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Cost
$ $ $ $ $
Difficulty
• • • • •
Time
5h00

Empire line dress made from ties and an old vest.
I've always been a fan of Lucy Orta's work and at Uni I made a skirt of ties inspired by her work. Long ago that went the way of all good things but recently while I was ratching around charity shops I found some lovely patterned ties and decided to make another version. This time I decided to make a dress. I used a plain jersey vest for the bodice and my dress took 10 ties. How many you need will depend on how big your dress needs to be and how long (as the the width of the ties varies.)

Warning: These aren't the clearest instructions, I will hopefully get around to updating them at some point but in the meantime feel free to contact me with any questions and I'll try and help you out. Happy stitching!

Posted by Helen W. from Carlisle, England, United Kingdom • Published See Helen W.'s 52 projects »
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  • Step 1

    Collect your ties and unpick them. This is quite tedious. Put something interesting on to listen to or watch!

  • How to make a recycled dress. To Tie For - Step 2
    Step 2

    Next, iron your ties and arrange them in a way you find pleasing with all the fat pointy ends at one end and the skinny ends at the other.

    All mine were purples, blues and pinks but I also had a mix of patterns.

  • How to make a recycled dress. To Tie For - Step 3
    Step 3

    Pin, tack and then sew your ties together. I measured roughly how long I wanted my tie section to be and sewed up that far from the bottom (fat) end. You could sew right to the top of the ties but it'll be a bit of a waste of time unless you're making a really long dress.

  • How to make a recycled dress. To Tie For - Step 4
    Step 4

    Now, measure just under your bust and cut a piece of elastic this length. Pin, tack and then sew this piece of elastic to your tie 'skirt.' Use a zig zag stitch and stretch the elastic slightly as you sew. Remember, where you sew it will determine the length of your dress from under your bust to the hem (so, if you want the dress to measure 100 cm from under the bust to the hem make sure your elastic is stitched 100 cm up from the bottom of your ties.) When you've attached your elastic join the first and last tie together (right sides together) to make your skirt.

  • How to make a recycled dress. To Tie For - Step 5
    Step 5

    Mark the 'empire line' on your vest. That is, where the ties will join your vest.

  • How to make a recycled dress. To Tie For - Step 6
    Step 6

    With right sides together, pin, tack then sew the elasticated tie skirt to the vest top, matching the elastic with the mark you drew in the previous step. At this point the skirt will be up over the top of the vest, sorry for the rubbish picture!

  • How to make a recycled dress. To Tie For - Step 7
    Step 7

    Pull the skirt down and top stitch in place, I also added some lace at this point for extra pretty points.

  • How to make a recycled dress. To Tie For - Step 8
    Step 8

    Trim away any excess vest fabric and finish the raw edge with a zig-zag stitch.

  • How to make a recycled dress. To Tie For - Step 9
    Step 9

    Wear and enjoy! These aren't the clearest instructions, I will hopefully get around to updating them at some point but in the meantime feel free to contact me with any questions and I'll try and help you out. Happy stitching!

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