Craft Tutorial: Ties & Shirt Upcycle
When Mr T and I went back to Japan in April, we had the opportunity to look through old ties that belonged to Mr T’s father. It’s been 15 years since he had passed away, and my mum-in-law decided to sort out his ties while we were staying there.
There were more than 60 ties in total, I think, and most of them were from high-end brands – unfortunately, though, Mr T hardly ever wears ties (he’s a freelance graphic designer, and gets away with not wearing ties even at meetings with clients). In the end, Mr T kept a few that he liked to wear, and gave me some in order to make fabric covered buttons for one of his shirts.
What you’ll need:
- interfacing (optional)
- self cover buttons (I’m using 11mm) and cover buttons tool
1) Cut open the back of the ties, remove the interlining and press.
2) If the fabrics are very thin, add interfacing with iron. Also, if your ties have heavy stitches at the back (like the one in the photo right), you need to add interfacing on these so that the stitches don’t fray.
3) Cut out the fabrics into circles using the template on the back of your button maker.
4) Place the fabric and a button in the button tool, and gather the fabric towards the shank.
5) Place a backing on the button, and press it down firmly with the button tool.
6) Repeat Step 4 and 5 to cover all the buttons. Sew them onto a shirt, and you’re done!
Here is the before (left) and after (right) shot (thank you very much for not mentioning the creasy shirt!). I really love how it turned out, and so is Mr T – so much so that he wants another shirt’s buttons replaced :)
It may sound strange, but I felt closest to my father-in-law, who I’ve never met, while making these buttons. And I felt quite sentimental imagining Mr T wearing these buttons that his father once wore to work.
I wish I could have met him, wish I could have heard his voice, and see his reactions when he sees his son and his daughter-in-law kill each other with their bad jokes… :)
Anyways, hope you enjoyed the tutorial, and happy upcycling!