Thursday, September 16, 2010

How to make a purse from a tie

I promised to show how you can make a small purse from a tie. It's amazing how much fabric there really is in a tie when you unpick all the seams. This is not a very thorough tutorial, just a brief outline, so feel free to ask if anything is unclear. With no man in the house I haven't got a stash of beautiful silk ties just crying out to be used, so I just got one, rather dull one in shades of grey, from a thrift store (that was the most exciting one they had at the time - maybe men here aren't very adventurous, or they hang on to their prettiest ties, who knows...) Anyway, here goes:
There aren’t any exact measurements in this tutorial as ties vary in width, but what you need to do is to cut off the first 6” of the tie from the widest end. This can either be a pocket for your cell phone or a closure flap. Also, you need to cut off the pointy bit at the narrow end of the tie.
Measure the remaining length of tie and divide by six. This is your measurement for cutting the remaining pieces. To make sure you don’t get your pieces mixed up, label them from 1 to 6 in the order shown.

Now it’s time to get your seam ripper out. Open the seams on the back of each piece and remove any interfacing and lining fabric. Press each piece to get he creases out (careful with the heat if it’s a silk tie – a pressing cloth is a good idea here!)
Now lay the pieces out as shown (the wide end down), pieces 5-1-6 makes one side of the purse and 3-2-4 makes the other. Sew the pieces together and press seams open. You might have to trim the pieces a bit so they end up the same size. Cut two pieces of thin batting and two pieces of lining fabric using one of the sides as a template. Layer each side with batting and quilt to stabilize. I just stitched some lines on either side of the seams and a few more in between. Lay the outer right sides together and stitch down one side, across the bottom and up on the other side. Do the same with the lining, leaving an opening to turn the bag inside out when finished. Turn bag with the right side out and put it into the lining and stitch along the upper edge. Turn bag right side out through the opening in the lining.

If you want to use the piece you cut off from the end of the tie as a pocket, you can stitch it to one side of the purse, like I have done (see the first picture), before you stitch the pieces together. If you prefer to use it as a strap to close the purse, you will need to attach it as you stitch the seam around the opening. You can use your purse as a clutch purse, or if you prefer a strap, you can make it from matching fabric or use a cheep pearl necklace, like I have done. Embellish to your heart’s content and enjoy!


calamity kim said...

That is adorable! I will have to try it! Thank you so much for sharing it.
I am just busy with getting things done for publication and a show in Dec that I am having a difficult time keeping up with the Blog and my Bloggy friends- I hope it's starting to cool of where you are- it's still 99 everyday here!
happy sewing!

Joyce said...

So cute I have to make one. Now can you show us how to make one from a sow's ear? Lol.

Linda Matthews said...

I just found your great tutorial - thanks so much for sharing, it's a really cute idea! I've just added your link to my Purses, Totes and Handbags Listings at

Anonymous said...

How do you attach the necklace as a bag strap?

Anonymous said...

What a cute idea! I have some ties needing my attention, so will give it a try! They would be nice gifts for the ladies in my family! Thanks for your little tutorial!

Kimama66 said...

Thank you so much for this tutorial. I have a co-worker who saw this and thought it would be a great thing to do using some of her dad's ties to give to the grandkids,nieces, etc. Of course she doesn't sew and I only kinda do. This was so helpful. I made a couple of mistakes on my first trial but that was on me and not your directions. I've only got 6 or so more to make so I'm sure I'll get better eventually.