Updated: Jun 18, 2022
I love to work with Men's T's and Ties - especially silk ties! This Calvin Klein T is one I picked up out of season for a good deal.
Somehow, it seems to me that men's clothing is generally made out of better quality fabric than women's clothing. OK - so I'll just keep shopping menswear! I've collected men's ties for years - I mean YEARS! One day, I even opened my door to a full box of silk ties sent by a sweet customer because her husband had passed and she KNEW I'd love them. I've yet to make something of complete men's ties, but I'm thinking I do have more than enough to give that a try - especially the less desirable polyester ties, which are heavier than those made of silk.
I'm an a roll to make garments flattering to larger-sized women to add to my 'Collection' available HERE, so I kept my Fabulous Fit dress form padded out. This Calvin Klein T is a 2XL size to start, marked down from $59.50 to $43.99 as you can see. I can ASSURE you that I didn't pay that for it - more likely $15 or less, as that's generally my 'gotta add that to my stash' purchasing limit.
Gathering everything I MIGHT use on a project is my first step. Ties and labels go hand-in-hand so I pulled out my bag of labels. I save labels from EVERYTHING, and suggest you start to do the same. Of course, buttons are KEY as they provide a Focal Point on a garment. I have learned that organizing one's button collection is a smart thing to do. I have my 'special' buttons divided into Blacks, Greys, Mother-of-Pearl, Creams, Metallics, Jewels, and then bags of different color families. Then...there's the 'run-of-the-mill' tins and jars of shirt buttons, etc.
This shirt had a nice V-neck, and I decided to just keep it, but let the tie overlap that neckline as you can see in this photo of the neckline. Before using the tie, I take it apart, removing the stitching holding it together down the center back, and taking out the bias interfacing. I don't throw that away though - as it makes GREAT sleeve heads in jackets. See the first photo in the strip of 3 photos below.
So - what you see here is 'poufy' single layer of the tie silk, To attach the folded edges to the T, I always use monofilament thread in my needle (poly thread in bobbin), and lower the upper tension just a bit. My favorite monofilament thread is Wonder Thread (which is nylon). Monofilament threads come either clear or smoke. Clear for light-colored fabrics, Smoke for darker (as in this case). The zigzag stitch I use is 3.0 long and usually 1.5 wide. All that makes it just pretty invisible, so it looks like it is 'floating.
I added the 3 buttons (shoulder ones the same, center one different) because it just needed some additional Focal Points were needed other than the labels. (More on the labels later).
Across the back, to make 'holes through which to 'thread' the bias tie, I cut slits as you can see marked in the center pic below. In the 3rd photo, you can see that I fed the tie in then out of those slits, then covered the fabric between the slits with a label.
Here are some more close-ups of the neckline treatment.
In the 3rd photo below, you can see that I actually tied a knot at the garment's left shoulder.
Actually, the center back 'pouf' turned out to be a little off-center, but I just left it that way.
To carry through the 'soft' and 'gathered' line design of this garment, I chose to shirr the sleeve lower undearm seams by stretching 1/8" elastic VERY tight as I zigzagged it to the seam allowance.
At each side seam, I took three deep tucks going upwards and added another label. I firmly believe that making side seams higher than the center front and back creates a flattering hemline - for ALL sizes!
Sew..here's my final garment. This is one of those creative sewing projects that just kinda 'fell together'. Likely that happened because it is kinda like others I've done also using a man's 'silky' poly T-Shirt and silk tie(s).
Find some step-by-step directions, including the slits and 'threading' the tie through the slits in my pattern: Up-Ccycle Memento Tops. This top is yet really quite different with the hemline/side seam detail also using ties, and nipping in the sides with tucks that release.
6-17-22: Sharing another T + Ties Top from my wardrobe... on this teal-colored men's T, I bound the lowered neckline with the bias-cut single layer of one of the ties. Like the others, it goes into the washer and drier and doesn't even need any iron touchup. I also used labels on this T, and Coconut 'Tagua Nut' buttons. You can see on the first front neckline image that I did more of that 'feeding the tie through the double slot' technique. The last 2 pictures below show side seam hem treatments.