Have you ever wanted something that reminded you of someone special? Perhaps a close relative who’s past away or from a special person in your life.
Sometime last year I received an email from a courteous lady who wanted to surprise her husband by making something special to commemorate his late father. She mentioned that she read one of our testimonials about us making a knitted tie out of Mr Horlsen dad’s jumper and wondered if I could do the same with shirts.
I felt delighted and honoured to receive such enquiry because it means a lot to be apart of someone’s life to create something that is meaningful and sentimental. Therefore I treat the whole process of craftsmanship as though I was hosting a ceremonial service to the family involved.
Since it was during the Christmas period, time was of the acute essence! As it was intended to be a surprise gift. Therefore when I received the pristine Pendleton wool plaid shirts. I had to ask, were these ever worn? And learnt that he was a man of sartorial ritual, who looked after his clothes with love and care. For me, this made the project even more exciting and intense because I wanted to do justice for the gentleman’s clothes and as usual get everything perfect! And not to mention, on time!
I printed off her pre-filled order form with all the details requested and pinned it to the Made to order corkboard. This entailed two 9cm blade width ties on our regular length of 152cm. Finished with complementary coloured silk tipping and here comes the fun part, contrasted bullion stitch that had to match one of the colours of the checked pattern.
There’s always an element of guilt before cutting the shirt or garment to imitate a roll of fabric, which lays flat on the table.
Once this was completed, I place the pattern on the bias ensuring that the desired end result would be achieved. This sounds simpler in theory than practice because you have to make sure that the piece will retain its shape as this will affect the way the tie drapes. And the whole tie is being catered for, as the last thing you want is a hole or pocket in a random part of the tie.
After chalking the pattern and cutting the shirt into tie shape, we sew the tipping together.
Generally, I am asked to use the same fabric but in this case, I selected a green wool and silk blend to match the green colour in the plaid for one of the ties and a beautiful pastel yellow silk for the other, which paired with the yellow colour in the windowpane check.
Before hand slipstitching the tie we place, only the finest 100% wool interlining because what goes inside a tie is just as important as how the outside appearance looks. As this also affects the drape and the handle of the everyday wear of the tie.
This resulted in two different types of ties although they were made with similar plaid pattern. One was more complementary or tonal in the use of colour with the green bullion stitch and the other tie had elements of ‘fun’ with the use of the contrast yellow bullion stitch. The two different styles was reflective of both the wearer’s personalities. Needless to say, when you have a tie especially made for you, it creates the opportunity to have something made and tailored closely towards the wearer's style.
One of the things I love about creating personalised sentimental ties is that all the wearer’s details within the garment will also show up on the tie, including the odd seams and stitching that makes the tie extra unique and exclusive. In essence, you will never find a single person in the world that will bear the same item or in this case, a necktie.
In a nick of time, as I was just about to discard the excess of the cut garment, I received an email expressing gratitude and excitement. Then the question came, can you please make us a bow tie for my husbands birthday? Luckily, The answer was yes! (phew!)
Man Of The Hour - Bill
In retrospective, not only do you have a tie, which bears sentimental value and are exclusive, it was produced in a sustainable manner in every step of the way. Some have argued that our ties are sustainable by default, which is a great compliment for sure.
What would your personal sentimental tie or pocket square be? Let us know and comment below.