how to sew a tie

How To Sew a Tie – A Step-By-Step Sewing Tutorial

Have you ever wanted to sew your custom or bow tie but didn’t know where to start? This sewing tutorial will walk you through all the steps, from gathering supplies to stitching a stunning necktie, skinny-tie, or bow tie from scratch using straight stitches. We’ll also cover tips like adding an adjustable neck strap and creating matching accessories like a pocket square for a coordinated look.

Gather Sewing Supplies

Before beginning this sew-along project, you must gather some basic sewing supplies. Having these materials prepared ahead of time will make your tie sewing smooth and enjoyable.

Select Tie Fabrics

Select a fashion fabric that appeals to you for the main part of your tie, such as silk, cotton, wool, linen, or a blend. Ensure you purchase enough fabric yardage to accommodate your desired length and width for your finished necktie or bow tie. You’ll also need a lightweight coordinating lining fabric, preferably silk or polyester.

Other Sewing Tools

Here are some additional items you’ll need:

  • Sewing machine
  • Matching thread
  • Rotary cutter and self-healing mat
  • Tie pattern – either purchase one or create your own custom PDF pattern
  • Seam ripper for fixing any sewing mistakes
  • Fabric glue for tacking linings

Prepare Your Neck Tie Pattern

Before cutting into your precious fabrics, develop or prepare a tie sewing pattern.

Find a Tie Pattern

If this is your first time making a tie or bow tie, using a pre-made pattern takes a lot of guesswork out of the process. Search online for free tie patterns you can download and print at home. Riley Blake Designs offers some free skinny tie and bow tie pdf patterns. Be sure to select one explicitly designed for ties over other garments.

Or purchase a multi-size tie pattern from your favorite sewing store. Simplicity, McCalls, and Butterick all offer tie pattern options on their websites or at Joann Fabrics.

Cut Out the Pattern Pieces

Once you have your pattern ready, carefully cut out the paper pattern pieces. Then, pin the pattern to your selected main tie fabric and lining fabric in the suggested fabric layout. An acrylic quilting ruler and rotary cutter make cleanly cutting out the fabric pieces smooth and accurate. Be sure to cut two main fabric tie pieces and two lining pieces.

If your main fabric has an obvious pattern, be mindful of placement so the pattern runs continuously from top to bottom after sewing the tie together at the center back seam.

Sew Your Custom Neck Tie

Sew Your Custom Neck Tie
Photo credit: freepik

With your fabric pieces cut, it’s time to sew! Follow these steps for quickly stitching an elegant necktie or skinny tie.

Stitch the Main Tie Pieces

Start by sewing the two main fabric pieces together at the center back seam with the right sides facing each other. This can be done by hand using a slip stitch or ladder stitch. Or machine sew using a regular straight stitch and 1⁄2 inch seam allowance. Press the tie fabric’s seams flat with an iron.

Repeat this process to sew the two lining pieces together as well. You should now have a main tie shell and a separate lining shell.

Attach the Lining

Slip the tie’s lining shell over the main outer shell so that the right sides are facing each other and the raw edges match up. Pin the layers together around all outer edges to prevent shifting while sewing.

Sew the main tie shell and lining together, starting about halfway down the pointed end section. Remember to keep your seam allowance consistent at 1⁄2 inch. Leave a 3-inch opening along one long edge for turning the tie right side out later.

Neaten the Seam Allowance

Trim excess seam allowance near the skinny pointed tip using scissors to reduce bulk. Finish off raw edges along the remainder of the tie by pinking with pinking shears, zigzag stitching, or using an overlock sewing machine.

Turn the tie on the right side through the 3″ opening you left earlier. You can utilize a knitting needle or a chopstick to push out the corners neatly.

Insert an Adjustable Neck Strap

To create a strap that wraps comfortably around your neck:

  1. Cut a long 4-5″ wide rectangle from a coordinating fabric as your pattern instructs.
  2. Begin by folding the tie strap in half lengthwise, making sure the wrong sides are together. Use an iron to press the strap and create a crease.
  3. Open the strap again and topstitch down both long folded edges for a clean, finished look.

Slide this adjustable neck strap into the open end of the tie so that the raw edges align. Pin the overlapping raw edges together and sew them by hand or machine to secure the strap inside the tie.

Press Your Finished Tie

A warm iron presses the tie’s seams flat, which helps shape and smooth the finished tie. When handling delicate fabrics, such as silk, it’s important to be cautious and avoid scorching them. Steam can also help coax the fabric into shape.

Make Matching Tie Accessories

If desired, use leftover fabric cuttings to create a matching pre-tied bow tie, pocket square, or skinny tie. Adjust the dimensions of your original tie pattern for perfectly coordinated accessories. Or fold a coordinating cotton or silk fabric into a pocket square.

Before sewing up the side seams, finish the raw edges of your pocket square neatly, either by using a rolled hem or bias tape. Cotton lawn or crisp shirting fabrics work beautifully for pocket squares.

Once you get the necktie sewing basics down, an all-in-one folded-style pre-tied bow tie is also a straightforward project. Stitch curved “wings” to each side of a center band. No need for any tricky knots!


What can I use instead of a sewing machine?

You can easily hand sew a tie using basic stitches like the ladder or slip stitch. Just expect it to be more time-consuming than machine sewing.

How wide should my tie fabric be?

Most tie patterns call for about 3-4 inches wide fabric. Ensure you cut on grain and straight with the selvedge for best results.

What’s the best tie fabric?

For most neckties, opt for a lightweight silk or silk blend fabric. Wool blends and even quality cotton also create niceties. Stay away from heavy fabrics, though, which get too bulky.

Can I make a tie out of an old tie?

Yes! Just cut apart the seams of an existing tie at the sides and back to use as a pattern for your new tie made from different fabrics.


As you can see, sewing a custom tie is an enjoyable weekend sewing project for crafters of all skill levels. The process mainly involves basic straight stitching with a few fiddly parts, like inserting the adjustable neck strap. Hand sewing also works well for ties made from delicate fabrics like silk or wool blends.

Select an eye-catching “statement” fabric that reflects your personality. Tie fabrics like wool blends and silks are available online or at your local fabric shop. What custom tie or bow tie will you stitch up first?


Main image: freepik

Priti Nandy
Priti Nandy
Articles: 169

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