotton lawn I used for my most recent Alder. It's a dick to cut on the bias and slides all over the place, so some of the cutting wasn't the prettiest that ever happened.

I apparently didn't take any in progress shots of this one, because err, actually I don't know. We'll blame gundarks and see if anyone is paying attention. I used quilt batting rather than domette for the interior of this. DON'T JUDGE ME IT WAS A TEST! A test that actually worked really well, since one of the complaints about test version 1 was that it was WAY too thick.
Tall friend tested this one, and deemed it long enough! Hooray!

Then I got distracted by other stuff and ignored the fact that christmas was rapidly approaching. The fabric (some lovely indigo cotton from kimonomomo on etsy, who are lovely; their listing for the fabric went down, so when I messaged them saying "oh god do you have any of this left?" in a panic, they got back to me really quickly with what they had, and hooked me up with what I was after. Their shipping was also excellently fast) was sitting around for at least a month before I did anything with it, at least in part because I was terrified of ruining it.
Do you ever get that where you have gorgeous fabric and terror over ruining it? Yeah? Good.

Tall friend is a fan of all things Japanese, and dark blue. Obviously that meant he'd like a tie covered in bunnies! (many people at work questioned the masculinity of the fabric. many people at work were told to get stuffed)

Anyway, cutting. This was quite loose weave fabric, so cutting it was a bit interesting. Slippery table, slidey fabric, too stiff pattern. Oh god. It was almost a disaster, but I triumphed!

It sewed together beautifully. The fabric hated the iron, but these things happen. Again, I used quilt batting for the lining; it stretches a little, but not massively, gives some weight but not too much, and I had a load of it lying around, which was the main thing.

Print placement ended up a bit off; most of the bunnies are hidden on the back, but it's still cute.

Work slowed down massively the week before christmas (I work in the rail industry, so if they're not gearing up for major holiday works, it's dead) so hand sewing on christmas eve (yep, had to work until 2pm for no reason) at my desk was totally fine. This swallowed the hand stitches beautifully.

The end isn't entirely squared properly, but it's a really lovely tie, and tall friend was very appreciative. He also got the purple test because I can't wear it (WAY too long for me, even with boob distortion)

He graciously let me steal it back on boxing day to take some photos...

And there we have the first of the christmas presents. There are also penguins, a scarf, some dice bags and a currently unfinished quilt. Posts forthcoming, so I apologise for the spam.


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