Tying the Knot: You Can’t Get Married But You Can Make Your Own Skinny Tie

Remember a few weeks ago when we made suspenders and talked about the DIY revolution? If not, let’s have a quick refresher:

This is the second part in a series on DIY clothes because sometimes that’s what has to happen: you’ve got to do it yourself. When it comes to girls who like “menswear,” it can be hard to find what you’re looking for. I know that lots of times I get frustrated when I go shopping because they don’t have what I want, and if they do it’s priced outrageously. There’s really no good reason why you should have to spend twice as much for the women’s version of the exactly same shirt that’s sitting over in the men’s department but isn’t quite made to fit your body. So we’re going to do something about that. This is mutiny: arts and crafts style.

This week’s projects is fun for bois and grrrls of all genders. Are you having trouble finding anything but black skinny ties? Have you been dying to raid your dad’s/brother’s/uncle’s/grandpa’s closet for ties but just can’t figure out how to make their giant ’80s ties work with your getup? Well, the slump is over. Gather up your craft boxes and your nimble,nimble fingers. This one is just as easy as last week, but it requires a little more finesse. Despite traditionally being men’s clothing, ties are delicate silky things that require a light touch and low iron settings.

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Laura is a tiny girl who wishes she were a superhero. She likes talking to her grandma on the phone and making things with her hands. Strengths include an impressive knowledge of Harry Potter, the ability to apply sociology to everything under the sun, and a knack for haggling for groceries in Spanish. Weaknesses: Chick-fil-a, her triceps, girls in glasses, and the subjunctive mood. Follow the vagabond adventures of Laura and her bike on twitter [@laurrrrita].

Laura has written 308 articles for us.


  1. This reminds me of the time I bought a sewing machine. I was convinced I was going to start making all kinds of cool shit. My friends told me that I was an idiot, and I had no idea how to work a sewing machine. “I’ll learn!” I’d say over and over. So, I got lots of random fabric scrapes and tried to sew them. I realized that one of the scrapes would make a sweet tie, so I spent many hours trying to figure out how to get that to happen. Finally, a tie! I didn’t use the sewing machine because you have to hand stitch that ish. I wore my badass tie to an ex-work friend’s funeral the next week. A baby spit up violently in front of me, so I screamed “JESUS FUCKING CHRIST” in alarm. Did I mention that this was a very proper Catholic service? When I realized what I had done, I started laughing and could not stop. I was asked to leave. And that, my friends, is why you should never buy a sewing machine as an impulse buy. You will be kicked out of a funeral for laughing. Also, I still haven’t made a damn thing with it. Do you want it? I will give it to you.

    You didn’t care about any of that. Basically, what I’m saying is: This seems like a great idea. A much, much easier way to make a tie than my method. Hooray!

    • If you give a mouse a cookie, he’ll want a glass of milk…

      If you give a lesbian a sewing machine, she’ll want to make a skinny tie…

    • yes, I want your sewing machine. :-)

      anybody have links for maybe a more traditionally feminine use for ties? I have a closet full of ties I inherited, and some are actually pretty, but have little idea how to use them for anything other than a menswear type look. And I am far too tall and angular for that to go well.

      • Sigh. What I wouldn’t give to be tall and angular *enough* to pull off, uh, manlier menswear styles. Short ‘n’ hippy over here.

        That said, when I am femming it up a little more I still have a few different ways to make use of my tie collection. I like to wear a shirt and tie under a jumper (or, more accurately, one of the shift dresses that I like to wear as jumpers in cold weather; yes, I tend to dress like a preschooler). Some of them work well as belts, whether with pants or a dress. And sometimes I’ll use one as a headband/hair wrap to keep my hair out of my face.

        This concludes the Owls Guide to Fun with Ties.

        • ty for the suggestions, owls. I especially like the belt idea. That skirts and ties idea, laura, looks fab in that pic – just afraid it wouldn’t look so fab on me, heh. Meantime, I still want to try to learn to sew a little better. Just hope my “learn to sew better” story doesn’t end at a catholic funeral (or actually anybody’s).

          and re CA Prop 8 – it’s a great round one victory, but buckle your seat belts for likely two more rounds….

    • I seriously couldnt stop laughing for a bit after reading this…I might be kicked out too then, huh?

  2. yes! this is excellent. all the musty old ties i’ve rescued from the $0.50 bin at Thrift Town will have a new life!

  3. Thank you Laura. I will definitely have to try this out. I will definitely be able to save some moneys.

  4. this is pretty, like you, who is pretty, but also has brains, unlike me, who cannot construct a grammatically correct sentence.

  5. Rock the skinny tie with a black vest, black jeans, a v-neck and your T&S MacBeths. Oh yeah.

  6. soooo cute! thanks laura! i cant wait to gay it up come fall. i’ll stop eyeing jcrew’s ties now. my credit card deserves that.

  7. “Tying the Knot: You Can’t Get Married But You Can Make Your Own Skinny Tie”

    This Just In: NOW YOU CAN! :D

    in California anyways, but hey, today California, tomorrow the world. (:

  8. Ohhh I love ties, and scarves and all sorts of pretty things! Im kind of grungy-femme-hippy so they usually end up as headbands, tied onto my wrists as odd little ‘bracelets’ or attached to my handbag. I am rarely seen without an unusual tie. I got banned from wearing them at work, because they weren’t in ‘uniform’ colours (i wear black and a pale green at work) and went out of my way to find the most horridly paisley green tie, just to spite my boss!!! tehehehe!!!!

  9. Great idea! i’ll have to hit up the thrift stores and modify some for my girlfriend. what a great gift! (i try to only do hand made gifts)

  10. Awesome!! Skinny ties are so plain and twice the price of normal ties. Now every tie is a potential skinny tie

  11. Pingback: Ties That Bind: Craft A Bow Tie With Your Own Two Hands | Mamoot

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