Dress refashion, twice and how to attach a neck tie

The dress, picked up in a sale, was ready for a refashion, mainly because I don’t often wear dresses and I don’t suit this type of neckline. I was going to chop the new top shape from the bottom up, giving it a wide hem and body, but then decided to keep all the pieces already made for me. I liked the raglan sleeve and the slightly fitted body shape.

I really do seem to spend a lot of time chopping off sleeves, or in this instance, hems, just so that I can attach yet another form of neck tie. So this is the method I usually use to attach them! OOh!! Look at that colour difference in those photos! Welcome to the contrasting days of a Scottish winter! It really is a before and after of the same garment, one day apart, same time of day?

I cut 27cm off the hem and reshaped the neckline. The neck edge, on the half measures 29cm, this leaves 2cm each side of the centre front. The space is necessary for the tie to be tied whether it is being formed on a one piece front, like this one, or on a button stand.

With the one piece front the gap has to have a finished edge, I usually bind this. mark the centre point on the front neckline, mark 2cm either side.

On the binding strip mark 3.5cm either side of the centre front. Sew across.

Double turn and stitch. This can be done on either side of the fabric, whichever you prefer the look off. I add the extra length to the binding, so that when the tie is sewn on it can taper over the bound strip.

Making up the tie. This tie has a centre back seam. Sew this and press. Mark the back and front neck measurements onto the tie, from the centre back. Sew from the mark round the outer edges of the tie.

Snip at the mark to the first of the stitches.

Pull through the ties to the right side and press. Decide which side will be on the outside and press this edge, between the snips, seam allowance amount up. This is how it will look on the inner edge of the tie.

And how it looks on the outer edge of the tie, seam pressed inside.


Attach to the inside of the neck edge first. Then press.

With the inside piece in place, above shows how the pressed outer edge simply folds over and covers all the raw edges of the binding and the inner side tie seam.

Pin the outer edge in place. This edge has already been pressed. See how easily all the raw edges are covered with this final row of stitching! I use the first stitch line as a guide to follow.

Sewn on and this is the inside view.

And the outside view. Only when the tie is completely attached do I press in the outside edge and all over.

So once this was finished, I decided I didn’t like it!? It felt bulky, maybe because the fabric was cut across the piece and not down what would be the selvage edge, or maybe it was too wide and heavy for the top, I’m not sure, I just knew that tie was coming off. I was shopping with my daughter and spotted several high street stores with simple shirts, made in jersey fabric. Problem solved. I remade this again! I cut a bit off the length, this I used for the collar stand, the second collar stand, the two collar pieces and the button stands were all formed from the neck tie.

And here is the new version, and just as well that I’m happy with this, because there definitely is not enough fabric left in it to remake it into anything else!

Now this post started out as a how to attach a tie to the neckline of a top. I had bought a piece of fabric from Edinburgh Fabrics. This was the second time I’d seen it and I still liked the knitted print. So I gave in to the temptation and bought it! This one I have kept as it is.


30 thoughts on “Dress refashion, twice and how to attach a neck tie

  1. Reblogged this on vintagethrifter51.com and commented:
    I think the top is beautiful both ways, but it has to feel right for you to be comfortable with it. The fabric for the last top is gorgeous, I love the colours and the print. I would like to know your tips on how to insert a hidden zipper, I struggle with it. Cheers, Michele

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you for the post. That will help a lot. I thrifted a huge bed skirt that goes all round the box spring plus the large piece in the middle in a beautiful bright floral print. I am going to make a Butterick pattern dress from it and it has an invisible zipper. That blog post will help a lot. Thanks again, Cheers, Michele

        Liked by 1 person

      2. The dress is almost finished except for the top closure and hem, but I will be putting up the post tomorrow anyways. I really want to thank you for your tips and tutorial, it really helped me out, I also got some advice from Lauren at Lladybird and that helped too. I practised on some scrap fabric with a reclaimed zipper from a refashion project using her advice to practise, practise and then used your tutorial to get it inserted right. It really helped a lot and when I went to insert the zipper in my dress project it went in without a fuss. First time ever!!! Thank you again. Cheers, Michele

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Dress is now hemmed and clasp attached. Yahoo!! Only I wish I had used a more drapey fabric for the dress pattern I used, it definitely is a little too stiff. but I love it anyways, a very 50s housewife vibe which I love. Nipped in waist, and full skirt. Will be up tomorrow. Thanks again. Cheers, Michele

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Lesley. Just as well it’s our perogative, I change my mind all the time. It’s just a shame when I come up with, what I think is a great idea, and ooops…to late…cut it up already?

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Eimear. As I read that comment it reminds me of having the giggles at that sometimes moment when for some reason or other the beautiful top stitching suddenly goes crazily off, and you just sit there and stare at it! wondering why?
      I’d be really impressed if no one has ever had that moment!


  2. Very cool refashion! You’ve inspired me to do something with a knit dress in my closet that I never wear because it just doesn’t quite fit my style right now.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Woman after my own heart! I had to smile when you changed it for a second time. Why not if you’re not going to wear it the first way. When I do I’ll give you credit 😉 Thanks!


    1. Haha! I often have a tie front with a button stand but this time I fancied a change.
      I always like a tie neck, but this time i made it too wide or too long because it was weighing down the front!

      Liked by 1 person

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