Dresses, Refashioning, Sewing Challenges
Comments 45

The Dress of Many Colours – Just Call Me Joseph


When I started browsing the likes of Harrods, Harvey Nics and other designer stores looking for inspiration for my Designin December make, little did I thing than I’d end up upcycling 29 of my husbands ties!


I came across this skirt in Harvey Nics selling for a whopping £850!!  It obviously wasn’t made from ties, but the diagonal striped and pleated  fabric gave that appearance.



Unfortunately my husband’s tie collection is quite a bit more conservative than the colours in the skirt, but after a little persuasion he parted with around half of his tie collection.


I butted the ties against each other and auditioned a few stitches to see which would sew the ties together the best:


Number 22 in the photo below was the stitch of choice:


First off I sewed the ties together in groups of 5, and the first ones that were sewn together I trimmed the top off – big mistake!

If you plan on sewing ties together don’t chop anything off until you’re ready for fitting, or at least have a proper plan!


I loved the flared effect of the ties as they came to the wider end.


And so did Rory…


Scary cat guarding her new bed!


Back to sewing…..

As each group of 5 ties were then stitched together it did get quite heavy- I was glad my machine has a long arm, and also having a table extension made life easier.


After it had all been sewed together, like a lot of our projects it lay dormant. Then Boxing Day came along and it was used as a prop by my sister and I when we had a little sing song!  Those who ‘know’ me will know I’m a bit daft, so apologies if you’re not on my wave length but this video will always cheer me up and make me smile whenever I watch it.  Hope it does you too!

And then came along the 31st December!  I sprung into action to make the collection of sewn together ties into a skirt, and then this happened!


I made a dress, and I kinda liked it!


Here’s the bottom of the skirt laid flat:


And a peak at the inside, I super warm with it having 3 layers.


There were a couple of special ties  – the one with a yellow stripe is from a South African cricket tour, and the one of the left is from my hubby’s work sponsoring the Huddersfield cricket league.


Adding a closure was really easy.  I stitched a  zip directly where it was needed then just unpicked the stitches underneath.


Ta- dah!


So there you go?? Are you tempted to up cycle some ties?  It’s really easy, and when it comes to fitting, because the ties are cut on the bias, they mould and can be manipulated reallye easily.

I’m still not 100% sure if I’ll ever wear it but I really love the effect.  I’m going to look at collecting black, grey and white ties and am hoping to get this sort of effect.



I’m thinking of actually chopping my dress up and making something that I’d actually use, maybe a bag.  The effect is so cool and it’s such a shame for it to be hidden away.






  1. I think it would be totally wearable if you cut it off at the waist and used it as a skirt. Pair it with a white off-the-shoulder peasant blouse? I love the effect of the ties, especially as they widen.

    • Yup, you’re right, it needs to be a skirt. My 19 year old niece is a uni’ student – she would love it, so maybe another refashion and a resize too 😃

  2. Loved the Dolly singing 😀 It’s definitely an interesting dress, I think it would look great upcycled into a skirt that you could wear with a plain top maybe??? I’m interested to see what you’ll do with it!

    • You’re right, maybe a skirt as it was originally intended, then it can always be turned into something else if that doesn’t work. 😃

  3. That is so cool! Completely crazy, but really cool. You should just wear the dress absolutely as is – and to the meetup 🙂
    I’m just watching a programme on Skipton in order to practice the accent. So far I can keep up more or less 😉

    • I really couldn’t wear it ‘down dewsbury’! I would look so out of place, and anyway it’s the moneta party weekend.
      I’ve been thinking, maybe i need to teach you some Yorkshire before you come? Especially as my German is none existent as I did French at school.
      First up to learn,,,,
      ‘Now then, how yer doin’ – ‘hello, how are you!’ – (the h is silent in how!)

      • Ok, I’ve got that! So I would answer “All right, pet!”? It’s got to be pet or luv’, doesn’t it?

        • Lol, pet is further north, around Newcastle. But luv is good. Or ‘thas nowt but fair te middle-in’ – that’s ‘I’m ok,’ but that’s really broad Yorkshire! 😂

          • Good heavens, I think Im gonna stay with luv for my first visit… That other thing sounds rather complicated…

  4. My husband has lots of gorgeous ties. I hadn’t thought about a dress but I did once think of making a pouf.

    • I bet that would look fab, the thin parts could be overlapped as they met in the centre of the top. You’ve got my brain ticking now……..🤔 😀

    • Thanks for you lovely comments, but it’s a bit chilly in February in England!! Maybe I should make a matching jacket! 🙂

  5. Oh it’s just grand as a dress! But I think it is wanting to be a skirt…..and oh goodness, you could pick solid tops in absolutely any color to go with it! I love that pink and blue striped tie. 😀

    • I think you’re right Jen, but maybe I’ll make it for my 19 year old student niece who would look really cool in it, and carry it off better than me! 🙂

  6. I absolutely love this and would keep it as a dress, if it were me. I love what you’ve done to the top of the dress and wish hubby hadn’t had a tie cull as he had some outrageous ones that would’ve made a fab dress. Remember his shirts I made into a play tent…..?

    • I do! It was fab, and such a great way of using them up – they’d not be as much fabric now with him shrinking! You’ll have to keep a look out for some ties when you’re on your travels in the charity shops, or maybe your clever young students could raid their dads wardrobes and use them. They sew together really easily and quickly 🙂

  7. Hey Ali!
    How the dickens are you?
    Loving this dress. The girl and I made bag and skirt out of ties once for an upcycled fashion show that never happened. Sadly I binned them a few months ago when I was having a sort out, otherwise we could have hit the WY hotspots together – I think we’d have made quite the picture!

  8. Hi Ali!
    How the dickens are you?
    Loving your dress. The girl and I made a skirt and bag once out of ties for an upcycled fashion show which never happened.
    Sadly, I chucked them out when having a sort out a few months back, otherwise we could have hit the WY hotspots together looking quite the picture!
    (Sorry if I end up posting double comments – I can’t actually remember the last time I logged on, so WordPress is making me jump through hoops to post anything!) x

  9. A brilliant dress – and it would be a bit sad not to use it as something wearable. I agree that a skirt would be the easiest but I’m sure you will come up with something to surprise us all 😉

  10. Definitely agree with the other comments that a skirt would be totally wearable. Then you could use the cut off section for matching clutch

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