Friday, 6 September 2013

DIY - How to Make and Sew Cravats

How to Make Cravats and Pocket Squares..

Above: Robert Downey Jr. as Sherlock Holmes, Hugh Jackman in Les Miserables, a rather dapper Victorian gentleman and Eddie Redmayne in Les Miserables. All with fabulously tied cravats. 

We often get asked to make up cravats, pocket squares, ties, bow ties etc. for weddings to match the bridesmaids dresses. Some are very simple, the cravat and pocket square are the easiest and most satisfying to make.

Please note, these cravats are not your basic poly satin, strap-on rouche things that you get from suit hire companies. These are the proper, real deal, to be tied like a gentleman cravats with pleat backs to be worn with standard or winged collars. They look good from all angles!

To make Four cravats and pocket squares you will need......

Approx 1.5 metres of silk - crepe de chine for soft drapey ties (this is pictured) or silk taffeta for structured ties. 
Matching Thread
A Pattern Master
Sewing machine

Cut a 27cm length off the width of the fabric piece you have. Fold this into four equal squares and cut.

Fold or roll the edges over twice and press into place. 

Hand sew around the edges with a blind stitch or machine stitch around the edges. We've neatly machined a straight stitch here but a blind stitch by hand would be the best option.

Fold into a triangle and fold in the long points to form the pocket shape. Press and they're ready to go.
For extras you can embroider a monogrammed motif or embellish. Polka dot prints look brilliant and paisleys for authenticity.

For the cravats, divide the remaining fabric into four equal lengths measuring approx 112 cms x 30cms.

Fold the fabric in half lengthways and stitch a straight seam along the length creating a long channel. Leave a 1.5" gap in the stitching at the halfway point so that you can turn through the cravat.

Press the seam open, down the centre of the cravat and with your pattern master draw a 45 degree point at either end.

Clip the point of the cravat and turn through via the small gap you left in the centre seam.

In the centre of the cravat make three pleats, run a stitch through these and press your cravat so that the pleats and points are nice and sharp.

And there is your cravat. Tie like a rouche/tie, a traditional folded and pinned cravat or Ascot style. You can make the cravat extra long and a third slimmer to wrap around a higher collar and tie with an Ascot knot like Mr Redmaynes above.