Note: I have written then ages ago but did not post it here for some odd reason. It is in three parts as posted on a forum.
I am a member of the London Victorian Strollers and we will be attending an event in London this December. I would be wearing morning dress but I do not have a proper self-tie Ascot tie (i.e. not a day cravat or the pre-tied nonsense!) that would be fitting for the period. Thus, I decided to make myself one as I obviously could not pop down to the shops to buy one or fork out a few hundred to have one specially made.
I searched the net to look for photos of examples as well as find the pattern and dimensions. After I made the pattern I bought the fabric. Since I could not find a place where they sell necktie silk, I decided to harvest the silk of two neckties which would be cheaper. I also got some interfacing and some backing silk.
I took the ties apart and then ironed them flat. Then I cut the two pieces at the point where they would join together to form one single piece. I made sure I cut it diagonally and that the pattern would run smoothly to as to be unnoticable that it is two separate pieces. Then I sewn them together and ironed the joint flat.
Using the template, I marked the outline with chalk and cut out the silk and interfacing. I sandwiched the layers together: backing, pattern silk (with the design facing downwards) and then interfacing. The edges are then basted together then run under the machine to seal all the edges but a gap at one end. Edges are then trimmed neatly, corners snipped, then the whole thing is turned inside out and then ironed flat.
The ends of the paddles are sewn together so they would form a triangular point and then they are hand stitched in place.
The end result:
The dimensions are 52″ x 4 1/2″. The neckband is 1″ wide and 15″ (my collar size) long.
Of course, photos of me wearing it would be taken shortly…
It really is pretty straight forward matching the patterns of the two pieces together. As said, one tie isn’t sufficent enough as one end is not wide enough. You need to harvest two ties that are the same. I popped into M&S and got them for £15 each (they were the only design I thought appropriate). The backing silk was around £6 half a metre and £1.50 for the interfacing. The first interfacing I bought was too thick so I had to get a thinner medium weight one so it doesn’t come out stiff.
As promised, photos of me wearing it:
I used this method to tie it:
I’m still trying to perfect the tying method but the trick is to not rush it or pull too tight otherwise you will not get the barrel knot and instead have a pathetic little knot which does not look good. Done properly, the length of each end should be equal. The Ascot pin can be pushed through the knot or through both paddles as they cross each other (as I have done) and maybe through the shirt (and capped off) to secure it in place and push it up a little.
As to dimensions:
a = total length in relation to width of paddles
b = neckband size (this should be the same as that of a sized bow tie, thus a 15″ stiff collar requires 15 1/2″ neckband)
c = 5 1/4″
e = diamond end length in relation to width of paddles
f = width in relation to total length
g = 1/2″ to 1″
Dimensions relations are (a x f):
52″ x 4 1/2″
50″ x 4″
48″ x 3 1/2″
46″ x 3″
Thus, if a and f are 52″ and 4 1/2″ respectively and b is 15″, e is 2 1/4″. g should be 1″ if the paddles are the thickest and be thinner if the paddles are thinner. Note that the thinnest is 3/4″; any thinner and you will have difficulty turning the whole thing inside out (you would have to hand sew the edges the right way out if so) and also it looks skimpy and pre-tied.
Note that the ends are square and folded into the middle and sewn down to form diamond points (as can be seen in the Ascot tie tying method) but they can also be left squared.
Here is another image of me wearing the Ascot in full morning dress. The knot is tied better now as I have had practice.
Here is a photo of one made by Messrs. Andrews & Pygott who used this very guide to make one themselves:
The knot is perfectly tied.
The pattern isn’t what I would choose but it most certainly works! Note that the silk pattern wouldn’t be the same as what you would choose for a wedding necktie (e.g. houndstooth, etc) as the way the pattern would lie is different.
7th August 2011